Be safe when skateboarding

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Recent stories about a proposed skateboard park in Selma have brought to mind the need for a reminder about safety.

Many of the young people pictured in a recent article about the proposed park were not wearing helmets.

While skateboarding is gaining as a popular sport among young people, it’s an activity that does cause injuries.

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According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), more than 15,600 persons need hospital emergency room treatment each year for injuries related to skateboarding.

The National Safety

Council offers these

skateboarding tips:

Protective equipment, such as closed, slip-resistant shoes, helmets and specially designed padding, may not fully protect skateboarders from fractures, but wearing it can reduce the number and severity of cuts and scrapes.

Padded jackets and shorts are available for skateboarders, as well as padding for hips, knees and elbows. Wrist braces and special skateboarding gloves also can help absorb the impact of a fall.

In a helmet, look for proper fit and a chin strap; notice whether the helmet blocks vision and hearing. If padding is too tight, it could restrict circulation and reduce the ability to move freely. Loose-fitting padding, on the other hand, could slip off or slide out of position.

Tips for using a skateboard

Give your board a safety check each time before you ride.

Always wear safety gear.

Never ride in the street.

Obey the city laws. Observe traffic and areas where you can and cannot skate.

Don’t skate in crowds of non-skaters.

Only one person per skateboard.

Never hitch a ride from a car, bicycle, etc.

Don’t take chances; complicated tricks require careful practice and a specially-designated area.

Learn to fall – practice falling on a soft surface or grass.

Enjoy a great sport, but be sure and be safe.