Skateboards are again increasing in popularity (Time, June 6, 1988, pp 90-91). Not surprisingly, the increased use of skateboards is accompanied by a resurgence in the number of related injuries. Pediatricians informed about skateboard injuries can help to prevent needless injury.
In the last skateboard injury epidemic, the annual incidence of injuries peaked at 150,000 in 1977. The rate subsequently decreased to 16,000 injuries in 1983. Since that time, skateboard injuries had increased sharply: 19,000 in 1984, 37,000 in 1985, and 81,000 in 1986. According to data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 1984 and 1985, 36 children are known to have died as a result of injuries sustained while riding skateboards.
Analysis of Consumer Product Safety Commission data from 1984 to 1985 indicates the following salient features of the current outbreak. Of recorded skateboard injuries during this period: (1) 88% involved skateboarders less than 20 years of age, 45% involved 10- to 14-year-old children; (2) 88% involving skateboarders younger than 20 years of age involved boys or young men; (3) 74% were to the extremities, 17% to the head and neck, and 9% to the trunk; (4) severe injuries were uncommon; moderate injuries were most common in all age groups. However, the severity of injuries increased with decreasing age. Moderate or severe injuries accounted for half of the injuries to children older than 9 years, two thirds of the injuries to children 5 to 9 years, and more than three fourths of the injuries to children 0 to 4 years of age; (5) the likelihood of injury to the head and neck increased as the age of the injured decreased.
- Copyright © 1989 by the American Academy of Pediatrics