Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital


Bicycle/In-Line Skating/Skateboarding Safety

Bicycle/in-line skating/skateboarding safety statistics

Over 70 percent of children between the ages of five and 14 ride bicycles. In-line skating and skateboarding are also very popular among this age group. Although a great form of exercise, riding a bike, in-line skating, or skateboarding without protective gear can be dangerous. Next to motor vehicle-related injuries, bicycles injure more children than any other consumer product, according to the National SAFE KIDS Campaign.

The most common (and often most serious) injury sustained with a bike, on in-line skates, scooters, or while skateboarding, is a head injury. Head injuries are the leading cause of death and disability in these types of crashes. Wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of death or injury and reduce the severity of the injury in the event of a crash. However, even with aggressive bicycle helmet programs and laws, no more than 40 percent of children riding bicycles reportedly wear helmets.

Wearing a helmet whenever riding a bicycle, in-line skates, or a skateboard should be an automatic habit. Helmets should fit properly on your child's head and also be fastened correctly. A properly-fastened and fitting helmet does not move around on the head.

Teaching your children bicycle, in-line skating, and skateboarding safety could save lives.

The importance of helmets

Bicycling is very popular--in fact, it is estimated that 57 million Americans ride bikes of many different types. In order to participate in safe and enjoyable bicycling, cyclists of all ages should follow safe riding habits. Children and adults should always wear helmets when riding bicycles.

Which helmet to purchase

Many children (and adults) resist wearing a helmet. Point out that athletes wear helmets for their protection, and, for children, suggest ways the helmet could be decorated to personalize it.

Protecting children and adults from bicycle injuries

In-line skates

In-line skating is another popular sport on wheels for many people. Even experienced in-line skaters can crash and sustain injuries. The following recommendations are from the National Safety Council (NSC) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:


Skateboards are very popular among children ages 5 to 14. Skateboards should never be used on surface streets. Even experienced skateboarders can fall, so learning how to fall safely can help reduce the risk of severe injuries. The following are recommendations from the NSC regarding how to fall correctly:

Other safety precautions to take when skateboarding include the following:

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