As parents, we worry whenever our kids do something that seems dangerous. Most kids, especially teenagers and young adults, think we’re being over-protective. After all, to them “riding the rail” or “catching air” is fun. To parents, it’s a possible trip to the ER.
Case in point, a friend of mine’s daughter broke her foot a couple days ago while skateboarding. My friend said when she talked to her daughter, her daughter was crying. But the crying wasn’t from any pain that she was in. The crying was due to the fact that her daughter was upset that she wasn’t going to be able to go skateboarding for 2 months while her foot recovered.
Foot and ankle surgeons continue to see serious foot and ankle injuries due to the physically demanding skateboarding tricks some kids try as well as repetitive use injuries caused by wear and tear. Skateboarding injuries can include minor bruises, cuts or open wounds, foot or ankle sprains, and fractures that require surgical repair. The repetitive, forceful motions of skateboarding can also cause painful foot conditions like plantar fasciitis, bone spurs and Achilles tendonitis.
Here are some safety tips your young daredevil can do to help avoid skateboarding injuries:
- Choose the right skateboard. The skateboard should be the right size for the child. Yes, you’ll have to buy a new one later as they grow, but the right-sized board will be easier for your child to handle.
- Inspect the skateboard. Make sure it’s in good working order before skating. Check for cracks, sharp edges, broken wheels or loose parts.
- Wear protective gear. This includes a helmet and knee and elbow pads at a minimum. Beginners may also need wrist guards, hip pads, gloves and padded jackets or shorts. Plus mouthguards will help protect against broken teeth.
- Wear sturdy, supportive shoes. Your child’s shoes need to be made of leather with rubber soles that grip well. Make sure your child’s shoes fit properly. For more information on proper shoe fit, refer to our Shoe Fitting Guide.
- Inspect the riding surface. Make sure the surface is dry. Remove rocks, sticks and other objects in the riding area. Look for any dangerous cracks in the riding surface. Stay away from cars. Obey all rules in skateboard parks.
- Warm up before skating. Do stretching exercises for your back, legs and ankles.
- Look before shoving off. Make sure it’s your turn and no one is in the way.
- Learn how to fall properly. If you lose your balance, crouch down so you don’t have as far to fall. Don’t use your arms and hands to break your fall. Land on the fleshy parts of your body.
- Know your limits and practice. Perfect smaller tricks before you move on to more complicated maneuvers. Have someone teach you the proper technique for tricks before trying them. Don’t take chances.
- Never hitch a ride from a bicycle, car or other vehicle.
- Don’t ignore pain. If something hurts, you need to have it checked out by a doctor. Don’t ignore it. You could make the injury worse. Follow your doctor’s treatment plan.
While skateboarding may be nerve-racking for you, it can be fun for your kids. So by helping them be prepared, you can reduce their risk of injuries as they master new tricks.
ezWalker® Custom Fit Orthotics Can Help Young Adults’ Feet
If your child complains about foot pain, or foot conditions run in your family, you should have your child’s feet examined by a certified professional. If arch supports, like ezWalker® Custom Fit Orthotics, are recommended, they can help your child’s feet function more efficiently while improving their posture and balance. Additionally, if your child is active in sports, like skateboarding, these custom orthotics can help reduce your child’s risk of foot injury.
Generally, custom foot orthotics should be replaced regularly as your child grows – usually every 6 months or as your child outgrows his/her shoes. Usually, children should continue to wear custom arch supports until the growth plates in their feet are set. Since girls mature faster, their growth plates tend to close around the ages of 14 and 15. Boys’ growth plates close later at ages 16 to 17.
For more information on children’s foot orthotics, contact the WalkEzStore.com.
Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good.®
Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Photo credit: Flickr/Creative Commons/Joshua Bentley