Impact of Dedicated Skate Parks on the Severity and Incidence of Skateboard- and Rollerblade-Related Pediatric Fractures

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Summary:Dedicated skate parks have led to an increase in pediatric fractures referred to the authors' unit. The authors performed a prospective analysis of all patients presenting to their unit with fractures sustained while Rollerblading or skateboarding over a 5-month period. Epidemiologic data, user experience, wearing of protective gear, place of injury, and mechanism of injury were collected. Fracture type and its treatment were also recorded. The findings indicated that the use of skate parks is associated with a significant increase in the severity of fracture. This was not related to mean length of experience, age, or sex. The use of skate parks had an increased relative risk of 8.35 for fractures requiring manipulation or invasive orthopedic treatment. Only 5% of children were wearing some form of limb/joint protective gear. The authors believe there should be closer supervision and training of children and more emphasis on limb protective gear. The current high incidence of significant skate park injuries will otherwise continue, with implications for the well-being of these children and the burden on the healthcare system.

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