In-Line Skating Safety for Children

A fun activity or a potential hazard? With the right equipment and lessons, in-line skating can be a great sport for kids and adults alike.

In-line skating, also referred to as roller-blading, is a great sport that’s relatively inexpensive. And because you can in-line skate right outside your door, it’s extremely accessible, but as with any sport that combines wheels and speed, in-line skating has its risks.

Before you send your children off in-line skating, make sure you discuss the rules of the sport. Rule number one is that young children should always in-line skate in safe, traffic-free locations such as parks or on bike paths, and a parent or caregiver should accompany them. As children mature and their skills develop, they may want to skate on roadways. If this is the case with your child, ensure that he or she has the skill and maturity level to handle this. Generally it’s thought that a child under twelve isn’t developmentally capable of judging the speed and distance of other vehicles and therefore, should not be allowed near traffic.

For older children, when in-line skating near traffic is more common, skill is often lacking says youth recreation programmer, Wes Zaweratailo. “The biggest concern is that people don’t know how to skate, and you see people out there wavering around in traffic. If people would just take some lessons and teach them how to in-line skate, then they’d enjoy it more and find it a lot safer of an activity to be in.”

Finally, as with biking or skateboarding, in-line skaters must don the right safety equipment, says Zaweratailo. “With in-line skating it’s important that you wear all of the safety gear such as wrist pads to protect your wrists, plus knee pads, elbow pads, and helmets are a must whether skating indoors or outdoors.”

In-line skating is great fun that provides our children with a healthy, outdoor activity. Still, it needs to be treated with the same respect as biking. So have your children sign up for lessons through a local recreation center, ensure they wear helmets and pads, and that they avoid locations with high vehicular traffic.

Adapted from The Parent Report Radio Show. Any advice or information contained herein should never be a substitute for professional and/or medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. For more information please review Terms of Service.

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