More than 17 million Americans participate in the sport of inline skating. Whether skating fast or standing still, you can get an injury -- from fractures or dislocations to more serious injuries to the head -- if you do not follow the rules of the sport.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 61,000 people were treated for inline skating-related injuries in hospital emergency rooms, doctorsï¿½ offices, clinics and other medical settings in 2007.
The key to remember is that many inline skating injuries are preventable if you follow these safety tips:
- Learn the basic skills of the sport particularly how to stop properly, before venturing into traffic
- Wear a helmet, wrist protectors and knee and elbow pads
- Always put on protective gear before putting on your skates
- Perform warm-up exercises before and after skating
- Obey traffic signals, stay at the right side of the road and don't weave in and out of lanes
- Avoid skating in crowded walkways
Skate boots always must fit properly. Here are some tips you can use when purchasing inline skates:
- Don't buy boots that put too much pressure on any area of your foot; the pressure can cause blisters.
- Choose the boot size at the end of the day or after training, when feet will be at their largest.
- When selecting the size of the boot, wear the same type of sock that will be worn when skating.
- Kick both feet into the back of the boots before buckling and skating.
- Be certain the heel doesn't move up and down in the boot during skating.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
9400 West Higgins Road
Rosemont, IL 60018