Children are most likely to get hurt because they are just learning to skate, going too fast, skating near cars and traffic or not using safety gear.
- Recognize that injuries are particularly common in novice in-line skaters, roller hockey players and those performing tricks.
- Do not attempt tricks if you are inexperienced.
- “Truck-surfing”, sometimes called “skitching”, should be prohibited no matter what the level of experience.
- Carefully consider the type and fit of in-line skates when they are purchased. Ensure they are appropriate for the person’s size and ability.
- Have an experienced teacher provide instruction on appropriate reactions and proper stopping and falling techniques.
- Use dead-end streets or cul-de-sacs, streets that are blocked off to traffic or bicycle lanes or paths. Novice in-line skaters should practise first in a protected area before heading out to the street.
- People with large-muscle motor skill or balance problems and those with any uncorrected hearing or vision deficit, should skate only in a protected environment such as a skating rink or outdoor skating area, where the in-line skater is either alone or away from motor vehicle or bicycle traffic and where all skaters and pedestrians travel in the same direction.
- Properly fit all equipment to the child or adult.
- Ensure that equipment is certified by a recognized standards organization such as the CSA Group, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or, in the case of helmets, Snell.
- Skaters performing tricks need heavy-duty protective wear.
- A properly fitted and correctly worn helmet can cut the risk of serious head injury by up to 80 per cent. This means four out of five brain injuries could be prevented, if every in-line skater wore a helmet.
- Bike helmets or multi-sport helmets may be used for in-line skating. Be sure the multi-sport helmet shows clearly what activity it has been tested for.
Other protective equipment
- Wrist guards can help protect children from broken bones and sprains of the wrist and arm by absorbing the shock and keeping the wrist from bending back if a child falls. The most common injuries while in-line skating are broken bones and sprains.
- Elbow pads and knee pads may also protect from injuries, but there is little research to show that they are effective.