Skateboards are often considered toys, but a fair amount of skill and athleticism is needed to ride them safely. This form of recreation can serve as a great source of enjoyment and help children increase their agility, balance, coordination, and sense of self-esteem. However, when children ride skateboards without a focus on safety, riders can suffer serious injuries, such as a traumatic head injury or even death
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that more than 300,000 skateboard accident victims are treated in hospital emergency rooms for skateboarding-related injuries on an annual basis. Many of these skateboard injuries are a result of the defective design or manufacture of skateboards or inadequate warnings and instructions regarding the proper age and skill necessary to safely use skateboards. Two of every five skateboard injuries involve a borrowed board where the rider often lacks experience and/or adequate adult supervision. Almost half of all skateboard injuries involve children between the ages of 10-14. Over one-third of injured riders are not wearing any protective equipment like a helmet to protect their head. Traumatic brain injuries due to colliding with vehicles can lead to fatal skateboarding accidents.
Parents and other adults supervising children can help reduce the likelihood of serious injury by limiting access to skateboards by children who are not old enough to appreciate the risk or to engage in safe riding practices. A lot of pediatricians recommend that children should be at least 12 years old before they start to ride a skateboard. Skateboarding requires balance and coordination, as well as knowledge regarding safety issues and precautions. Safe riding also requires the maturity and experience to recognize potential road hazards.
Many skateboard manufacturers not only disregard the risk associated with younger children riding skateboards but actively market their product to small children with “peewee” product lines. Companies within the skateboard industry also host exhibitions involving kids as young as five years old to demonstrate the use of their products. Parents are often lulled into a false sense of security from such deceptive marketing practices and permit their children to ride skateboards before they are physically ready to do so. This has resulted in doctors seeing more young kids showing up in emergency rooms with head injuries.
Parents can reduce the inherent risk of injury associated with skateboard use by being vigilant about purchasing safety equipment including helmets, wrist guards, knee protection, and elbow pads. There are hundreds of styles of boards, and the most popular boards are not necessarily the safest. Parents might benefit from talking with a sales professional at the store and confirming their child is getting a board designed specifically for his or her age and skill level. Adult supervision and bright clothing also can reduce the risk of a skateboard colliding with a car, pickup truck, or SUV.
If your child is injured in a skateboarding accident, it is important that you gather all the details regarding how it happened, and who was involved. If your child needs medical attention, you should keep all medical records. There can be any number of parties who may be responsible for a serious skateboard accident, including the following:
- The company that manufactured or sold the skateboard
- The driver of a motor vehicle who collides with a skateboard rider
- An adult who should be supervising the children or who entrusts a child who is too young with a skateboard
- An entity that designs, constructs, or operates an unsafe skateboard park
If your child is injured in a skateboard accident, the Miami Personal Injury Lawyers at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano offer the assistance you need to obtain the results you desire. With over 130 collective years of experience representing policyholders across South Florida, our firm provides legal representation of unmatched excellence. Contact our firm as soon as possible to start on the road to protecting your legal rights. Our firm received an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and was ranked as a top firm in South Florida by the Miami Herald. Put our exceptional Florida Product Liability Lawyers to work on your case. Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or you can visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.