DON’T take a chance with safety – that’s the message to local skaters.
Kirkintilloch Skatepark Initiative (KSI) is encouraging youngsters to wear protective gear to ensure they get the most out of the sport.
The group provides helmets for youngsters at its events and says it’s important skaters protect themselves.
Susan Murray, project co-ordinator for KSI, said: “I think it’s absolutely essential skaters wear helmets as you’ve only got one brain.
“Skaters come to a certain age where they don’t want to wear helmets, but we actively encourage everyone to wear them and we have a sign up at the skatepark to advise people.
“From a practical point of view there is not a safety standard for skateboarding as far as I’m aware and it’s important to balance the risk with the health benefits skaters get which will protect them when they are older, but we hope to encourage as many people as we can to wear helmets.”
The view is echoed by health professionals and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).
Consultant orthopaedic surgeon Neil Wilson, from Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children, said: “The most common injuries from skateboarding tend to be head and neck injuries in younger children, and arm and leg injuries in older children.
“Most may be minor, however, more severe head and neck injuries can happen. I recommend helmets and other protective gear such as wrist guards and knee pads for all those taking part.”
Nathan Hazlewood, RoSPA’s leisure safety officer, said: “Most serious injuries can be prevented if correct protective gear is worn. Wearing helmets, wrist guards and knee pads can’t prevent accidents happening, but they can reduce the severity of such accidents.”