Inline skating can be hazardous if you do not wear proper safety gear or do not learn to skate and stop safely. In fact, people visit the hospital emergency room each year because of injuries associated with inline skates. Wrist injuries are common, as well as injuries to the leg, knee, ankle, or elbow. Injuries to the head and face are also fairly common.
The most common inline skating injuries result from:
The following tips help reduce skating injuries:
Always Wear Proper Safety Gear
Proper safety gear for skating includes:
Check Your Equipment
Get instruction from an experienced skater. You should have basic skating skills (turning, controlling speed, falling safely, and stopping) before you attempt to skate in a public place.
Skate Only in Safe Areas
Do Not Skate at Night
At night, others cannot see you and you cannot see obstacles or other skaters. If you must skate in the dark, wear reflective clothing, put flashing bicycle lights on your helmet, and carry a flashlight.
Avoid Any Type of “Towing” Activity
Do not hitch a ride to any moving vehicle when you are on inline skates. You may not be able to slow down fast enough to avoid colliding with the vehicle that is towing you. You could also be thrown into oncoming traffic. For the same reason, do not let your dog tow you while you are on skates.
Do Not Use Headphones While Skating
While skating, avoid using headphones or anything else that could prevent you from hearing vehicles, cyclists, and other skaters.
American College of Sports Medicine
American Council on Exercise
Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine
Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute
Benson J, Shafer A. Falling safely. The InLine Club of Boston website. Available at: http://icbskates.org/learn-to-skate/how-to-fall. Accessed May 31, 2016.
Hand signals. The InLine Club of Boston website. Available at http://icbskates.org/skate-with-us/skating-signals. Accessed May 31, 2016.
Inline skating. National Safety Council website. Available at: http://www.nsc.org/NSCDocuments_Advocacy/Fact%20Sheets/Inline-Skating-Safety.pdf. Updated October 9, 2012. Accessed May 31, 2016.
Inline skating safety statistics. International Inline Skating Association website. Available at http://www.iisa.org/resources/safety.htm. Accessed May 31, 2016.
Safety tips: inline skating. Nemours Kids Health website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/safety-inline.html. Updated January 2014. Accessed May 31, 2016.
Skate safely—always wear safety gear. United States Consumer Product Safety Commission website. Available at http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PUBS/5014.pdf. Accessed May 31, 2016.
Last reviewed May 2016 by Michael Woods, MD Last Updated: 5/31/2016