Children and young adults love the thrill of skateboarding. They learn to master their skills of “riding the rail” and “catching air.” But these types of tricks, while fun, can be physically demanding and can cause serious foot and ankle injuries or conditions if not practiced safely.
Skateboarding can be particularly hard on feet and ankles because of the impact caused when performing jumps and tricks. Injuries from skateboarding can range from minor bruising and open wounds or cuts to more serious foot and ankle sprains or fractures, which may require surgical repair.
Skateboarders can also develop painful foot and heel conditions, such as plantar fasciitis, bone spurs or Achilles tendonitis from the repetitive, forceful motions associated with skateboarding. These conditions require more intensive, longer-term therapies.
To help avoid injury, skateboarders should always use caution and wear protective gear, including properly supportive shoes.
Accidents and injuries sometimes are unavoidable. If your child is injured, call our office for prompt evaluation and treatment. In the meantime, RICE therapy is advised. This involves:
- Stay off the foot or ankle. Walking may cause further injury.
- Apply an ice pack to the injured area, placing a thin towel between the ice and the skin. Use ice for 20 minutes and then wait at least 40 minutes before icing again.
- An elastic wrap should be used to control swelling.
- The foot or ankle should be raised slightly above the level of your heart to reduce swelling.
Be sure to also properly cover and disinfect open wounds and scrapes to avoid infection. Serious drug-resistant staph infections, like MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus), can be acquired through cuts or scrapes on the feet and are difficult to treat.
Remember, skateboarding can continue to be fun for your children as long as they take the extra steps for safety.