Rollerblade and Scooter Safety Tips from Saint Barnabas Medical Center
As the weather gets warmer, children will once again be outside playing which of course involves rollerblades and scooters.
Chris Freer, D.O., chairman of Emergency Medicine at Saint Barnabas Medical Center, says in-line skating and scooter accidents significantly increase in the spring and summer. During this time of year, the Pediatric Emergency Department sees about six to 10 injuries a day from in-line skating and scooter injuries.
“The incidence of severe head injury from scooter and in-line skating can be up 10 fold for those children who do not wear helmets and disregard safety guidelines,”
To help your child make safety his or her first priority, The Saint Barnabas Pediatric Emergency Department offers parents the following information regarding the proper precautions that should be taken before their children strap on their skates or jump on their scooters.
Gearing up for fun
• always wear a helmet
• remember to securely fasten knee and elbow pads and wrist protection
• wear the proper shoes and make sure they are laced up tight
• keep equipment well-maintained and make sure it is in proper working order before use
In-Line Skating and Rollerblading
• master the basics - striding, stopping and turning
• try to avoid traffic but when in traffic, obey all traffic regulations including skate on the right, pass on the left and yield to pedestrians
• watch out for road hazards
• skate under control at all times
• avoid water, oil and sand
• avoid hills and declines until ready to handle them
• never ride at dusk or night
• avoid wet road conditions
• begin at speeds and angles with which you are comfortable
• learn to stop by using rear fender breaks or by putting one foot on the ground
• do not take dangerous chances on water, speed bumps or gravel
• never ride in traffic
• always yield to pedestrians
• when about to pass, always announce your intentions by saying, “passing on your left”
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Of the approximately 81,000 patients treated in the Saint Barnabas Emergency Department each year, about 25,000 are children. Saint Barnabas’ self-contained Pediatric Emergency Department contains nine private, child-friendly patient rooms, including one equipped as a pediatric critical care room. To comfortably accommodate patients and their families, the reception area includes a play facility for young patients and their siblings. A dedicated nurses’ station will support the activities and the physicians who are all specialists in pediatric emergency medicine. For more information about the Emergency Department, please contact (973) 322-5180.