In-line 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 in-line 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 in-line skating injuries result from:
The following tips help reduce skating injuries:
Proper safety gear for skating includes:
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.
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.
Do not hitch a ride to any moving vehicle when you are on in-line 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.
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 July 24, 2014.
Hand signals. The InLine Club of Boston website. Available at http://icbskates.org/skate-with-us/skating-signals/. Accessed July 24, 2014.
Inline skating. National Safety Council website. Available at: http://www.nsc.org/news_resources/resources/documents/inline_skating_safety.pdf. Updated September 2012. Accessed July 24, 2014.
Inline skating safety statistics. International Inline Skating Association website. Available at http://www.iisa.org/resources/safety.htm. Accessed July 24, 2014.
Safety tips: inline skating. KidsHealth.org—Nemours Foundation website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/teen/safety/sports_safety/safety_inline.html#. Updated January 2014. Accessed July 24, 2014.
Skate safely—always wear safety gear. United States Consumer Product Safety Commission website. Available at http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PUBS/5014.pdf. Accessed July 24, 2014.
Last reviewed July 2014 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.