Ready for the Ride: Keeping Kids Safe on Wheels
Children 14 years and under, and particularly those under age 10, are at greater risk for a fall when on wheels because they have a higher center of gravity, are less developed physically and have poor balance compared to adults. They also have slower reactions and are less coordinated than adults, leading to being less able to break their falls. Finally, children typically overestimate their skills and abilities and are less experienced in judging speed, traffic and other risks.
Nearly 50 children an hour are taken to an emergency department with an injury related to the four wheeled sports we studied. As a result, it is not a matter of “if” children will fall, but rather how to protect them from serious injury when they do. Helmets and other protective gear are proven ways to decrease both the likelihood and severity of an injury.