With skateboard sales surging by 31% in the wake of the inspirational skating rounds at the Tokyo Olympics (including the UK’s very own 13-year-old Sky Brown winning bronze), doctors and nurses at Epsom and St Helier hospitals are urging local people to skate safe – whether you’re picking up a new hobby or are a seasoned skater.
While practice makes perfect, it can also end in injury, so Joint Medical Director and Consultant Paediatrician Dr Ruth Charlton is urging skaters to avoid cuts, bruises and breaks: “Skateboarding is superb exercise, but we also see badly injured patients who have not been wearing the right protective gear. As the Games showed, accidents are common and we don’t want to see people in our Emergency Departments with avoidable injuries! Be like the brilliant Sky in Tokyo, and always wear a helmet, pads and gloves, and stay safe.
“Even at slow speeds, you can be seriously hurt. From twisted ankles to fractured bones, and sometimes serious, permanent head injuries, we see a range of injuried caused when skating, scooting or roller blading. At the Trust we treated more than 800 fractured bones between May and July this year, and we don’t want to add to that.”
Skateboard GB has seen a 31% is skateboards in the past month, and a 20% rise in enquiries for lessons. When the Trust spoke with Skateboard GB Head of Engagement Neil Ellis, he echoed Ruth’s message to local people: “Always wear safety kit, especially a helmet,” Neil said. “The first time you stand on a skateboard, do it on grass or carpet so it doesn't move, get lessons and link with local groups and skateparks.”
Skateboard GB’s website www.skateboardgb.org, is full of tips and tricks on your first boarding and the free MySkate app includes details of local skateparks.
For more information about Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, visit www.epsom-sthelier.nhs.uk.