Monday, June 25, 2007

Sneaker-skate Warning

This week the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has decided to recommend helmets, wrist protectors and knee and elbow pads for children wearing hybrid sneaker skates. The most popular brand is called Heely's, they are simply sneakers with one week in the heel of the shoe. While I am all for safety, I think this is a little overstated. From this article it sounds like it may be a good recommendation while the kids are getting used to them initially, but the number of actual injuries is small.

From September 2005 through December 2006 at least 64 roller-shoe injuries were reported to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Ok, so in 14 months, 64 reported injuries. Compare that to basketball injuries, where in one year nearly 200,000 children and adolescents ages 5 to 14 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for basketball-related injuries according to Children's Hospital Boston.

Safety is always always important, but I often get the feeling that these types of articles are just written to scare parents. Perhaps it is a slow news day, so they throw out a story about injuries and caution. Make sure your kids have the proper safety gear, and make sure they know how to keep themselves safe, and make sure you put statistics into perspective, otherwise we'd all go crazy worrying about children's safety.

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