Ready to roll on your new skates? but safety concerns spinning in your head? Don’t sweat it! Whether you’re a parent or just a skating enthusiast, I’ve got your back. So Let’s break down the myths, talk safety tips, and go skating for a super fun time—because
Skating should be all Smiles and No worries!
Roller skating often results in injuries, although most are not severe, and you can stay safe by wearing complete protective guards. Therefore, it is safe to roller skate, but it can be dangerous if we don’t take precautions.
Dangers & Common Injuries Of Roller Skating
There can be many dangers and injuries in roller skating, a mile-long list would still not be sufficient. But, below I am going to talk about some basic and most common injuries, pains, and some problems caused by roller skating.
In roller skating, you can hurt yourself in a large variety of ways. A most common way to get injured is falling and basically, you can’t learn skating without falling so you have to be prepared for these injuries.
Wrist Injury And Sprains (Fracture)
Many roller skaters get hurt wrists when they fall. This happens because, when they lose balance, they try to stop or control the fall by putting their hands out. This often makes the wrist hit the ground first, causing possible injury.
Wrist injuries are graded from 1.0 to 3.0 based on how much the ligament is stretched or torn. Grade 1 is the least severe, causing pain and swelling. Grade 3 is severe, possibly needing surgery.
If your wrist hurts a lot, it’s important to see a doctor. It might be a fracture, though this is not very common in roller skating but such cases do happen.
Wearing wrist guards while skating can help prevent these injuries. They don’t make you completely safe, but they can absorb a big part of the damage, reducing the chance of severe injury by 90%.
Contusions Or Bruises
A contusion is an injury to the soft tissues of the body that occurs when a direct force is applied to the area. If you fall while roller skating, the force of the impact can cause a contusion.
A lot of bruises are on the surface or under the skin, but any blow to the body can bruise bones and sometimes internal organs.
Contusions occur mostly on the knees and elbows of roller skaters. So, consider wearing knee and elbow pads all the time.
Dragging Of Elbow, Hand, And Knee
Every person would fall while doing roller skating (even an expert would fall but less often).
Most injuries are caused by falling in roller skating. When you fall on the front while roller skating, you fall on your knees and hands.
This makes your knee and handgrip on the floor and it drags forward causing severe pain. It hurts a lot. I have been through this many times in my life while roller skating.
Although, it is not a very severe injury still it hurts a lot.
When skating, head injuries can happen if you suddenly lean too much backward or forward, causing a fall and hitting your head, which might lead to a concussion. This is more likely for beginners who don’t skate with the right body posture and end up making big corrections in their balance.
To prevent hitting your head, remember to skate with good posture: bend your knees, lift your chin, tighten your stomach muscles, and shift your weight from side to side.
If you feel like you’re about to fall backward on your head, try to tuck your chin into your chest. This can help reduce the impact on the back of your head.
Most of these problems can be avoided if you wear a good helmet while skating.
You should consult a doctor immediately if it bleeds or hurts a lot even after an hour.
Blisters are a very common problem for roller skaters. Blisters occur due to friction to the skin. This also happens due to ill-fitting skates. If you have very tight skates, then you are going to be highly prone to this.
It also happens when you do roller skating without wearing socks or when you wear thin socks. So, always wear thick socks while roller skating to prevent this.
Blisters get cured after a few days so there is actually nothing to fear about.
Feeling pain in your feet is normal, especially when you’re a regular roller skater. It happens when you skate too much without taking breaks. It’s important to give your feet a good rest when they’re sore.
Pain In Butt
This is another common injury, often occurring when you take a harsh fall backward. While the pain typically subsides after a few minutes, it’s an occurrence that happens frequently.
I remember a time when I fell on my butt really hard, and it felt like I wouldn’t be able to walk for weeks. Surprisingly, the pain went away within 3-4 days. (I am skinny so it hurts 10 times more in that spot ;))
Newbie roller skaters are at a higher risk of car accidents when skating outdoors because they may lack proper knowledge. However, even experienced skaters can face this risk if they don’t pay attention to their surroundings.
Many precautions should be taken while roller skating outdoors especially on a busy road. You should stay attentive all the time. I have even written a complete guide on this topic, you can check it out by clicking here.
You should never roller skate outdoors on busy rough lanes when you are a complete newbie to roller skating. This can be very dangerous.
There are many other common injuries like broken fingers, broken chin, broken ankles, etc. as well.
Has Anyone Died Of Roller Skating?
While injuries from roller skating are quite common, deaths are extremely rare. The last recorded fatality was in 1999 when a 66-year-old man fell and hit his head. So To stay safe, always wear a helmet!
Is Roller Skating Safe For Kids?
Generally, Roller skating is safe for kids above 5, as long as they wear proper protective gear. It is still advisable for children to skate indoors only because most serious injuries occur in the outdoors.
It is completely fine and safe if you’re planning to send your child to a skating academy or to a rink.
Roller Skating Vs Skateboarding – What’s More Dangerous?
Skateboarding has an 8x higher critical injury risk than roller skating, possibly due to roller skates having brakes for easier stops, while skateboards lack brakes and involve riskier tricks.
You can read more about this report here – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9790608/
Roller Skating vs Rollerblading – What’s More Dangerous?
inline skating injuries are twice as likely to be severe compared to roller skating, suggesting that inline skating (rollerblading) poses a higher risk of causing serious injuries.
Comparing Dangers OF Roller Skating With Other Sports
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission did a study in 2001 comparing the possibility of injuries per 1000 people across numerous sports including roller skating and they found that.
(You can see the report here: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr099.pdf
3.4 people out of 1000 people have reported the critical situation and required hospitalization. The same number for cycling was 4.1 / 1000, for soccer, it was 8.6 / 1000, for basketball, it was 8.8.
Hence we can conclude from this study that, roller skating is far safer than other ball sports like soccer and basketball.
And it is also safer than cycling, and I am sure that you would also have bicycled one day. So, we can surely say roller skating is safer than cycling or biking.
Indoor Skating Vs Outdoor Skating – What’s More Safer?
Indoor skating is considered safer than outdoor skating since most severe roller-skating injuries occur outside on roads with rough surfaces, pebbles, small stones, and traffic. Skating indoors is therefore less dangerous than skating outdoors.
How to Stay Safe While Roller Skating
While roller skating injuries are often not critical, yet they can be extremely painful. Follow these tips to enjoy your roller skates without experiencing this pain.
Wear Complete Protective Gear
CPSC estimated that wearing wrist guards alone can prevent 33.33% of severe injuries caused by roller skating. This shows how important wearing protective gear is.
Well, this doesn’t mean that you should only wear wrist guards, every protective gear is important. Below are all the protective gear you should be wearing when you roller skate.
The helmet is yet the most important protective gear for roller skating as the head of any person is the most vulnerable body part. So, regardless of skill, you should always be wearing a helmet.
Roller skating helmet is mostly of two types:-
They are shaped like a dome as the name suggests. They are multisports helmets and can be used for many different sports as well. They provide basic protection and will work just fine for roller skating.
They are light in weight, look really cool, and provide a little more protection than dome helmets. Some customization is done to these helmets to improve the performance of skating.
Dome skate helmets might feel uncomfortable sometimes and may reduce the speed of your skating. So, Performance helmets are great for pros who wanna skate at high speeds.
|There is a large variety of color options in dome helmets, you can choose any helmet based on your color choice as there are basically no quality differences in most of them.
|Here’s a link to the best performance helmet, it weighs only 0.63 pounds (285 gram) while most other dome-shaped helmet weighs more than 1.2 pounds (544 gram) almost double of it.
Honestly, I didn’t find much difference between the helmets in terms of protection, in terms of speed I did see some difference but the main thing was it felt like a headache while wearing a dome-shaped helmet and I felt far more comfortable and relaxed while wearing a performance helmet.
If you’re in search of a helmet for your child, look no further—this one is their absolute favorite.
All three of these play an important role in protection. You should be wearing them always while roller skating to prevent any sort of injury.
Here’s a link to the best pads kit, you can find it on Amazon for a very cheap price. I labeled them as best because they have a little bend at elbow pads which feels super comfortable and this feature is not found in many other pads.
And also there are a lot of color options for these pads so make sure you check them out.
Get The Right-Sized Roller Skates
This seems obvious but it isn’t.
Ill-sized roller skates can cause blisters on your feet, and make you feel uncomfortable, which can also make you lose balance, resulting in more forceful falls that can be injurious.
So, you have to get the right-sized roller skates.
I see many people getting the wrong-sized skates and regretting afterward. They get blisters very often and then after a month of usage, they either stop roller skating or get a new pair of roller skates.
So, make sure you check the size chart measure your feet with an inch of tape, and buy slightly bigger roller skates.
Practice Skating Indoors First
Getting a new pair of roller skates is really exciting and due to this excitement, people make the big mistake of going to a park or any other public place even on high-traffic roads.
This can be super dangerous. I understand your emotions but you’ve to control your feelings to be safe.
You should first always practice roller skating either inside your house or in your driveway.
You should never go to public places in the very beginning as currently, you don’t know how to stop, how to turn, how to balance, and then, at last, you may end up hurting someone else by falling on them or getting over them.
Always spend your first week of roller skating indoors and then you can go outside in the skate parks but don’t immediately go on roads with traffic, you should always wait for 30 days of roller skating before you go to the road.
(Learn How to fasten this up by clicking here)
Skate In Skating Rinks & Unused Concrete Paths
Finding a safe place to roller skate is extremely important, if you roller skate on high-traffic roads, parks with many people, or busy sidewalks then you may end up hurting other people and even yourself.
Currently, you don’t know how to stop properly, how to balance, turn, and how to go over bumps on the road.
Some safe places to roller skate are skating rinks, inactive sidewalks, and unoccupied sports courts with concrete coverings. Avoid going on busy roads and busy sidewalks.
Even skating rinks are not suggested for beginners as when you fall, you may end up getting your hands rolled over by other roller skaters. That’s why I always suggest skating inside your house for the first week.
Don’t Be Confident & speed
I see many people getting overconfident just after 1-2 weeks of roller skating which can be dangerous. They immediately go on high-traffic roads or skate at a very high speed which becomes hard to control.
Overspeeding can be very dangerous especially when you haven’t mastered roller skating completely. You might find yourself unable to control this speed which may make you fall on the ground or be an accident victim.
So you should always stay within your limits, learn things properly first, and give roller skating at least a month before you start trying some tricks.
Avoid Advanced Tricks & TikTok
These overconfident skaters also start trying some advanced tricks of roller skating.
You should strictly avoid performing these advanced tricks when you are a complete newbie, the same for kids under 8 years. This can be very dangerous and may cause severe injury.
If you’re planning to roller skate for some TikTok videos, then you should strictly wait for at least a month before you try this trend. Because you will be focusing more on the video rather than skating.
So, you will have to give it some time to reach that level.
Another advanced trick that people do is Truck Surfing, and you should completely avoid this as it is extremely dangerous.
You’re basically behind a vehicle and you’re holding the vehicle at the same time with your roller skates to attain the speed of the vehicle on your skates.
Learn To Fall
Wearing all the protective gear doesn’t mean you are 100% protected (although you’re 80% protected) but accidents can still occur causing you injuries.
Falling is the most common way of getting injured in roller skating and actually
Falling is a part of Roller skating, you can’t learn to roller skate without falling.
So, you will need to learn how to fall to avoid injuries.
If you start to lose your balance, squat down quickly so that you’ll fall only a few inches. This will help you to find your balance again without falling or falling closer to the ground, minimizing the impact from the initial fall.
If you’re roller skating in a busy place like a skating rink where many people are skating together, then you should try to fall in a way that cushions the impact. By landing on your bottom with your hands planted on the floor.
Don’t Skate In Night, Hot Day & In Rain
Skating at night can be dangerous because you don’t have the proper visibility of the traffic making it difficult for you to locate the obstacles and people, and other vehicles also cannot see you because roller skates don’t have headlights in them.
The surface becomes super slippery when you skate in rain or after some time of rain making it hard to balance on the roller skates.
Avoid Wearing Headphones
Wearing headphones while roller skating can make you distracted and make you not concentrate on the path. And this can be very dangerous, you may become a victim of an accident. So, completely avoid this.
How Do You Fall Safely Skating
- Stay Relaxed: Try to stay calm and avoid tensing up.
- Bend Your Knees: Bend your knees to absorb the impact and lower your center of gravity.
- Try to Roll as you fall: When you fall, try to go with it instead of fighting it. Rolling can help reduce the impact and avoid injuries. Even though it’s natural to use your hands to stop the fall, that can hurt your wrists or arms. Instead, tuck your arms in and roll with the fall.
- Use Protective Gear: Wear wrist guards, knee pads, elbow pads, and a helmet to minimize injury risk.
- Avoid Outstretched Hands: Try not to break your fall with your outstretched hands, as this can lead to wrist injuries.
What Is The Right Time For Skating?
Day and evening time is the best time for roller skating because you will be able to easily see your surroundings, see the obstacles, and have fun during this time. It would be best if you did not skate at night time due to poor visibility.
Can You Roller Skate On Roads?
Yes, but rollerblading on the road can be unsafe sometimes because of high traffic and bumps on the road. A road with less traffic and a smoother surface is always safer and preferred for skating than other roads.
Read more about this topic here – https://solosportsworld.com/can-you-rollerblade-on-road/
Can You Go Roller Skating While Pregnant?
No, you should avoid going roller skating when pregnant as there is a very high chance of falling on the ground which has to be avoided while pregnant.
What Age Is Safe For Kids to Roller Skate?
Generally, it is safe for kids to roller skate when they are above 5 years old. Although even 2-year-old kids can learn to roller skate it is best to wait until they are 5.
Can You Break a Bone Roller Skating?
Yes, roller skating can result in broken bones from falls or collisions. Though Wearing protective gear, like helmets and pads, reduces the risk to a great extent. Skating on smooth surfaces and practicing good technique will also help prevent such injuries.
Is roller skating dangerous for the elderly?
Roller skating can be risky for the elderly due to balance issues, reduced bone density, and potential injuries from falls. Those with health concerns should consult a professional before attempting it.
Basically, If you have any critical health concerns, it’s best to consult with your doctor or a professional before taking up skating. Rest, skating is a universal sport suitable for all ages, from 5-year-olds to individuals over 50 as well.
Roller skating is a fun sport in which falling on the ground is very common making people get many injuries but most injuries are not that severe. Roller skating is a much safer sport in comparison to other sports like Soccer and basketball in terms of severe injuries.
To stay safe from these injuries, you will have to wear a complete protective gear set every time you skate, there are many other safety measures as well which I have included above in the article.
I hope this article was helpful for you, consider sharing it with your friend who is worried about roller skating or a friend who gets injured very often while skating so that he can use the safety tips I gave in this article.