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Safety Tips For Kids On Wheels

A Guide to Safe Inline and Roller Skating for Children

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Safety Tips For Kids On Wheels
Photo © HP Photo, iStockPhoto.com

There is nothing cuter than introducing kids to roller sports wheels, whether they are wearing inline or quad skates. Learning skating skills and owning a pair of skates is one of the first forms of independent transportation that your child may experience. This makes all kids feel important and helps keeps them fit, too.

Whether you child skates on quads or inlines, indoors or outside, safety is always important. Protective gear, including a reliable helmet, knee pads, elbow pads and wrist guards should be used outdoors by skaters of all ages, regardless of how silly they look. Children of any age will constantly look for excuses to avoid wearing their inline skating safety gear. Unfortunately, most skating helmets, wrist guards and knee and elbow pads are not very attractive, sometimes a little uncomfortable and just not cool for new and experienced skaters, alike. You may be able to counter these feelings by picking helmets in their favorite colors, or create a fun project by decorating gear with stickers and graphics. But, if there is a budding athlete in your life it is up to you - the parent or guardian - to provide encouragement, impose rules or even nag a bit to enforce safety gear use and reduce the chance that a loved one experiences unnecessary injuries or impairment while inline or roller skating.

If you have a young inline or roller sports athlete, be sure to use any supplemental protective skating gear that may be needed for his or her specific sport. For instance, inline hockey players, roller derby girls and some aggressive sports athletes use mouth guards, padded body armor and other specialized gear to reduce the possibility of unnecessary injuries.

  • Teach your child the proper way to put on his or her safety helmet.

  • Also make sure they know how to put on the other safety gear items.

But safety goes beyond keeping falls from doing any damage. Preventative safety is even more important. Kids won't remember all of the safety rules of the road that adults use, but there are certain safety rules that they should know.

  • Teach your child where they are allowed to skate and where they can't use skating equipment.

  • Help small skaters and everyone in your family understand traffic safety and the rules of the road - even though they won't be skating near traffic.

  • Make sure that each skater of any age is always aware of their surroundings.

In addition, kids need good equipment for safe skating, just like adult skaters. Learn the difference between cute skating gifts that may be used as an incentive to get little ones started and the real skates they will need to take lessons or roll trails with the family. There are many equipment choices and options for young skaters, including adjustable inline skates, that help make good skates affordable. Inline and roller skate maintenance is the parent's responsibility. Check skates regularly for uneven or loose wheels, worn brakes or stoppers, dirty bearings, worn laces or broken closures. Let your little skater child help with the inspections and assist during maintenance, so that when they are older, they can do it themselves. If skates need major repairs or if time is limited, skills are lacking or major repairs are needed, seek professional skate repair services.

Be sure to visit local skating rinks or recreation centers and sign your child up for basic skating skills classes, which will include basic skills including how to stop and skating safety. You may even want to take a class yourself. You just might want to skate along with the kids and make it a family affair. Parents and guardians can become the primary inline and roller skating influence when they set good examples, check the functions of all safety and skate equipment and supervise locations and activities. And remember, parents need to wear safety gear, too. Start your young skaters with good safety habits early in their skating careers and inline skating will always be a fun, rewarding activity for your family members.

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