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Pediatr Emerg Care. 2009 May;25(5):321-4. doi: 10.1097/PEC.0b013e3181a341c3.

Evaluating the injury incidence from skate shoes in the United States.

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  • 1Michigan State University Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, USA.



The goals of this study were to evaluate whether the increased use of skate shoes may lead to an increase in injuries for children and adolescents aged 5 to 14 years in the United States and to describe the types of injuries reported by emergency departments as a result of skate shoe use.


Retrospective analysis of the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database from January 1, 2002 to December 31, 2006 for injuries resulting from footwear in children and adolescents aged 5 to 14 years. Injuries resulting from skate shoe use were identified by manual review of the data.


For the 5-year period, an estimated 3525 patients between 5 and 14 years of age were treated in United States emergency departments for injuries resulting from skate shoe use. The percentage of injuries resulting from skate shoes of total footwear-related injuries varied by year, however, with 1.0%, 1.0%, 0.8%, and 1.9% occurring in 2002 to 2005, respectively, and 11.8% occurring in 2006. This substantial increase in 2006 accounts for 73.6% of skate shoe-related injuries and is statistically significant (chi, P = <0.0001). This rising trend in 2006 paralleled national skate shoe sales, with a correlation coefficient of 0.9982.Most of the injured children and adolescents were white, and there was a slight, nonsignificant predominance of boys. Most injuries in all 5-year-olds were fractures (46.7%), followed by contusions (17.9%) and sprains (17.2%). The most frequent site of fracture was the forearm (38.4%), followed by the wrist (35.1%) and the leg (14.9%). Other injuries included lacerations (7.3%), concussions (6.6%), internal organ injuries (0.9%), hematomas (0.2%), dislocations (0.2%), and injuries not otherwise specified (3.1%). Based on national estimates, 104 (0.01%) patients required admission to the hospital. No injuries recorded in the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database resulted in death.


As the first study analyzing injury rates as a result of skate shoe use in the United States, this study demonstrated a recent increase in injuries to children and adolescents using skate shoes, which paralleled the products' sales increase. The types of injuries are primarily a wide range of non-life threatening bone and soft tissue injuries.

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