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Pediatr Emerg Care. 1996 Aug;12(4):259-62.

In-line skate and rollerskate injuries in childhood.

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Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL 60614, USA.



To describe the estimated frequency and types of injuries associated with in-line skates in U.S. children and to compare in-line skating injuries to rollerskating injuries.


National case series.


Emergency departments of hospitals participating in the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (USCPSC) National Electronic Injury Surveillance System.


Persons with injuries associated with the use of in-line skates or rollerskates reported to the USCPSC in 1992 and 1993.


There were an estimated 66,465 injuries associated with in-line skates; the incidence of injury was highest in children 11 and 12 years old. An estimated 40,730 in-line skate injuries involved children < 20 years old. The mean age of injured children was 11.8 years (median, 12 years); 68% were boys. Fractures (45%) were the most common injury; 66% of fractures involved the distal forearm. Five percent had head injuries. Two and one half percent required hospital admission; 90% of children admitted had a fracture and 11% had a head or face injury. There were an estimated 147,928 rollerskating injuries among children < 20 years old; the mean age was 10.5 years (median 10 years) (P < 0.001 vs in-line skates). Thirty-two percent were to boys (P < 0.001 vs in-line skates). Fractures were the most common injury; forearm fractures accounted for 72% (P < 0.001 vs in-line skates). Five percent had head injuries. One and one half percent were admitted to the hospital (P < 0.001 vs in-line skates). In 1993, the injury rate among children for in-line skates was 31/100,000, and the injury rate for rollerskates was 95/100,000.


Injuries associated with in-line skates are highest among preadolescents. Injuries associated with in-line skate use are less common than injuries associated with rollerskate use. Distal forearm fractures are the most common injuries related to both in-line skate and rollerskate use. Exposure data and analysis of the efficacy of protective gear, including wrist guards and helmets, are needed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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