..A skateboard, bike, or roller blades?
These are great gift ideas that encourage your children to be outside and active instead of playing computer games. Physical activity is vital to a child’s healthy development. In 2003 a survey by the Australian Bureau of Statistics found 66% of children aged 5-14 years had undertaken the active leisure activities of bike riding, skateboarding or rollerblading in a 2 week period prior to the survey.
Although these wheeled activities are lots of fun, they all carry the risk of injury.
There are many things parents and children can do to limit this risk.
- Parents can select safe places to ride.
- Ensure protective gear, relevant to the activity, is worn e.g. helmets, elbow and knee pads, wrist guards. Wrist guards have been shown to decrease the chance of a wrist fracture.
- Wear closed shoes.
- Empty pockets of all hard and sharp objects.
- Warm up and cool down.
- Learn basic skills first. How to stop, slow down and turn.
- Complicated tricks require careful practice in a safe, controlled environment.
One final warning, adults can also get injured. It is easy to think you are as young and capable as your kids. Remember, just because you used to be able to do a perfect 180 on your skateboard, doesn’t mean that you still can.
Have a Merry Christmas and stay safe.