Skateboards come in many different shapes and can be purchased or rented. If electric skateboards haven’t made it to your city or town yet, here’s an overview of the various types of skateboards:
- Non-powered skateboards: Human-powered, non-powered skateboards.
- Motorized Skateboard: Motorized Skateboard 2-wheeled vehicle with a rechargeable battery.
- Electric skateboard: 2-wheeled vehicle without a platform, which can be rented in various cities.
Electric Skateboards Aren’t for Kids: AAP Urges Safety Rules.
The most common injuries are cuts, fractures and head injuries. Some of these injuries are serious. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children under the age of 16 (too young to have a driver’s license) not be allowed to operate or ride motorized or electric scooters.
Spread the word: Wear a helmet!
All skateboards carry a similar (if not greater) risk of head injury than bicycles. The best way to prevent serious head injuries is to wear a helmet, but its use is still not widespread.
- A 2017 survey found that parents were less likely to have their children or teens wear helmets while skateboarding than riding a bike. Only 57% of parents said they would have their child or teen wear a helmet when skateboarding.
- When signing up for electric scooter rental apps, users are asked to wear helmets; however, helmets are not provided.
- Images on social media often imply that it’s okay to skateboard without a helmet.
- According to a 2019 study, motor scooter-related craniofacial injuries tripled from 2008 to 2017. Most of these injuries (1/3) occurred in children 6 to 12 years of age.
- Prevention measures and awareness campaigns are underway now. For example, the city of Portland gave out free helmets to remind its residents.
The AAP encourages all users of electric skateboards to use them safely and to follow these safety rules:
- Children under the age of 16 should not operate or ride electric skateboards.
- Wear a helmet and closed shoes. Helmet use may prevent or reduce the severity of injuries related to electric skateboards. An adult who falls off an electric skateboard is just as likely as a child to hit their head.
- Wear protective gear. This includes elbow pads, knee pads and reflective clothing for walking at night.
- Start small. Getting used to the throttle and brake controls on the handlebars may take some time.
- Don’t text while walking. Use both hands to handle the skateboard.
- Don’t wear headphones. Stay aware of your surroundings.
- Use bike paths where they exist. If not, skateboarders should keep to the right side of the road.
- Do not ride electric skateboards on sidewalks, beach trails, or parks. This puts both pedestrians and skateboarders at risk of injury.
- Do not ride an electric skateboard under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or even some prescription medications. Parents should set an example for their children in this regard.
- Electric skateboards are not always allowed on the roads.
Electric Skateboard Laws and Regulations:
Electric skateboards are still so new that many cities are still working on their regulation. Some have banned them outright, while others have issued regulations on where they can use them. Law enforcement agencies can issue traffic tickets to those who do not comply with the rules. A youth 16 years or older will be treated as an adult for traffic violations. However, the court may require a parent or guardian to appear in person at the hearings and pay a fine for younger offenders.