CAROLINA BEACH -- Sprains, fractures, contusions and abrasions are all common injuries for skateboarders.
NewsChannel 3's Theo Wong went to a local skate park to see if kids are taking the right steps to stay safe.
Skateboarding takes balance, coordination and speed. And can sometimes result in serious injuries.
One local skateboarder said, "It felt like a bunch of knives going into my arm, it just hurt so bad."
Nearly 26,000 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms each year for skateboarding-related injuries.
According to the US consumer product safety commission, six out of every 10 skateboard injuries happen to kids under 15.
Cory Allen, 14, is one of them.
Cory said, "I've broken my elbow and I hurt my leg and I was trying to do this rail, trying to go big."
That's something 17-year-old TJ Chavarria knows all too well.
TJ said, "I've broken my wrist, ankle and I've blown out one of my knees."
Several factors contribute to accidents. Lack of protective equipment tops the list.
Skateboarder Casey Gonalakis said, "I just don't really wear it. I mean I'll wear my helmet if I'm trying something stupid, but not knee or elbow pads -- they bother me when I skateboard."
Cindy Edman goes to the skate park to watch over her kids. She says more parents need to be more proactive.
Edman said, "There's a big problem. You'll get the young ones that come out but don't have on their equipment. That's where their parents need to step in and be parents."
The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons offers a few safety tips.
- Wear slip resistant shoes, helmet, knee and elbow pads, wrist guards and gloves
- All skateboards wear out over time, so be sure to check for broken or cracked parts, and sharp edges
- Look out for bumps and holes -- try to find smooth pavement, or a supervised skate park
- Parents, talk with your kids. Set rules and emphasize common sense and understand that peer pressure may strongly influence your child's choice to wear or to not wear protective gear
Of course accidents will happen, so talk so your kids, and make sure they know what to do in an emergency.