OBJECTIVES: To establish the demographic profile and injury characteristics of children presenting with rollerblading or skateboarding associated injuries. This study also examines the circumstances leading to these injuries with a view to suggesting preventive measures. METHODS: A prospective study using a proforma to collect data from each child presenting with rollerblading or skateboarding related injuries. Injury details were obtained from clinical and radiological records. The injury severity score (ISS) was calculated for each child and statistical analysis was done using chi2. RESULTS: Eighty one children presented with rollerblading associated injuries accounting for 7% of childhood injuries seen during the eight month study period. The mean age was 10.3 years and sex distribution was equal. Soft tissue injuries accounted for 51% and fractures for 49% of the injuries. Wrist fractures alone accounted for 86% of all fractures seen. Seventy per cent of soft tissue injuries involved the upper limb. The overall mean ISS was 3.0 with a range from 1 to 9. Injury was attributed to fall secondary to loss of control or collision with an obstacle while rollerblading in the majority of children. Injury occurred while rollerblading in residential or public places in 99% of the children. In contrast skateboarding related injuries were much rarer and caused soft tissue injuries only. CONCLUSION: This study has revealed a higher incidence of rollerblading injuries than previously suspected. Effective management strategies should include not only the treatment of these injuries but also attention to their causes and prevention.
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