OBJECTIVE. The goals were to describe the epidemiologic features of pediatric skating-related injuries sustained from 1993 to 2003 and to compare ice skating–related injuries with roller skating–and in-line skating–related injuries.
METHODS. An analysis of pediatric skating-related injury data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission was performed.
RESULTS. An estimated 1 235 467 pediatric skating participants presented to hospital emergency departments with injuries between 1993 and 2003. These children had a mean age of 10.9 years (SD: 3.2 years; range: 1–18 years), and 50.0% were male. The most common mechanism of injury was a fall (83.1%). Ice skaters sustained a greater proportion of head injuries (13.3%), compared with roller skaters (4.4%) and in-line skaters (5.0%). Ice skaters also experienced a greater proportion of concussions (4.3%), compared with roller skaters (0.6%) and in-line skaters (0.8%). The proportion of facial injuries among ice skaters was greater than the proportions among roller skaters and in-line skaters. The majority of roller skating–and in-line skating–related injuries were upper-extremity fractures (53.9% and 59.7%, respectively). Children ≤6 years of age experienced a greater proportion of head and facial injuries than did older children in each skating activity.
CONCLUSIONS. The epidemiologic features of pediatric ice skating–related injuries differ from those of roller skating–and in-line skating–related injuries. Children should wear helmets during all recreational skating activities, especially ice skating, because of the risk of serious head injuries. Wrist guards should be worn to protect against the common upper-extremity fractures sustained during skating.