I know, big surprise. This week, researchers in Utah presented the findings of a 5-year study of those injured in boarding accidents, and found that so-called "longboards" have a higher rate of head trauma associated with them than the regular old skateboards that you and I grew up riding. (Actually, I really never got into skateboarding. The few times I got on one, I ended up on my back and gave up. And they weren't that popular in my neighborhood, either.) Longboards, in case you're wondering, are skateboards. But they are longer and wider than regular skateboards. They are built for stability and speed. And they are extremely popular with young boys these days. My son absolutely loves the sport and has gotten really good at it. We live in a pretty hilly area of Richmond, Virginia. He and his friends like to "bomb" the hills, which in longboarder talk, means flying down the hills on the board at a rate that makes me close my eyes and pray.
The study suggests, as you might expect, wearing a properly fitting helmet. So in today's blog entry, I'm simply beating the helmet drum. If you have a youngster like me who loves to longboard, please make sure they're wearing a helmet and that it fits properly. This includes making sure the strap is snug and not dangling or, worse yet, unbuckled. In my next post, I'll tell you about the discussion I had with my son after reading this study.