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  • Writer's pictureIEP Urgent Care

Simple Safety Guide for Public Skateparks: Keeping Yourself and Others out of Harm's Way

a young woman doing a handplant at a skatepark at night

Skateboarding is growing in popularity again: It became an official Olympic sport in 2020, and the Tony Hawk Foundation estimates that there are nearly 3,000 public skateparks in the USA currently. In 2021, over 245,000 people were treated in emergency rooms after being injured while skateboarding (this category also includes scooters and hoverboards). Over 73,000 of those injuries occurred in people ages 15 to 24, according to Injury Facts.

If you do find yourself with an injury, there’s an IEP Urgent Care location close by, and we’re fully-equipped to deal with scrapes, sprains, and even broken bones – we have digital x-ray technology to quickly diagnose and provide the best treatment options.

But there are some simple, common-sense steps you and your family can take to stay injury-free while enjoying your local skatepark.

Wear protective gear and dress appropriately. Unfortunately, a lot of the skating shown in magazines and videos is presented for maximum visual impact and style – safety equipment is rarely seen and young people are conditioned to see helmets and pads as “uncool”. In the real world, a broken bone or head injury aren’t very cool either. At the minimum, a ASTM & CPSC Certified helmet should be required gear for your next session – helmets that meet these standards start at $50 – a small price to pay to walk away from a bad fall. Your next priority should be wrist guards, as catching yourself from a fall with your hands can easily result in a wrist sprain or break. If you’re skating ramps or bowls, you should definitely supplement with knee and elbow pads, and learn how to slide out of falls on a ramp.

Skate at your skill level and know your limits. Injuries often occur when we forget our limits and try something new without thinking it through. If you’re skating a new obstacle for the first time, or trying a new trick, take things slowly and work up to your comfort level. Don’t be afraid to ask a more-experienced skater to help you learn new trick – you can save yourself a lot of trial-and-error, and possibly injury, by learning from someone who already has that trick on-lock, or a park regular who can show you the best lines.

Always be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to the traffic. Many bad falls that occur at skateparks are caused by skaters colliding with each other or maneuvering to avoid a collision. If it’s your first time at a particular skatepark, spend some time observing the flow of traffic. You’ll see the common lines people are taking between ramps and obstacles and understand how to stay out of others’ way. If you are off your board and not skating, know where to stand or sit so you’re not blocking an obstacle or the flow of traffic. Avoid the use of noise-canceling headphones - unless you’re certain you’ve got the park to yourself! Young, sometimes unsupervised children on scooters (or even on foot) are often the most dangerous and unpredictable obstacle in the park – be aware of your surroundings and avoid areas of the park that have become impromptu playgrounds.

If you’ve had a fall or collision and need medical attention for an injury, there’s an IEP Urgent Care close by. Here are some Detroit-area skateparks and their closest IEP Urgent Care location:

Riley Skate Park - Farmington Hills

If you’re injured at Riley, IEP Urgent Care Novi is just 15min away.

Donald Red Geary Skatepark – Ferndale

Families enjoying Donald Red Geary Skatepark in Ferndale are very lucky to have an IEP Urgent Care Ferndale location just two blocks south, on Nine Mile Rd.!

Birmingham Skatepark, Clawson Skatepark

Located just a few miles from one another, the Birmingham and Clawson skateparks are both convenient to our IEP Urgent Care Southfield location on Southfield Rd. and 12 Mile.

Drake Sports Skate Park – West Bloomfield

The skatepark located in Drake Sports park in West Bloomfield is convenient to IEP Urgent Care Bloomfield Hills, just 15min East on Maple Rd and Telegraph.

Riverside and Chandler Park – Detroit

If you’re skating in the downtown area and land the wrong way on your ankle, IEP Urgent Care Grosse Pointe is just a few miles up Mack Ave. near Harper Woods.

Sterling Heights Skatepark

The skatepark in Sterling Heights is beautiful and unique, but presents more of a challenge if you’re accustomed to more traditional designs. If you’ve misjudged your speed and taken a spill, our IEP Urgent Care Clinton Township location is just a 10min drive south on Utica Ave. to 15 Mile Rd.


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