Biking, blading and boarding? Protect yourself

With spring in full swing, you’re probably heading outside with your friends and family to spend time bicycling, in-line skating or skateboarding. But before you head outside, make sure you take a few safety precautions to avoid common problems that will land you in the ER.

“Each year we see injuries associated with biking, in-line skating and skateboarding that include head injuries, collar bone and wrist fractures, and major scrapes — or “road rash” — due to accidents on pavement,” says Nancy Pook, MD, medical director of the Emergency Department at Kettering Medical Center. “Risk of injury increases at accelerated speed, on inclines, and near traffic, so it’s important to know how to stay safe while having fun.”

Follow these tips to stay out of harm’s way and avoid an emergency:

Wear a helmet

Helmets reduce the risk of serious, long-term head and brain injuries in the event of a crash or accident. No matter which activity you enjoy, properly fitted helmets are a must and should be worn regardless of age. Helmets for biking, in-line skating, and skateboarding are all made differently, so get the right one for your activity.

Gear up

Make sure equipment fits and is the right size for you or your kids.

• Sit on the seat of your bike and grasp the handlebars. If the balls of both feet aren’t touching the ground, the bike is too big.

• In-line skates should be fitted, and blades that don’t fit right can lead to sore feet, blistering, and unstable blading. In-line skates should fit snuggly without reducing circulation or cramping the toes.

• Skateboards come in various widths and lengths, so get a board that’s right for your size and experience level.

Check that everything works

Inspect your equipment before every ride.

• Check that tires are properly inflated and that the brakes and gears work on your bicycle. If you ride on the road, your bike should have a headlight and taillight that are visible from 500 feet away. If you don’t have lights, get reflectors that are visible from the front, rear, and sides.

• In-line skates should be checked to ensure the wheels and brakes aren’t worn down and that no debris is blocking the wheels.

• Check your skateboard for loose, cracked, or broken parts; sharp edges; or a slippery surface. All are signs that your board needs a repair.

Dress for success

• Wear closed-toed shoes. Proper athletic shoes are important, especially for skateboarding. Never wear flip-flops while riding a bike or skateboarding.

• Wear brightly colored, fluorescent, or reflective clothes that motorists can easily spot if you plan to ride your bike or in-line skate near traffic.

• In addition to a helmet, wrist, elbow, and knee pads are essential for activities like skateboarding and in-line skating.

Kettering Health Network is a faith-based, not-for-profit healthcare system. The network has eight hospitals: Grandview, Kettering, Sycamore, Southview, Greene Memorial, Fort Hamilton, Kettering Behavioral Health and Soin.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Court tosses most claims in suit against Butler County judge
Court tosses most claims in suit against Butler County judge

Most of the allegations by the former Butler County magistrate, who claims she was fired for being Jewish, have been dismissed from the federal lawsuit she filed against Judge Greg Stephens and Prosecutor Michael Gmoser. Kimberly Edelstein filed a $1 million lawsuit against Stephens, Gmoser and Assistant Prosecutor Dan Ferguson in May, claiming Stephens...
Woman threatens to ‘blow off’ head of Dayton postal worker
Woman threatens to ‘blow off’ head of Dayton postal worker

Federal postal workers in Dayton were threatened by a woman whose mail they will no longer deliver. Dayton police are investigating an aggravated menacing complaint from 1:45 p.m. Friday at the U.S. Postal Service office in the 4300 block of West Third Street. The female suspect is accused of spitting at the postal office supervisor and being belligerent...
Dayton fast food workers threatened with knife
Dayton fast food workers threatened with knife

Police here are investigating after a man with a knife threatened Burger King workers.  The incident happened at the Burger King, 1401 N. Keowee Street, around 8:50 p.m. Saturday.  Dayton police are investigating the aggravated menacing complaint after workers said a man in the drive-through window was waving a knife and yelling about chicken...
Panhandler gets 20 cents, followed by court summons from police
Panhandler gets 20 cents, followed by court summons from police

Police here issued a summons to appear in court for a panhandling offense.  The Dayton police report states a 62-year-old man stepped off a curb and into the roadway to accept 20 cents from a vehicle around 4:30 p.m. Sunday in the 600 block of South Jefferson Street near U.S. 35 East. He was issued a summons to appear for a charge of distribution...
Forum: Solutions to Ohio opioid crisis should be ‘self-sustaining, repeatable’
Forum: Solutions to Ohio opioid crisis should be ‘self-sustaining, repeatable’

Dozens of people who are personally impacted by the opioid crisis gathered Sunday in Wilmington to discuss the issue in a unique forum hosted by Your Voice Ohio.  The conversation inside the municipal building on North South Street involved medical professionals, first-responders, parents who have lost children to opioid addiction and recovering...
More Stories