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Use of protective equipment by in-line skaters: an observational study
  1. D J Beirness1,
  2. R D Foss2,
  3. K J Desmond1
  1. 1Traffic Injury Research Foundation, 171 Nepean Street, Suite 200, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K2P0B4
  2. 2Highway Safety Research Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Doug Beirness


Objective—To determine the extent of protective equipment use (that is, helmets, wrist guards, elbow pads, knee pads) in a representative sample of in-line skaters.

Setting—Fifteen municipalities throughout the province of British Columbia.

Method—A province-wide observational survey was conducted in the summer of 1999. Skaters were observed at four types of sites (commuter, recreational, neighbourhood, general community) in 15 municipalities to provide a representative sample of in-line skaters.

Results—The observed use of protective equipment by the 877 in-line skaters was relatively low: wrist guards 25%, helmets 13%, elbow pads 14%, and knee pads 10%.

Conclusion—Despite the availability of relatively inexpensive protective equipment, few in-line skaters take advantage of the opportunity to protect themselves from injury. Policies and programs that serve to increase the use of protective equipment by in-line skaters are needed to help reduce the frequency of skating related injuries.

  • in-line skating
  • helmet use
  • protective equipment

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