Skateboard Injuries on the Rise

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The growth in extreme sports has lured more kids to skateboarding, but it's also sending more kids to the emergency room.

Between 1998 and 2001, skateboarding injuries have jumped by about 17,000 each year.

Many thought skateboarding hit its peak in the eighties, but it's back and more popular than every before. There's no doubt that skateboarding is gaining in popularity. Surveys show more kids skateboarded last year than played baseball. The problem is they're doing it with no safety equipment.

"It's a lot of movement with you're feet. You just focus on a movement and get lucky,” says skater Jeff Henderson.

Henderson hasn't always been lucky. He's sprained both his ankles, and injured his back skating, "It's not cool to wear pads."

Or helmets, according to these teens, who are skating into doctors office in record numbers.

"We are starting to see more injuries mostly because kids aren't wearing the safety equipment they should be wearing,” comments Dr. Kristin Millin of UIC Children’s Health Center.

Doctor Millin recommends wearing helmets, elbow, and knee shin pads. She also says kids should stick to skate parks, avoid the streets and homemade ramps.

"There not made to safety requirements or kids weights and things like that. More injuries happen at home,” adds Dr. Millin.

Kids will be kids and helmets will never be cool, but doctors say safety equipment will keep the extreme injured out of this extreme sport.