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Teenagers skating on thin ice

PUBLISHED: 11:21 16 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:21 03 March 2010

TESTING their skills on a new half pipe landed three teenage skateboarders in hospital within a day, doctors have revealed.

The trio were the topic of concern at the morning briefing at Ipswich Hospital's A&E department, after their antics ended with all three suffering broken forearms and needing to be admitted.

By Tracey Sparling

TESTING their skills on a new half pipe landed three teenage skateboarders in hospital within a day, doctors have revealed.

The trio were the topic of concern at the morning briefing at Ipswich Hospital's A&E department, after their antics ended with all three suffering broken forearms and needing to be admitted.

One boy's injury was so serious it needed to be operated on, said senior lead nurse in trauma and orthopaedics Nic Smith-Howell .

He said: "It was exceptional to have that many similar cases in 24 hours.

"There was a great deal of discussion when we reviewed Wednesday's cases and had to look at three x-rays of forearm fractures from one day. We were saying how terrible it was."

He added: "If you are not an experienced skateboarder, there's a big difference between riding on the road or pavement, and attempting a half-pipe which is quite high.

"We would advise people to wear forearm protectors because it is often the arm which hits the ground first, and gets injured.

"The broken arms we saw this week were all unnecessary injuries, in kids who wouldn't otherwise have them."

It remains unclear where the accidents happened.

The youngsters told nurses in A&E that they had been playing on a half pipe concrete obstacle at Ipswich skate park, but that has not yet opened and is still being built at Stoke Bridge.

Organiser Tina Wiles said the half-pipe was only delivered to the site on Wednesday and was cemented in on Thursday, so there was no way they could have played on it.

There are no other half-pipes in Ipswich.

She agreed that safety measures are imperative, and said they would be a key priority when the supervised park opens in March. More than 20 older members have already had first aid training.

She said arrangements had been made with Rude in Upper Orwell Street, and Unruin in St Nicholas Street, to stock good cheap helmets and pads, with discounts for the 200-plus members of the skate park.

Brian Willson , manager of Hoax in St Nicholas Street, has not seen any increase in injuries in recent years, but said more younger children are trying the sport and breaking arms.

He said: "I've seen quite a few injuries over the years and more youngsters get hurt, perhaps because their bones are still forming and that's why they snap. "

He urged skateboarders to stick to tricks they know, and said: "As with any sport, like football for example, there is a risk of injury but skateboarders hit the pavement instead of grass. It is a dangerous sport and you have got to respect that."

But he added: "People usually bounce back quickly, and a survey in America, where there are more skateboarders, showed more people went to hospital because of fishing injuries than skateboarding."

Young skateboarders in Star Lane near the site of the new skate park, said they didn't know the boys injured.

One boy, who did not want to be named, said: "It's only dangerous if you don't know what you're doing."

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