12-year-old boy dies after bicycle crash at skate park in North Dakota, police say

12-year-old boy dies after bicycle crash at skate park in North Dakota, police say


Eric Lagatta
 USA TODAY

A 12-year-old boy died Monday after police say he crashed his bicycle and hit his head at a skate park in North Dakota.

The crash occurred after 5 p.m. local time on Monday in Mandan, a small town just west outside of Bismarck, according to the Mandan Police Department.

Police were dispatched on a medical call to the Mandan Skate Park adjacent to the Mandan High School, where they found the boy with serious head injuries. The child was taken to a nearby hospital, where he later died.

Mandan police said they are not identifying the boy, who was not wearing a helmet, because he is a juvenile.

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Data: Tens of thousands of children injured in skateboard accidents annually

Skateboarding injuries cause up to an estimated 70,000 visits to emergency departments each year in the United States, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

While many injuries involve losing balance and falling on an outstretched arm, many also involve head injuries. That is why advocate organizations stress the importance of helmets for those visiting skateparks, whether they’re riding skateboards, bicycles or another vehicle.

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Skate parks, which feature bowls and ramps designed with safety in mind, are generally considered safer environments for youth as compared to roadways and other areas to ride skateboards and bikes.

However, while protected from motor vehicle traffic and pedestrians, “they often contain more advanced terrain and are not advised for novice riders,” the academy says.

Eric Lagatta covers breaking and trending news for USA TODAY. Reach him at [email protected]

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