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Skateboard accident inspires call for kids to wear helmets

TOUGH LESSON: Gladstone skateboarders now agree that wearing a helmet is crucial.
TOUGH LESSON: Gladstone skateboarders now agree that wearing a helmet is crucial. Christopher Chan

BE safe when you skate. That's the message from skaters and community leaders following the shocking injuries suffered by a Gladstone student on Sunday.

Matt Bonney has serious head injuries after falling from his skateboard during a steep downhill run.

The Gladstone State High School student was not wearing a helmet and is now in the Royal Children's Hospital in Brisbane with head injuries.

Messages of support have continued to flow for Matt on a Facebook page set up in the wake of the accident.

The site, which has so far attracted nearly 900 members, is being used to keep his friends informed of his medical condition.

Community Safety Committee member Jane Leechburch said while legislation surrounding cyclists was stringent, it was important to apply the same common sense to skateboards and scooters. 

"Skateboards are a lot harder to manoeuvre than a bicycle," she said.

"You're also a lot more vulnerable. If you are on a skateboard, you're a lot more susceptible to injuring yourself."

Local skateboarder Jason Husk said jumping on a board without a helmet was never a wise decision.

"The penny board he was on is not designed for steep declines," he said.

"You can't slide and so your only option is foot braking, and that hill was just too big.

"Any skateboarder knows stacks are inevitable. Wearing a helmet is crucial."

The Facebook page reported on Tuesday that Matt's surgery had gone well, and he was expected to be back in Gladstone Hospital soon.

Topics:  gladstone, helmets, skateboard accident



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