As outdoor sports activities start to resume, it’s a great idea to start gearing up your kids for their chosen sport. Though some parents might think it’s okay to forego safety gear so their kids can ‘toughen up’, this is never a good idea. Yes, kids heal from superficial injuries faster, but there’s no reason to expose your child to the risk of a traumatic concussion or a broken bone just to teach them a life lesson.
It’s always better to keep your children safe than regret a moment of indecision, whether in sports or in life. Dress up your kids in this safety gear each time they go out and engage in sports:
An essential safety gear for contact sports, a mouthguard will protect the inside of your child’s mouth should they receive any sort of blow or impact. For best results, you must source mouthguards from licensed sports stores or even your dentist.
If your child wears retainers, always remove this device before they start playing any sort of sport and replace the retainers with mouthguards.
Helmets are probably the most important safety gear a child can wear when playing contact sports like football, hockey, and baseball. These are also essential for other sports that might involve your child falling off like in biking, skateboarding, and inline skating.
Always make sure that your child’s bike helmet meets federal safety standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The helmet should fit your child snugly but comfortably, with just enough wiggle room for it to, well, wiggle, but not too loose that it starts tilting backward or forward. A well-fitted helmet will keep your child from getting distracted and not performing well.
The best eye protectors are made from polycarbonate specially formulated for sports use. For sports like football and hockey, this eye protection device should come with a complete facemask.
If your child wears glasses, it’s best to find prescription polycarbonate goggles that have the same grade as their reading glasses. Under no circumstances should your child play a sport while wearing their regular, non-polycarbonate glasses.
Wrist Pads, Elbow Guards, Knee Pads
An important part of safety is protecting your extremities, and having your child wear wrist pads, elbow guards, and knee pads will allow them to enjoy their sport while minimizing the risk of injury or severe pain.
These pads also help your child minimize the risk of fractures, and some sports make the use of pads essential, like hockey or football. If your child is a boy, invest in a good, solid, protective groin cup to protect their sensitive areas.
Know When to Stop
Sports are a great way to teach your child valuable life lessons in humility, team work, and character. It also teaches them to push themselves to their limits to see how far they can go. However, as parents, you should know when to pull your child back and let them rest.
If a child is injured and they try to go back to their sport too soon, they run the risk of injuring themselves again or raising the chances of more serious injuries. Know when to push your child to their best and when to stop and let them recover fully.
Letting your child participate in sports while they’re young is a good way to instil in them the habit of fitness and athletics. By keeping them safe while supporting their interest, you help them enjoy their sport longer.