Fall sports are right around the corner. This is the time to start thinking about sports equipment. Safety should always come first when starting or playing sports. Sports safety equipment and gear may sometimes look odd or uncomfortable, but using the right protective safety gear for your sport is essential for protecting against injuries or reducing the severity of an injury you may receive. Remember, the point of a sport is to enjoy participating, and getting injured can keep you off the playing field for weeks or more.
Here are some of the most critical pieces of safety gear for athletes of all sports.
According to the professionals more than 90% of all sports-related eye injuries can be prevented by using appropriate protective eye wear. This advice applies to athletes or anyone who participates in sports. There are a variety of clear and tinted sunglasses and goggles for nearly every sport, so shop around for the ones that fit your style and your face and keep your eyes protected.
If you play contact sports such as football or hockey, wearing a helmet is clearly required but many athletes who participate in sports with a high risk of head injury still see the helmet as optional. However, with the growing awareness of the consequences concussions can cause later in life, the necessity of proper head protection has become apparent.
If you ski, snowboard, skateboard, inline skate, or cycle, you need to consider a helmet as standard equipment. A properly fitted helmet, designed for the specific sport you play, significantly decreases your risk of suffering a severe head injury and even death.
If you’ve ever been smacked in the jaw by a stray ball or flying elbow while playing sports, you probably know how essential a mouth guard is to keep your teeth where they should be—in your mouth. But mouth guards also help prevent tongue and lip injuries and help reduce the risk of suffering a concussion or fractured jaw. Mouth guards should be considered mandatory safety equipment during sports that risks injury to the face, jaw, or mouth. The most effective mouth guards fit well and are comfortable, but they also stay in place, are durable, easy to clean, and don’t restrict speaking and breathing.
Safety Pads and Guards
Safety pads and guards are standard sports safety equipment in dozens of activities. If you play certain contact sports, such as football, hockey, or lacrosse, protective pads are required, but you should wear pads for any contact sport. The type and style of pads seem endless and include shin, knee, elbow, wrist, chest, neck, shoulder, hip, and thigh pads. Some sports, such as inline skating and skateboarding, include the wrist, knee, and elbow guards as standard equipment. These rigid plastic guards prevent cuts, scrapes, and abrasions and reduce the odds of a significant sprain, strain, or even a fracture after a hard fall. Lights on a bicycle are essential for seeing and being seen while riding in dim conditions, and safer bikes incorporate LED lights.
Proper Footwear and Athletic Shoes
The type of shoe you wear during certain sports can easily be added to the safety equipment list. Cleats are essential during field sports, such as football, baseball, and soccer. The right sneakers can decrease your risk of overuse injuries. Certain types of cycling shoes can reduce foot pain and increase your pedaling efficiency. Court shoes with support and good traction are designed for basketball, tennis, and racquetball.
When preparing to participate in any sport, determine what safety equipment may be needed to protect the athlete as much as possible. Be sure the equipment is properly sized and in good condition. Sports are an incredible way to improve your quality of life, but injuries can sideline you. Protect yourself for the best experience and least risk.
To learn more about sports safety equipment visit: