Whether you’re discussing little league or professional level sports, the most important thing is the safety of the participants. With CTE and other health-related problems being attributed to athletic injuries, sports safety is at the forefront of even mainstream media sources. Here is a look at some ways that you can ensure increased safety for you or the athlete in your life.
A helmet is probably one of the most important pieces of safety equipment in sports. While helmet safety and CTE-related injuries have been largely attributed to collegiate and professional football, proper helmets have a far wider reach than just on the gridiron. It’s also very important to wear a helmet during extreme sports such as skateboarding, motorcycling, and rollerblading, and bicycling (competitive or recreational).
Having a helmet is important, but it’s even more imperative to have one that properly fits the person wearing it. A well-cushioned, well-designed, snug-fitting helmet can ensure that the brain is protected from impact stemming from falls or from other competitors. It’s also advised that you always buy a new helmet as opposed to a used one, as helmet technology is always evolving and the materials of the helmet do wear out over time. Pick a helmet that is made for the sport you are playing so that you can make sure you get the proper protection that you need.
Each year there are millions of people visiting emergency rooms due to accidental injuries. Many of these injuries stem from sports (both contact and non-contact). Injuries in contact sports can be greatly reduced by participants practicing proper technique form. While this is not exactly related to athletic equipment, it is another way to greatly reduce injury risk. While it is a primary responsibility for coaches to teach the proper way to initiate contact with an opponent during play, it is also the kind of thing that can be worked on away from practice and games. Spend time watching film of proper form and don’t be afraid to work on technique on your own time. It just might save your life.
Keeping More Than Your Head in the Game
While helmet safety is paramount, so is every other piece of safety equipment. Those millions of people who visit emergency rooms that we just discussed don’t all go for head injuries. It’s important to find other pieces of safety equipment that protect other parts of your body too, like mouthguards, athletic cups, and shin guards. Thankfully, there is a myriad of other pieces of safety equipment on the market. Be sure to look into different equipment regulatory agencies to see what pads, guards, and other pieces they certify as safe for you or the athlete in your life. More than color, style, or other cosmetic components, it’s important that every piece of equipment worn on the field enhances safety.
Sports can be incredibly fun, but it’s important to understand and take the proper precautions so that you can play them safely. Do some homework and make sure you’re taking every step to remain as safe as possible while you play so you don’t get injured.