Taking part in sport can help you become fitter, healthier and friendlier. It’s competitively fun, allowing you to meet various people who share the same passion and create memories and friendships that can last a lifetime.
However, most sports tend to have risks of injuries. It can spoil the game and might even keep you off the playing field for weeks or more. To prevent injuries, you need to invest in the proper safety gear and equipment for your sport.
Facts About Sports Injury And How Safety Gears Can Help
Approximately 30 million teens and children participate in organized sport, with over 3.5 million getting injured every year in the US. Although some sports may be more dangerous than others, every athletic activity does come with some risk of injury, no matter how minor.
There are two main types of sports injuries:
- Overuse Injuries
Injuries that occur gradually with time make them difficult to diagnose. Overuse injuries result from doing the same activity over and over again. Common overuse injuries include shin splints, golf or tennis elbow, and stress fractures.
- Traumatic Injuries
This type of injury occurs suddenly and may cause by internal (pulled muscles) or external (collision with a hard surface or another player) factors. It is most common in contact sports like football and basketball.
Due to the inherent risks that athletes face while practicing or playing the sports they love, it’s important that they’re properly protected. Safety gears and equipment are continuously updated and re-invented to become lightweight and offer superior protection against common sports injuries.
By preventing the risk of injuries, athletes can enjoy their sports without worry, allowing them to participate in more practice and competitions and in reaching their highest potential.
Basic Sports Safety Gears
Here is a list of five sports safety gears to know:
- Safety Pads And Guards
Safety guards and pads are standard sports safety equipment in numerous athletic activities. It is used often for contact sports such as lacrosse, football, or hockey. You can find pads and guards for every part of your body, including knee, elbow, chin, chest, shoulder, neck, wrist, thigh, and hip pads.
Some sports, such as skateboarding and inline skating, include knee, wrist, and elbow guards as standard equipment. They also come in various innovations and styles. For instance, these G-Form protective elbow pads not only help prevent scrapes, cuts, and abrasions but also uses Smartflex technology to provide exceptional comfort and flexibility during play.
Sports with intense physical contact like football needs protection on their shoulder, hip, knee, and thighs to reduce a forceful impact and prevent tears, strains, and sprains.
Athletes participating in sports with a high risk of head injuries such as hockey or football require a durable helmet. Most head injuries are also sustained in sports such as skateboarding, bicycle, and skating incidents.
Did you know that sports and athletic activities contribute to about 21% of all traumatic brain injuries among American kids? And brain injury is the leading cause of death from sports, although rare.
A properly fitted helmet, specifically designed for the sport you play, can significantly reduce your risk of suffering from serious head injuries and save your life.
- Protective Eyewear
The American Academy of Ophthalmology revealed that more than 90% of all sports-related eye injuries. It can be prevented using the proper protective eyewear. Any sports in which racquets, balls, or flying objects are present can pose a potential for eye injury. Good eyewear can protect your eyes from flying casings and cartridges if you’re into gun shooting competitions.
Flying objects are not the only hazard, though. Most eye injuries come from jabs and poke by elbows and fingers, particularly in close contact sports. For instance, basketball has a high rate of eye injury as well as swimming.
With that said, you have options from tinted sunglasses to clear goggles suitable for nearly every sport.
- Proper Footwear
You shouldn’t forget about the proper type of shoes you wear for specific sports. Sports cleats are essential for field sports such as baseball, football, and soccer. Meanwhile, properly-fitted running shows should help reduce your risk of overuse injuries.
Court shoes with good traction and proper support are designed for tennis, basketball, and racquetball. There are also special shoes for cycling, which help reduce foot pain while increasing your pedaling efficiency.
Regardless of the type of footwear you need for your sport, getting the proper fit for your feet shape can ensure comfort and performance while reducing pressure on your joints and thus, minimizing injuries.
- Mouth Guards
Mouthguards may not be a requirement for every sport; thus, most athletes don’t even bother looking for one. However, an estimated over 3 million teeth are knocked out in kids’ sports every year.
The American Dental Association revealed that over 200,000 oral injuries could be prevented every year if only athletes wear a mouthguard. Combat sports such as boxing require mandatory mouthguards. However, athletes participating in hockey, baseball, basketball, football, rugby, and lacrosse can benefit from wearing a mouthguard.
This safety gear can help prevent broken, chipped, and knocked-out teeth. It also protects your lips, face, and tongue, as well as redistributing forces from a blow to the head. And although a mouthguard can’t prevent concussion or fractured jaw, it can at least minimize the severity of a face injury.
The most effective mouthguards should be comfortable and fit well, but they should also stay in place, be easy to clean, durable, and have unrestricted breathing and speaking.
Sports safety gear and equipment may sometimes look a bit unfashionable or awkward; however, using the proper protective gear for your sport is crucial to prevent severe injury or reduce the severity of an injury that you may receive.
After all, the point of any sport is to enjoy participating. And by wearing the proper sports safety gear, you can ensure that you can play to your heart’s content without worries of injury.