Keeping Safety in Sports
By Donna Stark
I had a friend who went skydiving the other week and during the plane ride, the instructor joked about some of the equipment not working. Now, in my opinion, I don't think it was the best kind of joke he could have used to "lighten" the mood, but everyone knew he wasn't serious and they all joked back with him as well. But it brings up a good point. It's vitally important to have working equipment when your safety is at risk, right? And even though most other sports aren't as extreme as jumping out of a plane, you still want to make sure that you use the right equipment and that the equipment you choose is working the way it was designed!
Did you know that wearing worn-out shoes on a basketball court or playing golf with the wrong-sized clubs can increase your risk of injury almost as much as playing football without pads? Using the wrong equipment or equipment that is old, faulty, or not properly fitted is the perfect way to get yourself hurt. Here are some suggestions on how to keep yourself or your loved one safe while "in the game."
- Helmets - There are plenty of safety rules in organized sports regarding helmets. In fact, you or your child won't be allowed to play if you don't wear what is required, but the real danger comes when you step away from those moments and play on your own. Always wear a helmet for football, hockey, baseball, softball, biking, skateboarding, skiing, snowboarding, and horseback riding, and make sure it fits snugly but comfortably on your head.
- Eye protection - Even though the level of protection may vary between sports, eye safety is a must for basketball, baseball, softball, field and ice hockey, racquetball, soccer, swimming, and lacrosse. Ask for help if you are unsure of the type of protection you need.
- Mouth guards - Mouth guards help protect your teeth and tongue, and should be worn during contact sports such as football, basketball, field and ice hockey, martial arts, boxing, wrestling, soccer, rugby, and lacrosse. It's important to make sure the guard is fitted properly and it's helpful to have a second one fitted as well, just in case a replacement is needed.
- Footwear - Wearing the correct footwear that is also up to the proper standards of the game is key to avoiding injury while playing your sport. Double check the tread of your shoes, wear cleats if your sport requires it, and make sure your footwear perfectly fits you.
- Equipment - In addition to making sure you are using the right equipment, you also need to make sure it is the right fit! If you need help determining this, ask your coach, trainer, or store specialist to help you make the best decision.
The Bottom Line
Whether your favorite sport is extreme or not, reducing your risk of injury is easy! Simply use the right equipment from the beginning and check it often. Keeping your standards high when it comes to safety will definitely benefit you for years to come! Now go ahead and have some fun!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Knightdale, N.C.