Sports teach players all sorts of important hallmarks such as teamwork, sportsmanship, and dedication to a singular pursuit of winning. It can also teach the importance of safety since sports can be dangerous without the right gear. Let's take a look at the importance of protective equipment for your player.
Sports-Related Injury Statistics
According to a study performed by the National SAFE KIDS Campaign and the American Academy of Pediatrics, there are more than 3.5 million sports-related injuries for children and teens each year. They also report that of all childhood related injuries across the board, at least one-third of the injuries are related to playing sports. Let's take a look at a few other interesting figures the report found:
- The leading cause of sports-related death is a brain injury. The goods news is that while this is the most common cause of death, it is rather rare.
- 21% of all traumatic brain injuries to children occur from playing sports or doing a recreational activity.
- Contact and collision-based sports have the highest rates of overall injury.
- The majority of severe injuries occurred during individual sports activities rather than as part of an organized team. This is because non organized sports do not typically use protective gear.
- Most organized sports injuries occur during practice rather than game time, perhaps because the use of protective gear is a bit later during practice.
While sports can be dangerous to play, there are plenty of ways to ensure proper safety. With the use of the right protective gear, players can enjoy all the things sports has to offer without as much risk for minor or serious injury. Here are the main protective items used to prevent injuries in sports and why they are important.
When looking at the importance of protective equipment, helmets are always the first to come up because of the nature of the injury. Head injuries for players are a serious matter, especially in sports like baseball where a ball can travel upwards of 75-100 miles per hour. The impact of a ball traveling at that speed with a hit to the head can lead to concussion, skull fracture, and other serious injuries. Even in sports like football where the ball travels at a slower speed, a helmet protects the head from impacts so it is a must-wear protective item.
While the head is important, the feet are always worth looking at in terms of the importance of protective equipment. The foot of an athlete needs more support when playing as well as specialized soles such as cleats to get traction in the grass for field sports. While most people think of sports injuries as the more dramatic ones of a fastball to the head, ankle and foot injuries are more common. Without proper support, the potential for sprained ankles and overuse injuries becomes a greater risk.
While a helmet is important, the use of a mouth guard is crucial in some sports, especially those with contact involved. A mouth guard is typically worn in sports such as hockey, boxing, and football. They protect the gums and teeth from damage in the event of a strong impact. They can also prevent biting the tongue on accident during an impact. A mouth guard can even prevent things like a concussion or fractured jaw.
It is reported that upwards of 90 percent of all sports-related eye injuries are preventable with the use of protective eyewear, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. The use of goggles or protective eyewear, while less common in most sports, is certainly worth considering for the benefits. It protects the eyes from injuries and there are even options with a tint to reduce glare from the sun for outdoor games.
The most common type of protection people think of for sports, protective padding is a no brainer in any contact sport such as football, hockey, or lacrosse. This type of padding comes in the form of guards for legs, knees, elbows, chest, and wrists. The hard plastic not only prevents cuts or scrapes, it also prevents damaging impacts from reaching the vulnerable soft tissue. It also protects bones in more fragile areas, such as the wrists, from breaking upon impact. This type of gear can be either padded for maximum absorption of impacts or a plastic shield which also helps provide support to the area.
Source: Stanford Children's Health