Protective Gear for Winter Sports
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 290,000 people were treated for winter sports-related injuries in 2014. Common injuries include sprains, strains, dislocations, fractures and head injuries.
All winter sports require helmets, gloves, padding and secured eye gear. Wearing a helmet sized to your child’s head increases safety. It’s important to check that equipment works and fits properly. Children should wear several layers of light, loose clothing so their bodies can adjust to its constantly changing temperature during outdoor activities. Proper footwear provides warmth and dryness, as well as ample ankle support. Even though it’s winter, always apply sunscreen to protect against harmful rays.
Here’s how to gear up appropriately:
• Hockey skates that fit when purchased. Don’t use figure skates – the extended blades can injure other players.
• Stick should reach child’s chin when standing in skates.
• A facemask and mouthpiece.
• Shin pads, shoulder pads and elbow pads.
• Gloves that fit but offer mobility.
• A supporter and cup for boys.
Skiing & Snowboarding: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under age 7 should not snowboard.
• Properly fitting boots.
• Knee and hip pads.
• Snowboarding safety leash.
• Safety bindings adjusted based on height/weight every year by a certified technician.
• Gloves with built-in wrist guards.
• Skates that support ankles and are snug in the heel. Sharpen every month or two.
• Kneepads for extra protection.