Football may be a rough-and-tumble sport, but that doesn’t mean safety precautions are futile. In fact, the sport’s physical challenges make it especially necessary to provide protection for your kids, and one way to do this is with football safety equipment. Nothing can guarantee they’ll stay 100% unharmed, but there are many pieces of equipment that are designed to help reduce the likelihood of an injury and minimize the damage if one does occur. Some of the best safety equipment for football includes:
- Mouth guards – Mouth guards are fitted to your child’s teeth and provide a cushion in case of impact. If you’ve spent thousands on orthodontist bills, then you’ll doubtless find a mouth guard to be a particularly important part of your child’s uniform!
- Arm and leg braces – Braces are often only used if the child has a preexisting injury or is particularly vulnerable in that area. For example, if they had a knee injury in the past, they might wear a knee brace even after they’re healed. These braces provide extra stability and support to the joint to help protect against twisting and overextension.
- Helmets – Today’s helmets have come a long way from the days of “leatherheads.” Modern head protection features strategically placed padding to cushion against blows, and some also feature vents to help the child keep cool when playing in hot weather.
- Pads – When it comes to protection in football, pads are a basic necessity. Make sure that your child’s pads are the correct size for their height and build to ensure maximum protection, and make sure they always wear them while playing.
- Gloves – Gloves aren’t just for wide receivers; there are some types that can provide padding and support to a player’s fingers and wrists to minimize the risk of injury.
- Cleats – They may mostly be known for their help with traction, but cleats can also serve a valuable purpose with regard to safety. Many football cleats are specially designed to prevent ankle rolling and cushion the knees, among other things.
Specialized equipment is an invaluable tool in keeping your children safe on the football field, but it isn’t the end of the line when it comes to protecting them. Ensuring that they stretch, stay hydrated, eat well, and take breaks during hot days are all ways to keep them safe and avoid injury so they can keep playing the game they love. They may put up a fight at first, but as every parent knows, putting up with some whining is nothing compared to keeping your kids protected.
This article was written by Kara Alcamo, freelance writer and concerned mother.