Sports Safety

Sports offer plenty of physical activity for fitness and also teach you how to work together with others as part of a team. Sports can teach you how to make the right choices for yourself as well as for your team.

No matter what sport you play, you need to always be sure you are using the right safety gear and are using equipment that fits the right way. What safety gear you will need changes with each sport you play, but most of the time you'll need items like shin pads, helmets, mouth guards, elbow pads, knee pads, shoulder pads, etc... Some sports use very little safety gear and other sports use a lot depending on the amount of contact you will make with other players. Here are some examples:

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Using items that do not fit the right way can cause injury to occur the same as if you weren't wearing any at all. Here is an example: Riding a scooter, skateboard, or using in-line skates would mean that you should wear a helmet, elbow pads, knee pads and wrist guards. If your knee pads were too big and too loose, then they could either ride up above or below your knees if you fell down and your knees would still get scraped up. The knee pads would not protect you the way that they are meant to.

Look at the following pictures:

Who is wearing the right safety gear?
The first rider is wearing a helmet, and since he is not doing tricks, he does not need pads for his elbows or knees. The second rider is doing tricks and he is wearing elbow pads and knee pads, but is not wearing a helmet. No matter what type of riding you do on a bike, you should always wear a helmet to protect your head.
Who is wearing the right safety gear?
The girl seems to have all the right safety gear. The boy looks like he could use knee pads and elbow pads!
Who is wearing the right safety gear?

This boy looks like he needs some elbow pads!

This boy is not wearing any safety gear at all.

This boy is wearing all the right safety gear.

Here are some general safety tips for team sports:

Getting hurt while playing a team sport can happen from tripping or falling, running into another player, being hit with an object or from working your body too hard.

  • Before you join any sport you should go to your doctor for a check-up and get an okay to play.
  • You should learn the basic skills needed to play the game the right way and make sure that you are playing with other kids who are at the same skill level and size that you are.
  • Always wear the right safety gear and make sure that it fits you the right way.
  • Always use the same safety gear to practice as you would for a real game.
  • Be sure that someone checks the field or play area before a game so that there isn't anything in or on the ground that can cause a fall, twist or sprain.
  • Drink plenty of water before during and after your games or practices to keep your body full of the amount of water it needs to keep you going.

The right gear, safe fields or play areas and the rules made to avoid getting hurt are all part of keeping any sport safe for you to play and enjoy.

How to behave at a playground:

  • Take off any bike helmets before using playground equipment.
  • Always wait your turn and never push, shove or crowd others.
  • Don't try to climb up the wrong way on slides, always use the stairs. Get out of the way for others as soon as you reach the bottom.
  • Never stand on a swing and do not walk too close to others when they are swinging, so that you don't get injured.
  • Do not try to use playground equipment that is too hard for your age or skill level. If you are unsure, always ask an adult for help.

How to stay safe while riding your bike:

  • Always wear a helmet! A helmet can help you to avoid hurting your head if you get into an accident. Always be sure that your helmet fits the right way and that it meets all of the latest safety rules. Helmets should not rock side to side or back and forth.
  • Make sure you fit on the bike that you ride. Your feet should be able to touch the ground when you are seated on the bike. One of your parents should check your brakes and tires every so often for you and you should always let them know if you think something seems wrong with your bike.
  • Until you can show that you know the rules of the road with traffic safety, you should not be allowed to enter the street with your bike. The street should only be used when it is the only place to ride. Remember, on the sidewalk, walkers always have the right of way! Try to use a bike trail when it is an option.
  • Once you are allowed to ride in the street, never ride your bike into the street without stopping first to make sure there are no cars coming. Always take the time to stop and look both ways for cars. You should stop, look left, then look right and look left again before riding into the street. When possible, walk your bike accross the street instead of riding it.

  • Riding your bike in the street is a big responsibility. Always follow traffic safety rules. In the street, your bike needs to follow the same rules as cars. You must follow all traffic signs and signals, so never ride through a stop sign or a red light.

  • Never ride your bike against the flow of traffic and ride as far to the right as possible. If riding with a friend, always ride single file, not next to one another. Always use the proper hand signals so that drivers of cars will know that you plan to make a move.
  • You should always look back to see what traffic is behind you before changing a direction so you know if it is safe to make a move. Let cars that are coming from behind you pass before you turn left at an intersection. You must always look out for traffic because it may not be looking out for you!
  • Be aware of objects, bumps or potholes in the road, they can cause you to lose your balance.
  • You should not ride with two people on a bike unless it is built for two!
  • If you do tricks with your bike, remember to wear the right safety gear and NEVER do tricks while riding in the street!
  • Don't ride your bike when it is dark or getting dark outside. If you must ride at a time when it is getting dark or is already dark, be sure that you use lights and reflectors on your bike and that you also wear reflective material on or over your clothes. Drivers of cars cannot see you in the dark and it is up to you to make sure that they know you are there if you must ride at night.

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