Almost every athletic program in high school has had its share of bumps, bruises, cuts, sprains, dislocations, or even career-ending injuries – some sports just have more of them. While some of these injuries can be prevented with the right equipment and proper training, some kids just get a bad break.
Running across the court, jumping for shots and rebounds, banging against defenders – basketball is a very physical sport. It may not have the intense clashes of football, but neither does it have its protective gear.
High school kids practice and play with hardly any gear, even if their heroes in the NBA do. NBA players and superstars have started incorporating safety gear into their uniforms. Mouthguards, knee pads, elbow pads, and leg braces have become common sights, thanks to players like Lebron James, Steph Curry, Kobe Bryant, and many more.
Football is a sport where injuries are expected, which explains the need for all the safety gear and year-round conditioning regimens. This focus on safety has countered the inherent danger that comes with the sport.
When it comes to injuries that involve dental procedures, football doesn’t even make it to the top five, getting beat by the likes of basketball and cycling.
While your boys may be cruising through their soccer games, your girls might not be. Soccer is the most dangerous sport for girls, rivaling men’s football when it comes to the number of concussions.
Differences in biology are often cited as to why girls’ soccer teams’ concussion rates are double that of the boys’. Half of these concussions occur during collisions or falls to the ground, but a glaring 25 percent of them are due to heading the soccer ball.
While contact is rare in baseball, it still occurs when sliding feet first into a base. With baseballs traveling at close to 100 miles per hour, a batting helmet isn’t the only safety gear you’ll want for your kid. Baseball mouthguards can keep his pearly whites safe and shin guards can prevent injuries from intentional foul balls.
Athletic supporters and have long since been required for every player, and cups are required for certain positions. Players who often steal bases or tend to run can wear padded sliding pants to minimize contusions and abrasive injuries.
Gymnastics and Cheerleading
Gymnastics and cheerleading are often lumped together, but the two are inherently different sports. The two may share similar disciplines but their practice involves very different paradigms.
Gymnastic routines are always performed on mats that provide some sort of padding and protection. Cheerleading is often performed on the hardcourt or the football field, with only their teammates as protection.
The physical strain required in gymnastics may be more exacting than that of cheerleading, but the risks involved in the latter are higher. Honing one’s skills and proper conditioning are the surest ways to prevent injuries for both sports.
Every sport has its own inherent dangers and your child’s dreams of going pro might get shattered by a single injury. Keep your children safe with safety gear, proper conditioning, and constant practice. If pros are gearing up, they should too.