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How can you get kids to play hockey safely?

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Hockey is a beautiful game, especially during winter. The power plays, physicality, speed, and slap shots combine to make hockey a thrilling sport to play and watch.   

But then the physicality of the game makes injury a not too uncommon eventuality. Specifically, the American Academy of Pediatrics designates hockey as a “collision sport”.

This is the best classification a sport can get in the eyes of parents eager to keep their wards safe. Considering that hockey is the second most prominent cause of winter sports injuries in kids (as revealed by the U.S Center for Disease Control), parents are worried about the risk of unfortunate injuries their kids can suffer from hockey.

The list of possible injuries is by no means thin. Kids playing hockey are vulnerable to bruises, facial cuts, sprains, fractures, and even concussions resulting from head injuries.

But then do these injuries make playing hockey unplayable for kids? Definitely not!

The advancements in hockey – both in the rules of play and the available safety apparel – are rapidly making hockey as safe as it is enjoyable for kids.

Here are some tips to keep your kid safe while they enjoy hockey, which we prepared in conjunction with Liontips.com.

Get the equipment right

We have established the inevitability of collisions in hockey. That is why kids playing hockey need to be amply fortified with safety gear when in action – either practicing or playing a competitive match.

Of course, you don’t want to stuff your kid with an impregnable Iron Man suit as they would lose mobility and flexibility. Keep it light and maneuverable but yet protective.

Just like we humans, gears wear and tear. So always check for deterioration in equipment and promptly replace them.

The helmet is arguably one essential apparel kids need to be kitted in when playing hockey. Injuries to the head can be dangerous – if not fatal. 

Don’t go cheap on helmets

Don’t economize when buying a helmet. It would help if you had a helmet exclusively adapted for hockey playing, enhanced with foam lining for player convenience. This helmet should fit nicely with the chin straps.

A terrible mistake here would be buying used helmets. Such helmets would have inevitably deteriorated from the previous owner’s usage.

The helmet does well in protecting your kids’ heads, but an open-face helmet does little in protecting other delicate facial organs like eyes and noses.

Get the full face protected

That is why a full-face mask is preferable for full-stack protection. If going for wire face protectors, these should be keenly investigated, ensuring no wire has broken.

How about the kids’ mouths? Broken teeth or missing teeth are not scarce in hockey. That is why your kid needs to use a mouth guard specially personalized to your child’s mouth.

Other accouterments include padded gloves, shin pads, shoulder, and elbow pads.

Abide by best practices when playing

Lastly, aside from fully girding your kid, you want kids and everyone playing a hockey game to play safely, abiding by established safety conventions.

Building a spirit of sportsmanship into kids can go a long way in eliminating violent conduct that could otherwise trigger catastrophic injuries.

It is important for kids to fall appropriately when playing. Most importantly, kids should never duck in collisions but keep their heads up. This ethic dramatically reduces the risk of spinal cord injuries.

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