Sports and Exercise Safety
Did you know that playing tennis with a badly strung racquet while wearing worn-out shoes can be just as dangerous as playing football without shoulder pads? Using the wrong — or improperly fitted — equipment is a major cause of injuries.
The equipment you wear while participating in sports and other activities is key to preventing injuries. Start with helmets: They're important for sports such as football, hockey, baseball, softball, biking, skateboarding, inline skating, skiing, and snowboarding — to name just a few.
- Always wear a helmet made for the sport you're playing.
- When choosing a bike helmet, look for a sticker that says the helmet meets the safety standard set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), a federal regulatory agency that creates safety standards for bike helmets and other safety equipment.
- If you use a multisport helmet for inline skating and skateboarding, it is not considered safe for bicycle riding unless it has the CPSC sticker.
- Any helmet should fit snugly but comfortably on your head and shouldn't tilt backward or forward.
Eye protection also is a must for many sports:
- The most protective eye gear is made from a plastic called polycarbonate and has been tested especially for sports use.
- Facemasks or polycarbonate guards or shields that attach to a helmet are worn in sports such as football, ice hockey, and softball and baseball when batting.
- Goggles are often worn for soccer, basketball, racquet sports, snowboarding, street hockey, and baseball and softball when fielding.
- If you wear glasses, you'll probably need prescription polycarbonate goggles — don't just wear your regular glasses when you're on the court or field.
- All eye protection should fit securely and have cushions above your eyebrows and over your nose.
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