Couture for Athletes: What to Wear When Playing It Safe
Now, here's the lowdown on what your child will need when he or she decides
on a specific sport:
Basketball: Each year, there are more than 41,000 sports-related and
recreational eye injuries, most commonly among baseball and basketball players,
which is why the AAP recommends that basketball players wear sports goggles
with shatterproof polycarbonate lenses. The AAPD recommends mouth guards to
protect against broken, lost, or chipped teeth, bruised or cut lips, and jaw
Softball/baseball: "A batting helmet is essential," Maharam
says. "Shin guards at the plate to protect from low pitches and batting
gloves to prevent blisters can also help." The AAP recommends a
polycarbonate face guard or other certified safe protection attached to the
helmet for batting and base running and sports goggles with polycarbonate
lenses for fielding. The AAPD recommends mouth guards.
Ice skating, rollerskating, or inline skating: "For any type of
skating, your child needs properly sized skates that fit like a shoe with a
thumbnail's width from the end of the toe to the end of the skate," Maharam
says. "Rollerbladers must wear a helmet, knee pads, wrist guards, and hip
pads." The AAPD recommends mouth guards.
Soccer: "Knee pads and shin guards are important for soccer
players," Maharam says. "Some people say helmets are a good idea
because the constant heading of the ball may cause mild brain injury." The
AAP recommends sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses, and the AAPD
recommends mouth guards.
Football: "Football players should be protected from top to
bottom -- starting with a helmet with a polycarbonate shield and ending with
hip padding," Maharam says. The AAPD recommends mouth guards.
Biking: "All bikers need helmets; it's the law," Maharam
says, though laws differ from state to state. "They should also have an
appropriately sized bike with padding on the center bar." Bicycle helmets
have been shown to reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85% and the
risk of brain injury by as much as 88%, according to the National Safe Kids
Campaign. About 75% of bicycle-related fatalities among children could be
prevented with a bicycle helmet. The AAPD recommends that all bikers be fitted
for a mouth guard.