SOURCE: Play It Again Sports

March 18, 2010 17:30 ET

Play It Again Sports Offers Tips for National Youth Sports Safety Month

Retailer Says Proper Safety Gear Is the Best Defense Against Sports Related Injuries

MINNEAPOLIS, MN--(Marketwire - March 18, 2010) -  In recognition of National Youth Sports Safety Month, which takes place this April, Play It Again Sports is offering tips to keep area children safe during recreational or competitive play.

According to Pat Quinn, brand director of Play It Again Sports, the following tips can help lessen the risk of a child sustaining a sports or recreation-related injury:

  • Wear the right gear for your sport: Protective gear such as wrist and shin guards, and knee and elbow pads should be worn during all active sports. For children who participate in hockey, baseball, lacrosse, fastpitch softball, ski and snowboarding, a helmet should be worn at all times. 
  • Make sure it fits: If a helmet is the wrong size, it cannot do its job. Therefore, avoid the temptation of letting your kids borrow equipment from friends or siblings. 
  • Maintain quality: Analyze your child's gear at the start of each sporting season. If padding is worn or buckles are missing or broken, it's time to get something new.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than half of the seven million sports and recreation-related injuries that occur each year are sustained by youth between the ages of five and 24. In addition to the use of inefficient gear, causes for injury include varying sizes of participants and slower reaction times in growing children.

"Fortunately, thanks to the popularity of events such as the X Games and the Olympics, children are growing more accustomed to seeing athletes wearing protection," said Quinn. "However, parents should never allow wearing protective gear to be a choice. It's a prerequisite for participating in sports." 

All staff members at Play It Again Sports stores are trained to properly fit both children and adults for the protective gear needed for a wide variety of sports.

For more information about Play It Again Sports, please visit www.playitagainsports.com.