Thursday, May 14, 2009

Safety First!!

The weather is finally warm and you’re ready to head outdoors and have some family fun. Did you lock the house before you left? Turn off the stove? Buckle up when you got in the car? Great, but before you head out to the park or a nature trail, you’ll also want to make sure that everyone has the proper safety equipment for whatever activities you’re planning to do. So plan a trip to your local sporting goods store first to check out what’s new.

If you’re looking to save some money and don’t mind buying something used, try, or look online at or

Safety equipment includes helmets if you’re going to be cycling or skateboarding, knee and elbow pads for skating, shin guards for soccer, life vests and water wings for aquatic activities, mouth guards for various sports, and don’t forget a cup for your boy if he’s playing contact sports. (Pretty sure you’ll want to buy mouth guards and cups new, though!)

You can always ask the sales staff about each product to ensure that you’re getting the proper equipment for each family member. But in case you’re looking to save a little money and buy something used, some good general guidelines include choosing equipment that fits snugly, but not so tight that it is uncomfortable, and replacing equipment as it is outgrown or begins to show signs of wear.

With bike helmets, look for a seal of approval from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), or American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Be sure they sit flat on your head and don’t scoot back, and that you have proper visibility. You can adjust the fit with the foam sizing pads that come with the helmet. And parents: be a good example and make sure you wear your helmet, too!

Just a little preparation ahead of time can save you a lot of hurt down the road and keep everyone in the game.

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