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Safety equipment

From helmets to shoes, the right equipment can help keep you safe when playing sports or being active. (Don't worry, you don't need to wear all of these things at once — unless you need a cool costume.) Click each circle below for more info.


An illustration of the top of the head of a girl wearing a helmet.

Helmets arrow. top

Helmets help when there's a risk of falling or getting hit in the head, like in baseball, softball, biking, skiing, horseback riding, skateboarding, and inline skating. Make sure you wear a helmet that is made for the activity you are doing. And make sure you know how it is supposed to fit. In some states, the law says you have to wear a helmet while biking. Bike helmets should come with a special sticker from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

An illustration of the face girl wearing protective goggles.

Special eye protection arrow. top

Special eye protection helps prevent many sports-related eye injuries. Sports that have a high risk of eye injury include basketball, baseball, hockey, and racquet sports. Regular glasses or sunglasses will not keep your eyes safe from injury. If you wear regular glasses, the protective eyewear goes over them. If you wear goggles, they should fit snugly and have cushioning for a comfortable fit. Goggles made from a special material called polycarbonate (say: pah-lee-KAR-buh-nayt) are extremely strong. Ask your coach or eye doctor what type of eye protection you may need.

An illustration of a girl's mouth with a mouth gaurd.

Mouth guards arrow. top

Mouth guards protect your mouth, teeth, and tongue. They offer protection in soccer, lacrosse, basketball, baseball, cheerleading, and other activities in which you could get hit in the mouth. You can get mouth guards at sport stores or from your dentist.

An illustration of a girl's knee with a protective pad.

Pads for your wrists, knees, and elbows arrow. top

Pads for your wrists, knees, and elbows can help prevent lots of injuries, including broken bones. They are important for activities such as inline skating, snowboarding, and hockey. In some sports, like soccer, your coach may require shin guards, which are pads to protect your lower leg.

An illustration of a proper athletic shoe.

Shoes arrow. top

Shoes need to fit well and be right for your sport. Check with your coach or an athletic shoe salesperson about what shoes to wear. Also ask how often they need to be replaced.


Content last reviewed March 27, 2015
Page last updated July 01, 2015