Preventing Injury While Playing Hockey
Some people might recall the glory days of professional hockey when players did not wear helmets. Back then, goalies wore little more than a thin face shield, if anything at all. This is why there were so many broken noses as well as broken teeth, and severe injuries. Today the addition of new equipment has helped to reduce many of these injuries. For example, the “Tuuk blade” which offers a plastic holder. This has reduced many injuries due to the blade breakage. All of the companies that manufacture hockey equipment today are constantly looking for better ways to increase safety.
The manufacturers of hockey equipment have helped to improve the safety issues players face. The helmets and face masks, which are now mandatory, have probably made the most impact. These two pieces of equipment have tremendously reduced the injuries above the shoulder. The face mask has nearly eliminated blinding eye injuries. Many injuries to the face and eyes have also been reduced significantly. The helmet has reduced many soft tissue damages to the covered areas of the head. There is no doubt that there is better protection needed for the neck in order to reduce accidents resulting in injury to the spinal cord.
Most coaches will agree that aside from the necessary equipment there are other important factors needed in order to reduce injury. These include player awareness, coaching techniques, playing rules, and equipment standards. One of the biggest defense techniques, in order to reduce injury is for players to learn how to properly “check” other players as well as learn how to be given a check. Many injuries happen today because of improper or illegal checking. Injuries generally take place in the knees, shoulders, and wrist.
Parents are always concerned that their son or daughter might be injured while playing hockey. There are some precautions parents can take in order to prevent injuries to their child or young adult. One of the best things a parent can do when buying equipment, is to purchase equipment that provides the appropriate amount of protection based on their child’s level of play. When making different purchases you need to be certain that each piece of equipment fits properly. Parents should only purchase helmets and face masks that are H.E.C.C. certified. Parents should also look into USA Hockey’s insurance coverage as well as make certain that their child’s hockey club has a first aid and injury prevention program. Finally, every player needs to always play the game the way it is meant to be played.
This article was provided by the New Jersey medical malpractice attorneys at Andres & Berger, P.C.
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