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Topic – Protect Yourself!

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Protect Yourself!

Playing sports can be lots of fun, and the exercise is very good for you. But playing sports can also cause injuries. It is important to protect yourself with the proper safety equipment.

Forces and Sports

In many sports, the players, as well as things such as balls and pucks, all move fast. In baseball, the pitcher throws the ball at a high speed. A ball moving at high speed is harder to hit. The pitcher’s throw is a pushing force. That force sends the ball speeding toward the batter. The batter uses a pushing force to swing the bat. When the bat hits the ball, it changes the direction of the ball. The bat sends the ball sailing into the outfield. A ball that is moving quickly has a large amount of force. When the ball comes in contact with a person, the force is transferred to the person’s body. Without safety equipment, this force can cause serious injuries.

Players also move quickly in many sports. The players use their legs to create a pushing force that moves them forward. In some sports, players can move very fast. A hockey player can race down the ice faster than a person can run. A person riding a skateboard can move extremely fast when going down a hill. (This is because of wheels and the force of gravity.) If fast-moving players fall or crash into something, they can be injured.

Sports Safety Equipment

Most sports safety equipment protects players in three ways:

  Absorbing force: Many types of safety equipment have foam padding. This absorbs some of the force of a speeding ball or puck. It can even protect them from another player. Less of the force is transferred to the player’s body. This means there is less chance of a player being injured.

  Spreading out force: A puck moves very fast. If it hits you in the head, the force of the puck is transferred to your head. A lot of force is transferred to the small part of your head that the puck hits. A helmet will spread the puck’s force over a larger area. This makes the force less intense in any one spot. This means you are less likely to be injured by the force. The foam padding inside a helmet will also absorb some of the force.

  Protecting skin: Scrapes and cuts are usually not serious injuries. But they can hurt and might become infected if not looked after properly. Safety equipment protects skin. An example is hockey skates made from thick leather. They are made to support and protect a player’s feet and ankles. They also protect them from being cut by another player’s skate blade.


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