Kids and Sports: When Should You Leave the Jewelry at Home?
Written by Serena Norr
February 2, 2018
When it comes to kids and sports, most parent's primary concern is the safety of their children. A potential risk that is often overlooked, though, is when kids are playing with jewelry on.
Unfortunately, middle-aged to high school-aged kids are known for being inclined towards stubbornness and having a reluctance to listen to rules or their parents. Kids who fall into this range also happen to be the mostly likely to wear jewelry and accessories. Some sports have specific rules concerning what is allowed to be worn when competing. It is still important, however, to enforce a no-jewelry rule during practices, and occasionally during competitions if there are no official rules concerning kids and jewelry. Read on to check out more of the types of sports where kids should not be wearing jewelry:
Kids and Sports: When You Shouldn't be Wearing Jewelry
1. Contact Sports
When it comes to contact sports, kids and jewelry do not mix. A contact sport is defined as any game in which physical contact between two players is accepted as part of playing the sport. Some people differentiate between high-contact and low-contact sports, but if your child is playing any game where there is the potential for them to be colliding with other players jewelry is probably a bad idea.
This includes sports such as:
Ice and Field Hockey
Baseball and Softball
Why No Jewelry?
First, it can injure either your child or another child on the field. Imagine your child is running down a soccer field and accidentally collides with another player, their arms hitting each other before they separate. If your child is wearing a chunky bracelet or ring it could bruise the other player's arm where it hits. Your child could also be hurt from the pressure of the bracelet being pushed into his or her own skin.
Earrings are also a bad idea and potentially painful if worn during sports. If a ball hits the side of the head just right this can sometimes rip an earring out of an earlobe, or at the very least drive the earring into the side of the neck behind it, which can be very painful.
If you watch rugby players, they often tape their ears down to decrease the chances of them being ripped off or damaged while playing. Imagine how much more dangerous it would be to wear earrings while playing a sport like that!
There is also a risk of jewelry being broken or damaged during contact sports, which is another reason playing with jewelry on is a bad idea. It's best to just leave it off so there is no risk of damage to the jewelry or to the players.
2. Water Sports (Non-Contact Sports)
Some sports in this category are:
Swimming Races (Any Style or Length)
Why No Jewelry?
When it comes to just about any sport involving water, it's best to leave the jewelry at home. While there is less of a chance of the participants being injured there is still a high risk of the jewelry itself being damaged, especially when it comes to sports like diving. Divers hit the water at incredible speeds, generating a considerable amount of force on their way down. Even if their entry has perfect form, it's still likely that necklaces, bracelets, and possibly even earrings would break or get ripped off on impact. Even if they don't, having a chain yanked violently around your child's neck as they enter the water is the last thing you want.
Jewelry for water sports is also a bad idea due to the drag it can create. If you watch Olympic swimmers, their swimming costumes and caps are manufactured to cut down on water resistance as much as possible. A significant amount of money goes into creating the most streamlined equipment possible for swimmers. While your child may not be competing on the Olympic level, every little bit counts when it comes to getting a little more speed in their races. Leaving off the jewelry is a good way to do this.
3. Track and Field (And Other Non-Contact Sports)
This category includes sports such as:
Long Distance Running
Why No Jewelry?
The interesting thing about this category is that you can often see athletes at the professional level wearing jewelry while running races or playing tennis. While it might be acceptable for professionals to do this, it's still a bad idea when it comes to children.
Some jewelry such as necklaces can create a small amount of wind resistance when it comes to track and field sports. This amount often isn't enough to lose the race, but if leaving it off gives your child even a little edge, why not do it?
The main reason, however, that children shouldn't wear jewelry for these sports is due to the distraction it can cause. The bumping of a necklace against a neck while running could momentarily distract a runner from focusing on his or her form. It's even worse if they reach up to hold down the necklace or adjust it, as not moving the arms properly when running can noticeably decrease someone's speed.
The same is true if a tennis player pauses to re-adjust a bracelet that's ridden up, or a cheerleader absentmindedly tries to de-tangle hair caught in an earring. Professionals have been trained to ignore little things like this and not get distracted, but children generally have not received the same level of training and do not have as much experience when it comes to ignoring distractions.
Looking for more pieces on kids and jewelry? Check out our recap of the most age-apprioate jewelry for kids.