Every parent wants the best for their child. However, if your child is interested in trying a new sport, you understandably don’t want to spend hundreds on equipment when your child may not even want to continue playing after a few months. Used gear is an option in some cases, but it’s often difficult to determine which types of gear can safely be bought used. Here’s how to decide which types of gear to buy new vs. used for your child.
For many people, the hygiene benefits of new gear make buying new preferable. This is especially true of gear like mouthguards. Mouthguards are a necessary part of most contact sports, but they should almost always be purchased new. Mouthguards are often impossible to completely sterilize, so a new one is preferable. However, in the cases of gear like sweatshirts, bicycles, and hockey sticks, buying used is perfectly fine and can also save you money.
Quality vs. Price
For most people, balancing price and quality is an important consideration. The cheapest gear is likely to have flaws, and depending on the type of gear it is, flaws could be dangerous. If you’re looking for a good value when it comes to gear, you often can find a used high-quality, brand-name item for the same price of a lower-quality new item. For maximum value, it’s a good idea to think about what items can be bought used, and then purchase the rest of the items you need new.
Safety is a concern regardless of the sport your child is playing, and nothing jeopardizes safety like poorly fitted gear. Regardless of whether you buy new or used, taking the time to get a proper fit for shoes, guards, and clothing is a must. One of the most important items to fit correctly is a helmet. And of all sports gear, it’s perhaps most important to buy a helmet new, since it’s impossible to tell if a used one has been compromised. Studies suggest that it’s possible to suffer from a concussion without showing any symptoms. A well-fitting helmet can help protect your child from concussions, especially when it comes to contact sports like football.
Plenty of money-savvy parents shop for used sports gear for their children. However, especially if you have limited time before you need to use the gear, it may be difficult to find what you need in time. Try to give yourself as much time as possible, and make sure to check multiple used gear stores and sites. You can also check with family members, friends and neighbors that may have extra gear.
Getting your child the right gear for the right price takes time. But when you consider what can be bought used and make sure everything fits properly, you’ll be able to give your child a great start in sports.
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