With the days getting longer and the first day of spring around the corner, I like to be ahead of the game by getting all my spring and summer sporting equipment in tip-top shape after a winter of storage. Equipment will definitely look nice and shiny by just wiping off the cobwebs, but to ensure your experience is safe and enjoyable, I recommend a thorough “check and prep”.
- Bike tune-up: Start by cleaning and oiling the chain and gears. Make sure the gears are shifting smoothly and the brakes are fully functional. Put some fresh air in the tires (the recommended pressure is written on the side of the tire). If you’re tuning your kid’s bike, make sure the seat is the right height as they might have grown over the winter!
- Helmets: For every kind of helmet (skateboard, bike, football, etc.), check the outer shell for damages like cracks. Look at and feel the foam on the inside to make sure it’s intact. And, make sure helmets fit properly – as kids grow, so do their heads! Here’s advice on finding the right helmet for young children.
- Lifejackets: I cannot stress enough the importance of safety in wearing a lifejacket for paddle sports and aquatic activities. Look for rips and make sure the foam is OK by doing a buoyancy test (Learn how at the bottom of this link). Visit Transport Canada for more on choosing and maintaining lifejackets.
- Properly fitting gear: Particularly for children, make sure all of their equipment from last summer still fits properly. No matter what activity or sport you or your children play, adjusting the equipment to fit properly will ensure comfort, safety and performance.
Taking the time to make sure all of your gear and equipment is working and fitting properly is a great way to familiarize yourself with it and makes for a smooth transition into spring and summer. Looking for new ways of being active this spring? Or have an equipment question? Give the Physical Activity Line a call at 8-1-1 or ask us in the comments below!
Parachute Canada: Helmets FAQ