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KIDS! Don’t let this happen to you!

Do you ever have difficulty convincing your hockey child that they should wear a mouth guard at all times (on the ice)? Or, does your child like to avoid wearing a helmet when playing shinny (maybe on a pond, or just playing ball hockey…). Maybe your child is like mine, and prefers to use his or her mouth guard like a chew toy, skating around with half of it hanging out of his mouth, definitely defeating the purpose of having it in there in the first place. I’ve witnessed it in action, despite the rules, kids are always trying to get away with not wearing mouth guards, especially in practices.

Well, watching this video and discussing it with your child could seriously diminish your struggles to enforce safety. We all know that kids think they are invincible, which is why they like to avoid the protective gear when possible. But anyone who watched Eric Belanger of the Washington Capitals take a high stick to the face during NHL playoffs last week would agree that hockey players are anything but invincible. They are hugely tough, but not invincible.

Belanger took a high stick to the face, fell to the ice, and eventually make it to the bench. If you watch the video (warning…it’s a little gross), you will witness what every hockey mom fears…he loses some teeth. Eight teeth, to be exact (and he reportedly went to the dressing room between periods for a root canal, and then came back to finish the game). And trust me, you have to watch the video, because you see him actually reaching in and pulling out a tooth.

 Ok…so maybe I was fascinated a bit with the video, even though it was gross. But it can be used to teach a few important lessons to our kids.

1)      Never high stick. Why would you want to risk knocking someone’s teeth out?

2)      Always wear a helmet, and face mask/cage. Save the face your mother loves.

3)      Always wear your mouth guard. (Rumour has it that Eric Belanger doesn’t wear a mouth guard since he can’t bite down on one…he lost his front free teeth earlier in his career).

Hockey players used to be known for their missing teeth. But remember, hockey players didn’t even have to wear helmets back in the day. Times have changed. And I would bet money that back then, the parent that spent thousands on braces were few and far between.

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