Buying your child sports gear

Whenever a new sports season starts, it means it’s time to buy new equipment (because those kids just keep getting bigger and bigger!). Make the process a bit more seamless with these tips.

- Look for second-hand. Unless you have a teenager who has gone through his/her growth spurts, there’s just no sense in buying all new sports gear every season and for every sport. Most kids only use skates, pads or sports shoes for one season of play anyway, meaning you'll be able to find slews of gently used pieces for a fraction of the price of new.

- Bring your child with you. I'm amazed by how many parents attempt to buy their kid a new glove or pair of skates on their own. It makes much more sense to bring the kid with you so they can try everything on and ensure that they have the right size (and it will save you the trip of exchanging it later).

- Ask the expert. There are rules of thumb when it comes to buying things like bats, golf clubs, and hockey sticks, as these are dependant on your child's size. Protective gear also needs to fit a certain way (this is especially important when it comes to the safety of your child too). Ask someone who works in the sports store to help you and your child size everything up properly.

- Don't spend too much money. Maybe football is the flavour of the week because little Jimmy down the street is playing football. Don't spend hundreds (yes, hundreds) on registration and outfitting your child from head to toe in appropriate gear until you know it's a sport they're going to stick to for awhile.

Melany xx