By Veselina Dzhingarova

With winter officially here, parents are looking for ways to keep the kids active, even if it’s cold and the snow is falling.

One of the most beloved winter sports and activities is ice skating, which can be enjoyed by kids of all ages – provided they have the right equipment. Skating can take place at traditional outdoor rinks for that real winter-vibe, or you can head to one of the many indoor rinks located around the country.

Before you rush out and purchase your child’s first set of ice skates, there are a few tips and advice you will want to keep in mind. These will help ensure you not only get the right fit but also the right type of skate for your child.

What Kind of Skating Will They Be Doing?

The first question you will want to think about is what kind of skating they will be doing? Are you signing them up for a local hockey team or a beginner’s hockey program? If so, then you will need to look at hockey skates, which are built completely different than figure skates. If your child plans on doing more pleasure skating, then figure skates can be the better option.

The biggest difference is how your child will go about stopping. Figure skates have a toe pick that is used to stop them instantly, whereas hockey skates don’t have this toe pick. As well, figure skates tend to have a heavier and longer blade on them than hockey skates.

Give Thought to the Quality

Skates tend to be made of one of two fabrics – either leather or plastic. Typically, the higher the quality, the more comfortable it will be, and the more support it will offer. These are both incredibly important for beginner skaters who will be unsteady on the skates at first. Riedell ice skates for kids are an excellent example of high-quality skates with a leather boot. This offers kids the maximum support in the foot and ankle, yet the leather is soft and comfortable and will shape to their foot.

Getting the Proper Size

We all know that kids grow very quickly so parents are often tempted to purchase skates that offer “room to grow”. Unfortunately, this plan doesn’t work with skates as they need to fit properly from the start. If the skates are too big, they will not only be uncomfortable, but they can lead to your child being injured. The golden rule is to buy skates that will get them through one season of wear.

Don’t Forget the Safety Accessories

While there is much attention on the skates, you will also want to grab the necessary safety accessories. A helmet is an absolute must for kids and you may also want wrist guards, elbow pads, knee pads, gloves, and padded pants.

Get Them Properly Outfitted and Enjoy the Sport

Making sure you buy the right skates for your child is not only wise, it also protects them from injury, and makes it more comfortable as they learn how to skate.

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