Did you know that approximately 66% of boys and 52% of girls play organized sports? That’s about 36 million kids each year. In addition to benefiting their physical health, sports teach kids teamwork, discipline, responsibility, and humility, and they generally keep them out of trouble.
While sports have proven to be good for kids, they can also be incredibly dangerous. As many as 87% of parents have expressed worry about injuries in youth sports. Safety has become a top priority in kids sports, and schools and other organizations are taking safety precautions to decrease the likelihood of sports-related injuries. Before they can hit the field, young players are being taught important information, such as how to get fitted for a football helmet, how a football mouthguard should fit, and how football helmet visors prevent injury.
A functioning helmet can save a child’s life, so finding the perfect fit is not something to be taken lightly. Below is a short guide to fitting your child for a football helmet, as well as an explanation as to how the helmet should fit, and when to replace a helmet that is no longer safe for use.
How to get fitted for a football helmet:
- First, dampen the hair to imitate sweat, which will accumulate under the helmet during play.
- With a cloth measuring tape, measure the circumference of the head one inch above the eyebrows to determine the appropriate helmet size.
- Press down on the top of the helmet with interlocked fingers. Pressure should be felt on the top of the head rather than on the brow.
You know the helmet is the right fit if:
- The front of the helmet rests one inch above the eyebrow.
- The helmet feels snug on the head.
- Skin on the forehead moves with the sweatband when the helmet is lightly twisted from side to side.
- The chin strap is centered.
- The jaw pads are firm against the face.
When to buy a new football helmet:
- The helmet is cracked or broken
- Padding or parts are missing from the helmet
- The helmet is ten years or older. Check the manufacturing date to determine the age of your helmet. Depending on the wear and tear, some helmets will need to be replaced before ten years.