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Helmets: Guide to Choosing the Best Ones for Youth Sports

Jun 1st, 2023

As the saying goes, “Safety first!” When it comes to youth sports, this mantra couldn’t be more relevant. The stakes are high when choosing the proper protective gear for young athletes. Selecting the right helmet for your child can make all the difference in preventing severe head injuries. That said, there are plenty of bogus and sub-par products on the market these days–how can you tell if you’re buying something of quality that will protect your child? The following tips should help you narrow your search.

Look for Helmets That Meet Safety Standards

The first thing that parents should look for when choosing helmets for their children is to ensure they meet approved safety standards. The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) is the go-to organization for setting performance and testing standards for athletic gear. These standards ensure the helmet has passed rigorous safety testing and can adequately protect a child’s head.

The Safety Equipment Institute (SEI) maintains a comprehensive list of sports gear certified to meet NOCSAE standards, including helmets for a wide range of sports.

Choose Helmets With Appropriate Padding

The padding inside a helmet is meant to absorb impact and reduce the risk of injury. When choosing a helmet, make sure that it has adequate padding around the inside of the helmet. High-quality padding will also help to absorb sweat and reduce the risk of bacteria growth.

Opt for Helmets With a Snug Fit

A helmet that doesn’t fit properly won’t protect your child’s head very effectively. Measure the circumference of your child’s head and choose one following their size guide accordingly. Make sure that it fits snugly on your child’s head without being too tight. It shouldn’t move around when your child shakes their head.

Look for Helmets that Cover the Head and the Skull

The protection provided by a helmet is only as good as its design. Whenever possible, look for ones that fully cover the head and skull. Those that provide additional facial protection, including the chin and jaw, are also a good option.

Choose Based on Safety, Not Price

Beware of “knockoff” brands that claim to offer the same protections as name-brand helmets for a lower price. Buying the cheapest brand increases the likelihood of your child’s head being improperly protected. On the other hand, the best ones aren’t always the most expensive. For best results, base your decision not on the price tag, per se, but on the NOCSAE standards and SEI certification ratings, as mentioned above.

Choosing the right helmet for your child will allow them to enjoy whatever sport they’re playing with less risk of injury. If your child does get injured (whether due to someone’s negligence or a poorly made helmet), you may be entitled to compensation to cover your child’s injuries. Reach out to our experienced attorneys to discuss your case.