How to choose a helmet

While no helmet will prevent your child from getting a concussion, they can help protect him/her from a serious brain injury.  Helmets are designed to prevent skull fractures and brains bleeds, and when used correctly, are effective at minimizing these significant brain injuries. Unfortunately, helmets do not prevent concussions because they cannot keep the brain from moving inside of the skull in the event of a hard or unexpected hit.  In a concussive injury, when the brain moves in the skull, it causes injury to the cells in the brain. So, to help prevent skull fractures and brain bleeds, and to minimize severity of concussion, it is very important to always wear a helmet during activities with a high risk of head injury.  Your child is safest when wearing a properly fitting, properly cared for, certified helmet for the correct sport.

When choosing a helmet there are several factors to consider:

  • The helmet fits properly
  • The helmet is used for the reason it was designed (don’t wear a bike helmet to a football game, or a football helmet, skiing)
  • The helmet is approved for use by appropriate certification team (sport dependent)
  • The helmet is not damaged in anyway – do Not use if it is cracked, broken or missing pieces

 How to fit a helmet:

  • There should not be any space between the child’s head and the padding of the helmet
  • The helmet should be snug but not so tight it causes headaches
  • Try on the helmet with whatever hairstyle your child will be playing their sport (especially for anyone with long hair)
  • Chin straps should fit snugly – when your child opens their mouth wide, the helmet should move down on their head
  • Make sure your child’s vision is not impaired by the helmet, particularly their peripheral vision
  • Your child’s coach, or athletic trainer are both great resources in helping choose a helmet for your child

 How to take care of a helmet:

  • Keep Helmet clean
  • Do not sit on, step on or lean on helmet
  • Do not store helmet in a hot place (the car); keep it in a temperature controlled environment (high heat can warp the helmet)
  • Check the label to see how often you need to replace the helmet – replace sooner for any damage or wear and tear

 Great source for sport specific information:


Emily and Meredith

CPNP's at SportsSafe