Size Matters: How to Properly Fit a Football Helmet
A football helmet is designed to act as a buffer between the head and other objects. If it isn't fitted properly, it can actually do more harm than good. A helmet that fits properly should feel snug and secure without causing any pain or discomfort.
Why Is Fit so Important?
New helmets are available that have small airbags that can be inflated to the exact size to protect the athlete's head from traumatic brain injury. The key is knowing how to achieve that perfect fit. Studies have found that the risk of concussion is reduced by over 80% when a properly fitting helmet is worn.
Guidelines for Finding a Helmet That Fits Properly
When it comes to football helmet sizing, there are several steps that should be taken.
- Measure the player's head by using a tape measure, placing it about an inch above the eyebrows
- Use the size chart included with the helmet to determine the appropriate size
- Wet the hair (this simulates the player sweating during the game)
- Attach the hose and start to fill the helmet with air. Ask the player to tell you when it fits snugly
- Make sure the front rim of the helmet is located about an inch above the eyebrows
- When the chin strap is fastened, make sure they're equally tight on both sides
- Attempt to shift the helmet, the flesh on the forehead should move as the helmet moves
- Allow the helmet to remain in place for 5 to 10 minutes, remove and check for any skin discoloration
Resize the Helmet as Needed
It's important that you resize the helmet as needed. Haircuts and growth spurts can have an impact on how well the helmet fits throughout the season. Encourage the player to tell you if the helmet begins to hurt their head in any way or becomes loose enough to shift without any force being placed on it.
Protecting your head with a properly fitting helmet during contact play is extremely important when it comes to preventing concussions and traumatic brain injuries. Effective football helmet sizing is your first line of defense.
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