….for YOUR Child?
The most important piece of football equipment is the helmet. Picking out the best helmet for your athlete can be a daunting task. Let this article is a great starting point in your search! When choosing the best helmet for your player, consider the following features:
The ability of the helmet to mitigate concussion risk and other injuries is paramount. Head trauma can cause a myriad of problems, from headaches, neck pain, to concussions. In the most serious cases, it can be fatal. Do not skimp on your investment in the most protective helmet possible.
If the player doesn’t like the feel of his/her helmet, it will have a negative impact on their enjoyment, effort and execution of the game. Attentive coaches will see this, and remove them from play. The most protective helmet may not be the comfortable to your player. Make sure the helmet is properly sized and fitted, per the guidelines of the manufacturer. Ask the player how it feels, especially during full contact to the head. Observe the player in action as well. I remember trying to “upgrade” my son’s helmet to what I thought would be more protective than his current one. After trying several helmets with higher protective ratings, my son rejected all of them due to discomfort.
What’s the point in having the most protective, best looking helmet in the universe, if it’s unreliable and difficult to maintain? Look for ease of use in the removal of facemask, pads and other critical components. The facemask should be easily removed on the field of play, in the event of a medical emergency. Parts should be reliable and easy to remove and install without the help of the helmet manufacturer.
Service and Support
Your helmet should be reconditioned yearly, to ensure that all components are fully functional. Check with the manufacturer to determine the yearly recertification costs and the details of the service. Make sure you select a helmet from a company that is still in production, so you can order replacement parts as needed. Vicis, is a new company with one of the best rated helmets on the planet. Sadly, they are already out of business after just a couple of years in operation. That means there’s no support, no recertification, and no steady supply of parts. Never buy a helmet that the manufacturer cannot support.
I strongly suggest you invest in your own helmet instead of using the rental equipment provided by your Organization. Youth football organizations mean well, but most are strapped for cash. That means they most likely won’t have their helmets recertified annually. YOU are the best resource in ensuring your child has the best helmet possible. If you cannot afford to purchase your own helmet, make sure the organization provide helmet has been recertified. If it has not, I strongly advise you pay that out of pocket expense to get it recertified.
What Helmets do WE recommend?
In our experience, we recommend any helmets with a 5-star Rating from the Virginia Tech Helmet study. Their study is independent, and the most comprehensive. And they keep improving their testing methods.
Because VICIS is no longer in business, we STRONGLY recommend you do not purchase one of their helmets. A helmet is only as good as it’s support.
Helmet Manufacturer Websites: