Taking Care of Your Helmet

CHECK FOR DAMAGE

DO NOT use a cracked or broken helmet or a helmet that is missing any padding or parts. Check for any missing or loose parts and padding before and during the season.

CLEANING

Clean the helmet often inside and out with warm water and mild detergent. DO NOT soak any part of the helmet, put it close to high heat, or use strong cleaners.

PROTECT

DO NOT let anyone sit, stand or lean on the helmet. DO NOT throw or drop your helmet.

STORAGE

DO NOT store the helmet in a car. It should be stored in a room that does not get too hot or too cold and where the helmet is away from direct sunlight.

DECORATION

DO NOT decorate (paint or put stickers on) the helmet without checking with the manufacturer, as this may affect the safety of the helmet. This information may also be found on the instructions label or on the manufacturer’s website.

Skateboard Helmets Skateboard Helmets

FIND A HELMET WITH LABELS THAT:

  • Have the date of manufacture in case the helmet is recalled; and
  • Say ASTM F1492 or Snell N-94 certified.

Those labels mean that the helmet has been tested for safety and meets safety standards for aggressive skating.

REPLACING A SKATEBOARD HELMET

Some skateboard helmets are designed to withstand multiple very minor hits; however, a helmet MUST be replaced if it has been involved in a serious crash or is damaged. Over time and with each minor impact, the foam inside your helmet will compress and will provide less protection, check the helmet
constantly for proper fit and protection.

Hockey Helmets Hockey Helmets

FIND A HELMET WITH LABELS THAT:

  • Have the date of manufacture in case the helmet is recalled; and
  • Say NOCSAE, HECC and/or CSA certified.

Those labels mean that the helmet has been tested for safety and meets safety standards.
If the helmet is not new, look for a label that includes the date the helmet was expertly repaired and recertified.

RECONDITIONING

Helmets should be reconditioned regularly by a licensed NAERA member. DO NOT buy a used helmet that has not been approved and recertified by a NAERA reconditioner.

REPLACING A HOCKEY HELMET

Hockey helmets should be replaced no later than 10 years from the date of manufacture. Many helmets may be required to be replaced sooner, based on signs of damage or wear and tear.

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Recommendations for athletes and parents

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While there is no concussion-proof helmet, the proper helmet and the proper use of such helmet can help protect you from a serious brain or head injury while practicing roller derby.

Finding the right helmet

HEAD SIZE

To find out the size of your head, wrap a soft tape measure around your head, just above their eyebrows and ears. Make sure the tape measure stays level from front to back. If you don’t have a tape measure, use a string and measure it against a ruler.

GENERAL FIT

A helmet should fit snugly all around, with no spaces between the pads and the head. You can check this by seeing if the skin on your forehead moves when the helmet is shifted left or right, up or down.

HAIRSTYLE

You should try on the helmet with the hairstyle you will wear while at practices and games. Helmet fit can change if your hairstyle changes. For example, if you have long hair and then get a very short haircut, you may need to adjust the fit of your helmet.

VISION

Make sure your eyes are visible and that your straight-forward and side-to-side vision is unobstructed.

BUYING FOR YOUR CHILD?

Bring your child with you when buying a new helmet to check for a good fit. Ask your child how the helmet feels on their head. While it needs to have a snug fit, a helmet that is too tight can cause headaches.

SIZES WILL VARY

Helmet sizes often will vary from brand to brand and with different models. Each helmet will fit differently, so it is important to visit the manufacturer’s website for the fit instructions and sizing charts, and to find out what helmet size fits your head size.

COVERAGE

A helmet should not sit too high or too low on their head. To check, make sure that the rim of the helmet is one finger width above the eyebrow and the helmet sits flat on the top of your head.

SIDE STRAPS

The side straps of the helmet should make a “V” shape under, and slightly in front of, your ears.

CHIN STRAPS

The chin strap should be centered under your chin and fit snugly, so that no more than one or two fingers fit between the chin and the strap. Open your mouth wide…big yawn! The helmet should pull down on your head. If not, the chin strap needs to be tighter. If needed, you can pull the straps from the back of the helmet to adjust the chin straps. Once the chin strap is fastened, the helmet should not move in any direction, back-to-front or side-to-side.


Adapted for roller derby from the CDC’s Heads Up Helmet Safety recommendations. To learn more, visit: www.cdc.gov/concussion