Helmet Safety


Recommendations for athletes and parents

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


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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

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