Football helmets are essential safety equipment. While schools typically supply helmets for the protection of their teams, players and parents should consider evaluating the equipment before using it to ensure it maintains the minimum safety features. For example, a helmet should not be used if the face mask is bent more than one-eighth of an inch. Likewise, a helmet that fits loosely or shows signs of rusting will not provide the necessary protection during practice and play. Furthermore, players should make sure the helmet’s chin strap and jaw pads are adjusted to fit their individual head structure.
To ensure that helmets work as intended, coaches should educate players on safe methods of tackling and blocking. This will reduce the likelihood of players butting heads or grabbing facemasks, which can cause severe head and spinal cord injuries.