What to Look For
All youth football helmets sold within the United States must conform to safety standards set by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment. However, studies like one recently done by the University of North Carolina draw attention to the prevalence of mental health issues in football players with a history of concussions. It’s therefore important for your children’s safety that you choose the best youth football helmets available. Riddell, Schutt, and Xenith all offer youth football helmets designed with the best anti-concussion technology.
A study published in the Journal of Athletic Training found that the facemask on many youth football helmets does not come off in an appropriate manner. It is standard practice for trainers to remove the player’s facemask when a head or neck injury is suspected. The study found that helmets with stainless steel or nickel-plated carbon screws were the most likely to successfully come unscrewed when necessary.
Where to Buy
While you can buy youth football helmets at almost any sporting goods store, you may have to look around a bit to find a store locally that offers the best youth football helmets. Dick’s Sporting Goods does carry Schutt helmets. The Riddell and Xenith websites offer dealer locators to find a specialty store near you.
The best youth football helmets vary in cost based on the features and technology offered. Schutt helmets are available at Dick’s Sporting Goods for $80 to $190. Riddell helmets are available on their website for about $75 to $190. Xenith helmets are about $250 on their website.
Youth football helmets do not typically come with a facemask. You will need to purchase a facemask that is the appropriate size and style for your child and check it periodically for wear and tear.