Youth Football Helmets are a valuable piece of equipment for any youth football program and maybe the most essential and expensive single piece of gear your players will be using every season. Here are some tips for managing the resource for safety and ease of use:
Most youth football helmets cost anywhere from $50 to $150. We are not going to get into the features and benefits of each brand or make any type of recommendation. There are many quality brands and styles avaliable to meet the needs of any team. Here are some things that worked for us:
1) Black Helmets require far less clean up at end of season than white helmets and do not discolor. White helmets require lots of cleaning every season.
2) Painting White Helmets another color, even by professional auto painters, never worked. The paint always peeled.
3) Clean and disinfect the football helmets after every season, your equipment supplier sells cleaning kits.
4) Take the worst helmets to a local car wash and give them the high pressure treatment.
5) Seperate the chin straps and wash them in hot water with bleach and air dry after every season. Replace about 50% of them every season.
6) Write inside the football helmet with permanent marker the players number and the year of use. So player # 44 in 2006 would have 44/06 in the helmet. Many experts feel the life of a football helmet is about 5 seasons. Seasons, not years, that’s why we mark the year in the helmet. This also solves the problem of your players picking up the wrong helmet also.
7) Check the football helmet at the end of each season for the signs of any cracks, if it is cracked, toss it out.
8) Check the hardware, all the screws and nuts to make sure they are all are tight. Make sure the plastic pieces attaching the facemask to the helmet are not cracked. Replacement pieces are available from your equipment suppliers.
8) Make sure the facemask is not cracked or missing large pieces of the rubbery outerlayer. Replacement facemasks are available from the manufacturer.
9) Many helmet manufacturers suggest that the helmet be “recertified” evey year or two years. The recertification is done by the manufacturer or equipment supplier and involves a professional inspecting the helmet as well as a thorough cleaning and replacement of hardware. The typical cost per helmet is $20. Please check with your helmet manufacturer for details on the shelf life and recertification proccess for your particular brand of helmet.
10) Make sure your players know NEVER to throw, drop or sit on their helmets. This stresses the helmet and shortens its life.
We make this part of our player contract, throwing a helmet is grounds for dismissal from the football team.
11) If the helmet warning sticker falls off, you can get more for free from most manufacturers. For liability reasons make sure you have one on each helmet.
12) Require the players to remove all helmet decal stickers before they turn the gear in at the end of season.
13) Many teams have “helmet cleaning parties” where they remove last seasons crud and add new center stripes each year. This can save you from having to do this for your team all by yourself.
14) Adding decals like your team name or Eagle Feathers like we do makes the football helmet look great. However the decals do have to be replaced from time to time and they do leave marks on other helmets.