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Hockey players and parents are more aware than ever of the risks of sustaining head injuries as this phenomenon has come to light in recent years—in hockey and in other sports. The first thing to know is that there is no such thing as a perfect or totally injury-proof helmet—they unfortunately do not exist.
Hockey is a contact sport and the risk of a head injury is always present. In the past few years, however, hockey helmet technology has drastically improved and players are more protected than ever before. As is true of other types of protective equipment, there is a hierarchy of hockey helmet models. This is why all of us at Pure Hockey will always work with our customers to find the best helmet for each player. Helmet manufacturers work tirelessly and dedicate an astounding amount of money to research development to eliminate weight, increase protection, and add comfort to new hockey helmets.
There are of many things to consider when shopping for a hockey helmet, but fit is the top priority. No matter how expensive, technologically advanced, or protective the helmet model, if the one on your head doesn't fit correctly, it won't protect you properly.
Unlike most other pieces of equipment, hockey helmets usually have a single run of sizes. For example, hockey helmets come in small, medium, large, or extra large. Almost all hockey helmets on the market today have some form of size adjustment. Generally speaking, most helmet sizes run right into the next. So a small helmet, adjusted to its biggest size will be very similar to a medium helmet (of the same model), adjusted to its smallest adjustment size.
The simplest way to fit a helmet is first to estimate the correct size, next to expand the helmet as large as it will go, and then to place it on your head. Slowly adjust the helmet smaller until it is snug — it should be snug and not move around when you move your head, but not too nor be so tight to make it's uncomfortable. You will also want to wear the helmet for a few minutes to be sure there are no pains or pressure points on your head.
Also make sure the hockey helmet cage fits properly and the chin cup is securely and snugly strapped against your chin. This ensures that the helmet will stay in place. If the cage won't close all the way to your chin, the helmet will be displaced when you're hit. When purchasing a helmet and cage, note that a player who wears a medium helmet is not always guaranteed to wear a medium cage. This can be true even when buying a combo helmet, so always properly size both the helmet and the cage.
Once the helmet is snug, secure, and comfortable, and the cage fits as it should, you're ready to skate.
Another major thing to consider when you buy a hockey helmet is price. As mentioned earlier, the most expensive helmet does not always translate to the best protection for a particular individual. But consider how little sense it makes to spend $200-$250 on a stick and $600-$800 on skates and then try to save some money by spending only $60 on a helmet. The helmet is what protects your head, your most important and fragile body part. Choose a helmet that fits, is comfortable, and provides adequate protection for the level of hockey you or your child plays.
Always wear a properly fitted and molded mouthguard. It helps keep you safer during the game, reducing the risk of injury.
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