What should a teen look for when choosing a lacrosse helmet?

    Confirm the helmet is approved by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment, commonly known as NOCSAE. In order to be NOCSAE-approved, the helmet has passed intensive testing to ensure it is safe on the field.

    Choose a lacrosse helmet that offers comfort as well as protection. The interior of the helmet should be outfitted with thick padding. In addition to protecting your head in a fall, the padding will also prevent the helmet from jostling on your head when you run.

    Know that bigger isn't necessarily better. The smallest helmets can sometimes offer the most robust protection. Large, bulky helmets can weigh heavily on your head, making it tough on your neck. Instead, opt for a compact helmet which fits your head snugly.

    Consider the helmet's price. It should include the cost of the face mask and chin strap. If you are required to purchase either individually, you can likely find a better deal by opting for a complete helmet package.

    Examine the exterior of the helmet. It should be made of hard plastic, and be free of any cracks. Since the helmet's exterior is non-adjustable, it must fit you perfectly.

    Assess the fit of the helmet. It should fit snugly all around your head but it should not be uncomfortable. When you move the helmet from side to side, your head should move with it. If the helmet slides on your head, it is too loose.

    Affix the chin strap and face mask to the helmet. The chin strap should fit firmly but you should be able to completely open your mouth. The face mask should fit comfortably over your face. It should not touch your face at any point.

    Determine which lacrosse helmet feels best on your head. Since everyone's head is different, you must ensure that the helmet is a good fit. Regardless of how many positive reviews a particular helmet has, if it doesn't suit you, it's not a good choice.

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    Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.