Youth Football Safety
Every parent/coach should check their child’s football equipment before all practices and games. Below is a checklist for checking youth football equipment.
Here is a list of thing to keep an eye out. Anything seems wrong or you have a question ask the coach and or the team equipment manager. Youth football safety should be a priority.
- Helmet fits the child’s head. To adjust the helmet you can pump or release air.
- Chin strap buttons lock into the helmet securely.
- Chin strap is adjusted to fit firmly on child’s chin.
- Mouthpiece is connected to the face mask. Keep in mind the mouthpiece needs to be molded to the child’s mouth and not be chewed up.
- Shoulder pads fit firmly on the child. Shoulder pad straps and clips must fit into the chest of the shoulder pad. Shoulder pad’s lace strings must be solid; the laces cannot be coming undone.
- Rib guard fits firmly on the child. Not too tight not too loose.
- Hip and butt pads fit into pants and are secure. They should not shift while running.
- Pants must have no rips. Thigh and knee pads must fit into pockets securely. The thigh and knee pads need to cover the thigh and knees, no sagging!
- Belt fits, loosens and tightens easily.
- Cleats laces should be tied. Laces need to be solid, not coming undone.
It is important that the athletes have equipment that is fitted properly and securely. Make sure you check with the child’s coach to make sure the equipment is fitted properly.
Youth Football Concussions
Whether you are a coach or a parent, it is always good to have awareness on how to prevent and identify concussions. This youth football safety information was from Pop Warner Youth Football Organization.
Best ways to prevent concussions:
- Watch match-ups in practice. Do not have mismatches when doing contact drills.
- Make sure every player has their “head in it” this means players need to be aware and focused.
- Proper nutrition and hydration will help the child stay focused and aware. When the human body is not hydrated, you not only lose athletic strength but you lose mental focus as well, which can lead to injuries.
- If a player is hurt, make them sit out! If the player has a headache, dizzy, confused, or has double vision the player must sit out and get medal attention.
- Educate your coaches about concussions and safety.
Signs and Symptoms
- Appears dazed or stunned.
- Is confused about assignment or position.
- Forgets instructions.
- Is unsure of game, score, and or opponent.
- Moves clumsily.
- Answers questions slowly.
- Loses consciousness.
- Shows mood, behavior or personality changes.
- Can’t recall prior events.
It is important that all coaches and parents are educated when it comes to head injuries/concussions. Take youth football safety very seriously.