Is Your Teen Ready To Try Out Hockey? 3 Tips To Make Sure Their Goalie Mask Protects Them From Injuries

Posted on: 6 December 2019

Hockey is an exciting sport that teenagers often love to try. While your teen may be all about the adrenaline rush that they get when they are defending their team's goal, you may be less than thrilled about the possibility of them getting injured. Fortunately, hockey is a relatively safe sport when your teen wears the appropriate gear, and these three tips will help you make sure that their goalie mask does its job in the event of an impact.

Get the Right Fit

When a puck or stick comes flying in your kid's direction, the last thing you want to see is their mask moving. When possible, have your child professionally fitted for their mask, or use a sizing guide to make sure that they have the right one. Once they try it on, you can then assess the fit by giving them a visual inspection. Have your child put on the mask and grab the cage while moving it back and forth. You should see the mask pulling your child's head along with it. If not, then the mask is too loose and won't break the impact of a hit as well as one that fits properly.

Understand the Levels of Protection

A hockey goalie mask is generally designed for specific levels within the sport. For instance, a professional mask is usually made from higher-quality materials such as lightweight carbon composite and kevlar that can stand up to intense impacts and near-daily playtime. Beginner masks should still be made from specially designed plastic and foam that help to cushion your child's head from impacts, but they may not always be made to stand up to as much wear and tear. Competitive helmets tend to provide the best of both worlds, and you may need to go this route if your child is playing on a community sports team or at school.

Teach Your Child Proper Mask Care

The first rule to teach your child is that the mask can't help if they aren't wearing it. Make wearing a mask a requirement for your child to play, even if they are just doing a quick practice game before school. You will also want to teach your teen to prevent it from being damaged by avoiding sitting or standing on the mask. The mask should also be stored in a climate-controlled room whenever possible. Leaving it in a hot car can cause damage. Finally, give the helmet a thorough inspection after every game and practice. If a crack, dent, or another form of damage is found, then the helmet needs to be repaired or replaced before the next time your child needs to defend their team's goal.