When you play hockey, your helmet is the most important piece of equipment that you wear. You are skating fast on hard ice, and there are many ways to injure your head. Not only should your helmet meet the required safety standards, but it should also fit correctly. Hockey helmets do expire because over time they are less able to effectively protect your head. Continue reading to learn how to tell if a hockey helmet is expired.
Check the Date of Manufacture
On the back of hockey helmets on the outside, there is a CSA label that includes the date of manufacture. The Hockey Equipment Certification Council (HECC) says that hockey helmets expire 6.5 years after the date of manufacture. You should always check this date to make sure that your hockey helmet is still good.
Helmets lose their effectiveness with use over time. The interior padding can lose effectiveness and become hard, which changes the way a helmet works to protect your head. In addition, helmets can take a beating over time, which decreases their ability to serve as protection. It is so important to make sure that your head is protected when you are playing hockey, so you need to follow these guidelines. In addition, some leagues will not let you play unless you have an approved helmet.
Ask a Professional in the Pro Shop
If you have trouble finding your manufacturer’s date on your helmet, you can always ask the pro in your rink’s pro shop. These experts are familiar with different brands of helmet, and they know how to tell if the helmet is expired. They can look at the helmet and give you an answer right away.
In addition, they are familiar with the latest helmet technology. The helmet is so important to your safety that you should consider replacing your helmet for this reason alone. If your helmet is not expired, but your pro has a newer helmet that uses new technology that can protect your head even further, you should consider making the change.
Make Sure Your Helmet Is Approved in Your League
Most hockey leagues have the same requirements, but if you are from another country, you may be under different rules. In fact, helmets that are approved for the United States may not be approved in Canada. You need to know what the rules are for your league and your country before you buy the helmet, and then make sure that you have the right one no matter where you live and play hockey.
All players under the age of 21 are required to have an HECC sanctioned helmet, and a full-face shield is required for those under the age of 18 or those playing in high school or college. You will need to follow the rules or you risk not being able to play. Your coach will tell you what helmet you need, and you can make sure that you know when it expires so that you can promptly replace it.
The most dangerous aspect of playing hockey is the risk to your head, and wearing a properly certified helmet can reduce that risk quite a bit. You need to make sure that the helmet fits properly. It should be snug without feeling too tight. When you hook the chin straps, it should not move around on your head, and you should replace it if it is damaged during play.
Once you know your helmet fits, you need to make sure that it doesn’t expire. You will need to replace it before it does. The padding can wear out and become damaged, which will reduce the effectiveness of the helmet. Remember that hockey helmets expire 6.5 years after manufacture so that you can replace yours in plenty of time.