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How to Properly Fit Protective Gear for Concussion Prevention

Jun 8, 2015

Athletes are typically taught from a young age the importance of wearing protective gear during high-impact sports and other rigorous physical activity. This protective gear is meant to prevent broken bones and other injuries from occurring, as well as to reduce the risk of receiving a concussion.

However, just wearing this gear is not enough to protect you from serious injury or a concussion. It’s crucial to be aware of the many factors that come into play when protecting your body from injury.

Keep reading for more information on how to properly fit your protective gear in order to prevent concussion and to stay healthy and injury-free.


Before choosing a helmet, you’ll need to measure your head. Use a cloth tape measure and wrap it around your head, just above the eyebrow. This will give you the circumference measurement that you need.

Use this number to determine your size when you go to pick out a helmet. Before you purchase the helmet, make sure that it’s clean inside and out and there are no defects.

Then, test the helmet out. You may have to try on a few to find one that fits correctly. The interior padding should be firm against the head without being too tight, and jaw pads should be in contact with the jaw, rather than the ears.

Mouth Guard

When you first purchase a mouth guard, follow the instructions on the package regarding how to mold it to your mouth. You’ll typically boil it in water for a short period of time until it becomes more flexible. After it cools slightly, put it in your mouth and allow it to conform to your teeth. Make sure it is large enough to cover most of your teeth, and avoid cutting it down too much.

Mouth guards reduce the magnitude of an impact and can minimize the injury if you receive a blow to the face or head.

Replacing Old Protective Gear

If your equipment is old and worn, it can’t do its job properly to protect your body from injury. The lifespan of your protective gear depends on the quality of the material, how often you use it, and how long you’ve owned it. If you’re practicing a minimum of five days per week, there is a good chance that your protective gear will only last for one season. You may even need to replace it in the middle of the season. Be sure to check your equipment for tears or other issues so that you can be fully protected at all times.

Use this advice when fitting your protective gear and you will also reduce your risk of sustaining a concussion. It’s important to take every precaution you can to avoid this serious brain injury.

If you are dealing with a sports injury and believe that you need surgery, click here to download our e-book, Your How-To Guide to Choosing an Orthopaedic Surgeon. This guide will provide you with all the information you need for selecting a reputable surgeon.