Most youth football helmets lack sufficient front padding. This, from the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab, which rated every youth football helmet on the market.

Only seven of these helmets received a perfect score for effectively reducing head acceleration during impact. Those with lower ratings typically had front padding that was too stiff.

Researchers used sensors embedded in the helmets to assess where, how hard, and how often kids were hit on the head. They then cross-referenced this data with concussion diagnoses to understand what kind of impacts often cause concussions in young football players.

The team found that kids hit the front of their head the most, which makes soft front padding in helmets important.

They conclude that parents can protect their children from concussions by investing in a football helmet with sufficient front padding—but add that rule, structure, and behavior change is also needed.


(2019, March 20). First ratings for youth football helmets address sport’s largest pool of athletes. Retrieved from