Posts in Kijiji Tips

The Complete Guide to Buying a Hockey Helmet

Stay safe on the ice this season

Hockey poses some inherent risks for all who play it, and that is why safety equipment like padding and helmets is so important. Finding the right helmet can be a lifesaving move, so it makes sense to take the process seriously. Luckily, the task isn’t as daunting as it may seem. Shopping for a hockey helmet is a matter of determining the right size and fit for your needs. Whether buying a helmet for yourself or one of your kids, follow these steps to get the best protection for your head.



Hockey helmet sizes may vary by manufacturer, so a good first step in knowing the right size for your helmet is to measure your head and know how many centimeters it is in circumference. Get a flexible measuring tape – a cloth tape measure used for sewing is a good choice – and place the end that starts with the lowest numbers about 2.5 cm over your eyebrows on your forehead. Then wrap the other end of the tape around your head. The point where the wrapped end meets up with the low-number end will give you your head circumference measurement. Make sure the measuring tape is snug against your scalp as you measure, but don’t pull it so tight that it hurts. Make sure you get an accurate idea of what your head circumference is. If it’s too tight or too loose, this will affect the way your helmet fits. If possible, have someone help so you can be sure the tape is aligned evenly around your skull. If you are on your own, stand in front of a mirror to make sure the tape is properly in place. Write down your exact measurement and take it with you as you shop.


The helmet’s fit is one of the most important selection criteria you have during the shopping process. Even if your head circumference measurement says that a certain helmet size should work for you, this may not actually be the case, so make sure you try before you buy. One manufacturer’s helmet may not work well for your particular head shape, while another may fit perfectly. Try several different brands to see which one fits the best and feels the most comfortable.

Put the helmet on your head. It shouldn’t be too tight. If it feels uncomfortable, try the next size up or opt for a different brand. During a game, a helmet that is too large may slip around on your head, obscuring vision or failing to properly protect your head.

Fasten the chin strap when trying on the helmet. Adjust it so it doesn’t cut into your skin, make you feel choked, or impede your movement. The chin strap is an important element in keeping the helmet in place, and the helmet should not shift around as you turn your head. You want a snug, secure fit that feels comfortable. If the helmet has adjustable screws, loosen them all the way, put the helmet on your head, then tighten to get a proper fit. If the helmet doesn’t feel right or moves around no matter how much you adjust the screws and the chin strap, move on to a different model or brand.



Youth hockey players are required to have face protection attached to their helmets, and some adult players also opt for this added safety feature. The two main options for facial protection are plastic face shields, which are translucent, and wire cages, which have large enough holes to allow the player to see well. The fit of the face protection is very important, as a shield or cage that doesn’t fit properly can actually cause injury to the nose, mouth, or jaw if it is too small. Usually, hockey players are able to opt for facial protection that is the same size as their helmet, but some players’ face shapes require that their shield or cage be either smaller or larger than their helmet size.

Each mask type has its own advantages and disadvantages. Plastic shields are lighter and offer unobstructed vision, but can fog up as the player sweats and breathes. Wire cages do not have this problem, but they do tend to be heavier and the view is slightly hindered by the cage’s crossbars. Both types should be attached to the helmet securely by carefully following the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure to attach any additional equipment that accompanies the facial protection piece. For example, a cage may have side clips that actually help stop the cage from collapsing into the player’s face in the event of facial impact with a puck, stick, or another player. If the helmet you are looking at doesn’t have these side clips, do some research to find out if they are needed.

hockey helmet

Brand and Certification

There are multiple sporting good brands that manufacture hockey helmets, and no one brand is necessarily better than another. Different brands may have different shape or size standards that work better for one individual than they do for another. More important than brand name is certification. All hockey helmets sold in Canada must be certified by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). The certification sticker must appear on the helmet and may be prominent on the helmet’s packaging as well. This certification signifies that the helmet’s manufacturer adheres to safety and quality control standards endorsed by the CSA and is a way to ensure that you are getting the safest helmet possible.


Modern hockey helmets tend to have high-tech foam padding and lining on the interior. Dual-density vinyl nitrile (VN) and expanded polypropylene (EPP) are two examples of modern foam materials that are often seen on the interior of hockey helmets. Some brands have proprietary materials with high-tech names, but ultimately, is not necessarily better than another. It is all a matter of fit and comfort.

Think about fit, and don’t get taken in by marketing that tries to make one high-tech foam seem better than another. Pick a material that doesn’t have too much give and that fits snugly around your head. Foam that is too dense or too soft can lead to unsafe gapping between the helmet and the player’s skull. You do not want a loose helmet that moves around while you play. If the helmet shifts back even a couple inches, it could expose very sensitive parts of the skull making you more susceptible to a traumatic head injury.

New or Used?

If you are on a budget, it may be tempting to buy a used helmet. Certifications and warranties often become void when a helmet is resold, so double check with the manufacturer to find out its policy. When buying a used helmet, be very selective.

Do not buy a used helmet without first holding it in your hands and visually inspecting both the inside and the outside. If it is cracked or damaged in any way, do not buy it. Once a helmet is damaged, it can no longer be guaranteed to provide the proper protection and should be discarded. If in doubt, move on to the next option. Compromising your safety is not worth saving a few dollars. If, on the other hand, you find a used helmet that has only been worn once or twice and looks to be in almost new condition, it is worth consideration. With careful inspection and a proper fit, a used option can save you money and offer protection. The best advice is to use common sense while shopping for a used helmet and put safety first.

Categories:Community, Kijiji Tips

How to Purchase a Used Baby Car Seat

Consider safety first when buying a used baby car seat


Having a new baby can be expensive, even before the baby is born. You spend so much on clothing, diapers, toys, and other gear as you prepare for your little one’s arrival. Luckily, you can buy many of these items used from garage sales, thrift stores, friends with older children, and on websites like Kijiji. This is a smart way to save money. However, with some items, like car seats, there are things to keep in mind to ensure the gear is safe.

Crash History

When possible, ask about the history of the car seat. If it has ever been in a car crash or damaged in any way, it may not be safe for continued use. Most car seat manufacturers suggest throwing any seat involved in even a minor car accident away. If you buy the seat from a friend or relative, or even from someone selling it online or at a garage sale, you can ask about the history. But if you buy it from a thrift shop, there is usually no way to know about the usage history. If you see cracks or loose parts, these are good indicators of a previous accident, and a sign that you should pass on the seat.



Another important factor to consider is the age of the car seat. Manufacturers are always developing new technologies to make car seats safer and more reliable, so an older model may meet current safety standards. If the seller cannot guarantee the age, you may need to do a little extra research. In some cases, you can tell how old it is just by looking at it. Many companies put an imprint or sticker on their car seats, indicating the date it was made or the date after which you should no longer use it. Some companies even have hot lines you can call to ask about the age of a seat by providing specific model details. As a general rule, car seat manufacturers suggest no longer using a seat six years beyond the date of manufacture.


Before buying any car seat, new or used, you will want to make sure it has not been recalled. Transport Canada is a reliable source for public notices about seats with defective or dangerous parts. You can also contact the manufacturer of the car seat to see if it has been recalled at any point in its history.

Instruction Manuals

If possible, try and ask the owner if they have a user manual.  This is important for correct installation of the car seat and to ensure that all the parts you need are there.  If the original manual cannot be obtained, ensure that you can find one online or by calling the manufacturer.   For added security, there are many free clinics and paid professional car seat installation services that you can bring your car seat too.


Overall Condition

Finally, it only makes sense that you would not want to buy a car seat that is in poor condition. If it is missing parts, has broken parts, or looks worn, it is probably not going to keep your baby safe in your vehicle. It is best to buy a seat that comes with its original labels and instruction manuals so that you can familiarize yourself with the seat and how to use it. Remember, your child’s safety is the most important thing to consider when shopping for a car seat. If the condition of a seat makes you feel uncomfortable in any way, do not buy it no matter how great the deal is.


Do you have any other tips to share? Let us know in the comments below!

What Your Guidance Councillor Isn’t Telling You: 7 Questions to Consider Before You Accept a University Offer of Admission

Accepting or rejecting an offer from a university could be one of the defining moments in your life. What city and school you end up in has long lasting implications: your personal and professional network, your field of work, and what part of the country you settle down in are all heavily informed by your choice of post-secondary school and program. The choice you make under pressure from parents and guidance counselors could be what leads you to meeting your spouse, finding your true calling, being buried in mountains of debt, or falling in love with a new city.

Unappealing as it may be to consider, how much a program will cost (and how much your living expenses will put you into the hole) should be thought out carefully. Can you afford over $1000 every month to rent a studio apartment in Vancouver or Toronto? Will your chosen field (if that is the field you end up in) pay you enough at entry level to pay off the debt amassed from living in one of the most expensive cities in Canada? With Canadian debt levels at an all-time high, and interest rates at a historic low, carrying a large amount of debt may seem normal and unavoidable – and it may be in some cases, but if you can plan for your college or university days not to amass student debts, your future self will thank you.

What Your Guidance Councillor Isn't Telling You

  • Will you be able to find part time work? Will you want to, or need to? Consider the job market in the area, as well as the availability of campus jobs. Will you qualify for a campus job? Some schools have requirements that you be receiving assistance to be eligible to work on campus. If you are considering a school in Quebec, is your French strong enough to be considered employable in the area?
  • What is the cost of an apartment there? What does residence cost? Do you know how much you need to budget on accommodations? Will you be able to sublet your apartment over summer? Research apartment listings near the schools you are considering to get a sense of how much you will be spending monthly. Compare apartment prices with residence costs across the country with this interactive infographic.
  • Do you have the option of commuting to a good school from a family home? If you can walk, drive, bus, or bike to one of your options, consider what you would save by staying with your family versus living on your own. Maybe you will decide it is not worth the savings, but go into the decision fully informed, after carefully weighing the option and running the numbers.
  • Do you expect to travel home for every school break or holiday? Do you know what the average cost is to go from the location of your school to your family home? Is the distance small enough that you can get sale bus tickets, or would you need to fly or take the train? Can you afford it? If not, will family members help you cover the costs, or are you willing to go into debt to travel home?
  • Are you taking out a student loan? Will you be borrowing from family? What will the repayment terms be? What is your interest rate? How much will you be paying off after school is finished, and how much of that will be interest? Use an interest rate calculator and get a sense of what your finances will look like after graduation.
  • Will the program you are considering actually help you find a job? Will the school you attend impress employers in your field? Will the school and program be a good investment in your future? How much are you likely to make if you are fortunate enough to find entry level work in your chosen field? If you have no idea how much money you might be making, check out sites like Glassdoor or job listings in your area.
  • Are internships required by the program? Will they be paid? If not, can you afford to spend a large portion of your summer doing unpaid work? Will an internship be worth it for your long term career? If not, is there an option for a program that does not require unpaid internships?
  • Do you actually want to go there? Are you being influenced by parents, friends, a partner, or a teacher? Think seriously about whether you would be considering the option seriously if others in your life were not vocally in support of it, and whether these people have your best interests (or their own) at heart. You are the one that will have to live with your choice, and the people who influence you now may not be someone who will continue to be a large part of your life, even if you heed their advice.
  • With so many programs to choose from, and so much pressure to decide quickly, making the choice can be overwhelming. Almost no one has their entire life plan figured out in their senior year of high school, and those that do will likely revise it heavily in the future. If you have yet to figure out your path, don’t fret, but be sure to go into your choice with your eyes wide open.

    Coming Out Ahead When Selling Property

    Getting Started

    Whether you are upgrading, downgrading, or moving laterally when you embark on selling property, there are a number of things you can do to ensure that you come out ahead in the sale. Though it may seem simple enough at the outset, selling property is a complex process that may require several difficult decisions along the way. By keeping a few things in mind, you can increase your chances of making a great sale.

    Prepare to Invest in Selling Your House

    It may seem contradictory – after all, you’re looking to make money, not spend it – but investing money in a home you are planning to sell can help you come out ahead in the long run.

    Cleaning up scuff marks, making minor repairs, and even upgrading some items or areas before potential buyers come to view the property will help make the best impression, and it can also increase your selling price or leverage. Likewise, outfitting areas such as the kitchen and bathroom with higher-end appliances can boost a home’s appeal.

    Be judicious in how much you invest, however. Keep in mind that buyers will want to make the home their own, so now is not the time for major renovations, such as a kitchen redesign or tearing down a wall to make space.

    Curb appeal is a major determining factor for buyers, so pay as much attention to the exterior of the property, especially the front, you do to the interior. Some simple landscaping and a little paint can do wonders to entice potential buyers.

    Research Comparable Home Sales

    If you want to come out ahead as a seller, you need in-depth knowledge of the real estate market, both overall and in your particular neighbourhood. An important and highly informative step in gaining that knowledge is looking at comparable homes for sale.

    To determine whether a home is truly comparable to your own, consider the size of the home, its condition and amenities, and its location. Ideally, you should seek out recently sold homes within the same neighbourhood, since they would provide the most accurate comparisons, but if that isn’t possible seek out neighbourhoods that are similar in terms of the quality of the schools and general demographics. For each property you compare, take note of both the listing price and the price they ultimately sold at.

    Come Out Ahead When Selling Property

    Be Prepared to Negotiate to Sell the Property

    In an ideal world, your home would sell immediately for the exact price you have chosen; however, the market usually doesn’t work that easily. Selling a home is a lengthy procedure, and negotiation is part of that process.

    It can take time to work with potential buyers to come up with a deal that satisfies everyone involved. Be prepared to make certain concessions – for example, repairing certain things before the new owner moves in as a part of the sale – but also be firm about what you will not concede on.

    When negotiating price and other factors in selling your home, it is very important to keep an objective perspective and not take things personally. This is a business transaction, and regardless of how much the home means to you, its actual value may not be as high as you initially expect. Conducting a thorough home inspection – done by a professional home inspector, if possible – prior to putting your house on the market can keep you from overpricing or underpricing it as it goes up for sale.


    With proper preparation, research, and dedication to the selling process, you can come out well ahead when selling your property. And lastly, be patient. Sometimes getting the best deal requires a little time to find the right buyer.

    Come Out Ahead When Buying Property

    Getting Started Buying Property

    Buying a new home can be a daunting prospect. All potential homebuyers want to ensure they come out ahead with their purchase, naturally. After all, buying a home is about far more than finding a place to live, it’s also a major investment – one that could potentially impact your life for many years to come.

    Come Out Ahead Buying Property

    How Much House Do You Need When You Buy Property?

    One of the first and most important steps to ensure you come out ahead when you purchase a home is to know exactly how much house you reasonably can afford. You may find a home that is a great value for what it offers, but it won’t be a great value to you if it’s more than you need and costs more than you can sensibly pay.

    Consider a number of factors when deciding how much house you actually need. Start with determining the number of rooms you will need, both for existing family members and any potential future family members.

    Next, consider what amenities are ‘needs’ versus ‘wants’. That spacious garage or swimming pool may be enticing, but if it doesn’t realistically offer your family anything of value, consider it a luxury.

    Make a list of “must haves,” such as number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and central HVAC. Then make a list of “would like to haves,” such as a patio, a contemporary kitchen, or updated bathrooms. Last, round off your list with what you consider luxuries – things that you opt for only if they don’t push you over your house-buying budget.

    Assess the Neighbourhood of the Property

    The house you are interested in may offer you a great value today, but will it offer that same value tomorrow? Because you are looking at your home purchase as an investment, you want to ensure that the home will appreciate in value over time. Finding a home in a great neighbourhood can be an important step in ensuring that long-term value.

    The quality of the schools is one of the most important determining factors in maintaining high home values within a specific neighbourhood. Whether you have children of school age or not, be sure to seek out homes in areas with commendable, well-regarded schools.

    Other value-maintaining factors to look for include whether or not new businesses are being built in and around the area and the general demographics (such as median income) of an area.

    Inspect the Details of the House and Property

    Inspecting the home you are interested in is critical to coming out ahead financially. A house that looks like a great deal on the outside can turn out to be a dud if you find major issues such as electrical system damage or unexpected plumbing leaks after you move in.

    A thorough home inspection by a professional inspector is crucial before you agree to any home purchase, regardless of the deal that is offered.


    Coming out ahead financially when purchasing property is all about two things – determining what you need and the true value of the home compared to its cost. However, you also should consider that ultimately the most important factor in your home-buying decision is whether the home is something you will love owning or living in for years. Getting to know the property and the neighbourhood, and refusing to settle – even for something that looks like a great deal on the surface – can help ensure that you end up with a new home that you and your family will really love.