Even if a scooter offers good weather and wind protection, it can’t prevent you from falling. Which is why there are clothes you can wear to protect yourself. Let's start with the head, the eyes and the hands.
It may be mandatory, but it doesn't mean they are all as good. It must be properly adjusted and fit your head's shape properly: if it slips towards the front or the back when you move your head around with the strap tight – it's no good.
The top of the helmet must be resting on your head. Its weight is also important. Pick a light helmet and you'll save your neck and shoulders a lot of pain.
Your helmet must also comply with the official norms, which you can find here: www.saaq.gouv.qc.ca
There should be written proof marked down by the manufacturer on or inside the helmet that certifies it does comply with all the safety regulations. DOT and Snell are the most common standards.
A helmet only has a five-year life
Your sweat, small hits and transportation all contribute to reducing your helmet's efficiency. If you dropped it, it's very much possible the protective shell is damaged. If you've fell down before, you definitely should change it, even if it's only scratched.
Your replacement helmet will be more comfortable and better built: every five years, and sometimes even more frequently, manufacturers improve the safety quality of their products.
Full-face or not
A full-face helmet guarantees better protection. Yes, it may be hotter inside, but some models breathe better than others. Furthermore, some now have a chin piece that can lift up with the visor in a single movement. It helps cooling off when you come to a stop. Don't gamble with the quality of your visor. Replace it if you have to.
Having hit the ground face first, even at a low speed, I know how glad you will be to get up unhurt.
If you do go with an open helmet, just like many urban scooter (50 cc) drivers, you must wear some kind of protection for your eyes. At all times, be aware that rain, dust, bugs and other small objects can find you. Consider also that tinted lenses or visors are not fit for evening or night riding.
"For a scooter?" you might wonder. Yes, even for a 50 cc, even more so for an urban or highway scooter. The palm of your hands can be very sensitive. You only need to miss a garage entrance, to cut it too close passing someone or to slide on a slippery surface to end up on the ground.
In the spring and in the fall, in cold or at night, your hands can go numb very fast. Yes, a light glove for the summer, but something thicker with double lining for when it's not as hot. Keep in mind they are easy to put away, tucked in your helmet or under the seat. Most scooters have many storage compartments.