Bicycle Helmet For Kids: Know Before You Choose

Bicycle Helmet For Kids

Nowadays, most kids start cycling at a very early age. Not only it improves their cycling skill but also increases growth and stamina. To keep them active and healthy, parents encourage kids to cycle from a young age. But safety remains a concern. And the biggest decision you need to make at that point is to choose the right bicycle helmet for your kid. 

Various types of bicycle helmets for kids are available. Diverse qualities and specifications are there too. This is why you need to be choosy while selecting the right bicycle helmet for your child. And to handpick the best one for your child, you need to have adequate information about the kids’ bicycle helmets. Otherwise, you may end up buying a poor-quality and wrong type of helmet. 

To help you make the best decision, here, I will mention A to Z about bicycle helmets for kids. After thorough research and years of experience, I have added as much information as possible to help you out. 

So, get ready to learn!

6 Different Types Of Bicycle Helmets For Kids:

Before learning any other factors, you must know the types of helmets. As a variety of helmets for kids are available, knowing them all is necessary. This will help you understand which one would serve your purpose. 

Here are the most used 6 different types of bicycle helmets for kids: 

1. Road Helmet:

The very basic type of helmet is the road helmet. It is used for regular road rides be it going to school or riding around the local park. For riding on the roads and regular commute, road bicycle helmets are the best. 

It has an elongated oval shape that protects the back part of the head. It leans forward a bit to protect the forehead. It has soft EPS foams with extra thick paddings for impact resistance. The thin plastic exterior makes it lightweight and safe. Road helmets feature oval vents to reduce sweating and suffocation. 

Road bicycle helmets come with straps and a chin buckle. This helps it fit well into the kids’ heads. Road helmets are lightweight and the best ones for regular usage. 

2. Skate Helmet:

Skate helmets generally have a round shape at the upper part. These helmets are made of either polycarbonate shell or strong ABS plastic shell. The head is comforted and supported by EPS, EPP, or other foams. 

Skate helmets have more protection at the back compared to road helmets. These helmets cover almost the entire back part of the head. It comes with straps and buckles for fastening. 

Skate helmets are generally lightweight but sturdy. The circular vents make your kid feel comfortable and airy. These are completely for cycling. However, always buy a CPSC-certified helmet. 

3. MTB Helmet:

Though mountain helmets are generally for mountain rides, your kid can use them too. It is not necessary for regular usage. But if kids go for long rides on highways or elevated roads, the MTB helmet is a good option. 

Though a bit bulky, the MTB helmet has a thick and compact outer shell for protection. It offers good head and side coverage. Some have adjustable visors too. Fasten the strap to make the fit right. 

Mountain bike helmets do feature vents. But they are smaller. This is done intentionally so that trail objects don’t hurt the head through the vents during a fall. Therefore, if your kid is up for an adventurous ride, this is a smart and safe option. 

4. BMX Helmet:

BMX helmets are more sturdy and protective than MTB helmets. They can be bulky sometimes but offer full-face protection. They feature an extra-thick chin bar for safety. 

BMX helmets have small vents as BMX races are generally short. They are made of sturdy plastic, fiberglass, or carbon fiber making a hard outer shell. The EPS inner foams are added for comfort. Most of them also feature a visor. 

BMX helmets are mainly for racing. This is why they are sturdy and durable. They offer full-face coverage with extra safety features for protection. So buy this only if your kid is a pro cyclist. 

5. Toddler Helmet:

If your kid is below 5, a toddler helmet would suffice. A toddler can’t take the heavyweight of a professional helmet. He needs a comfy lightweight helmet. Though it needs to have safety measures too.

Toddler helmets have a uniform round shape and soft texture. The interior has padding and support with an extra pillow at the rear. Rear coverage is wide too. The exterior is made of a thin plastic layer with crushable foam. This makes the helmet lightweight and comfortable. 

Make sure to buy a CPSC-approved toddler helmet to ensure protection. Also, ensure that your kid is comfortable in it. 

6. Trail Helmet:

Trail helmets look L-shaped from the side. They have large vents and favorable rear coverage. The rear coverage is not full yet satisfactory. It has an extension on the front side for extra protection. 

Most trail helmets have MIPS lines for extra protection and safety. The vents and inner pads give ultimate comfort to your kid. Be it long rides or a short one, your kid would be comfortable in it. But it is not suitable for risky or bumpy roads. 

Trail helmet, therefore, is an easy-to-go-with option. It is suitable for casual riders as well as for long rides.

5 Factors To Consider While Buying A Bicycle Helmet For Kids: 

Choosing the right helmet for your kid is a difficult task. You need to maintain safety as well as ensure comfort. And for that to happen, you have to be selective. But how can you select the best one? To do so, you should look into some factors. Examining these factors would help you choose efficiently. 

Here are such 5 factors to consider while choosing a bicycle helmet for a kid:

1. Size:

No matter how good a helmet is, the wrong size would destroy everything. If the helmet doesn’t fit your kid, it will feel uneasy. It would obstruct it from riding freely. Also, the protection level decreases when the fitting is poor. Oversized helmets move vigorously during a ride. On the other hand, a tightly fitted helmet causes suffocation. 

Don’t buy a helmet that simply says that it is suitable for toddlers. You have to be specific. Kids’ head size increases with age and it is distinct. This is why you measure the band size of your kids’ heads first. Then go and find the best-suited one. Check the size chart of the brand to know the correct size. 

It is better if you take your kid with you. See the fitting and size and then buy it. Otherwise, refer to the size chart. Match a size with the head measurement of your kid to confirm. 

2. Safety And Durability:

Safety should never be compromised. Kids’ safety during a ride is always the highest priority, isn’t it? This is why you should buy the helmets that have been certified. 

Besides the safety certifications, look into the durability of the material. Not all outer shells are impact-resistant. Check the material of the outer shell and see if it is hard enough. Hard yet lightweight shells protect your kid from a head injury. It not only safeguards your kid but also makes the helmet long-lasting. 

Look for CPSC certification before buying a bicycle helmet. It denotes that the helmet is safe for your kid. If you buy a skate-style helmet, see the ASTM F1492 certification. Similarly, ASTM F2032 is for BMX helmets and ASTM F1952 is for MTB helmets. Look for these certifications to ensure safety. 

Choose a polycarbonate or sturdy plastic outer shell helmet. They are durable and impact-resistant. These can protect your kid from injury. Inner pads are equally important for safety. Make sure there are thick foams in the interior. The foams absorb shocks. 

3. Fastening Mechanisms:

The fitting not only depends on the size but on the adjustability of the helmet too. A helmet features buckles and clips for an adjustable fitting. You must look into the fastening features before buying. 

Most kids’ helmets have normal buckles. Some have magnetic buckles which are easier to fasten. The straps are adjustable to customize the fit. Also, some have clip locks that are placed just below the earlobe. These are better helmets as your kid gets more customized fitting. 

Another mechanism is the rear radial lock. This is one of the best fastening methods. This is safe as well as it keeps the helmet in place. The rear radial can be adjusted to fix the helmet on the kids’ heads. It prevents the helmet from moving during a ride. Therefore, try buying a helmet with a rear radial lock. 

4. Weight:

When it comes to selecting a helmet for a kid, weight is a matter. You have to understand how much weight your kid can carry. Don’t burden your kid with the helmet. He has to be easy with carrying the helmet on his head. 

Most toddler helmets are lightweight. Other helmets are lightweight too but not all are like that. Some do add extra features making it bulky. For example, BMX and MTB helmets are generally a bit heavy compared to other helmets. Your 7 or 8-year-old kid can carry it. But kids below 6 years old may find it uncomfortable. 

Therefore, weigh the helmet before buying. Let your kid try to see if he can carry it or not. If not, choose a lighter one. 

5. Purpose:

What kind of ride is your kid going for? If it is just a home-to-school ride, a road bike would suffice. Or maybe, your kid is getting ready for a long cycle ride. Or, is he going to ride in the mountains with all of you? You need to find that out first. 

According to the type of ride, you should select the helmet. Each helmet type is made for distinct purposes. They have different features, durability, and comfort level. Ventilation systems vary too. This is why determining the type of ride and purpose is necessary. 

Understand the purpose of the ride and then ask the seller to find the best one. Else, you can research yourself to find which one matches the purpose of your kids’ ride. 

Related Questions:

Can A 2-Year-Old Kid Wear A Bicycle Helmet?

If you are training your 1 or 2-year-old kid to cycle, he /she must wear a helmet. There is no other way of protecting your kid from injuries other than wearing a helmet. Thus yes, a 2-year-old kid can wear a bicycle helmet. But there are some factors too. 

The neck strength of a 2-year-old kid is little. He may not withstand the weight of a heavy helmet. You must buy a lightweight helmet that won’t be a burden for your kid. A heavyweight helmet would strain the brain and neck of your kid which is harmful. Also, your kid must not ride for too long at an early age. It would stress his/her head and neck. 

Therefore, yes, your 2-year-old kid can wear a helmet. But he must not wear it for too long. Also, the helmet has to be lightweight so that it doesn’t burden your kid.

Size Chart Of Bicycle Helmets For Kids:

Getting the right size bicycle helmet for your kid is important. If the fitting is not correct then the experience would be poor. Your kid would feel uncomfortable in it. Therefore, you should know the size chart and then select the right helmet size for your kid. 

One more thing to remember is that helmet size is different for boys and girls. Girls generally have smaller head sizes than boys. This is why I have included helmet sizes for both boys and girls in the size chart below:

AgeBoy (CM)Girl (CM)
1 year4645
1.5 years47.546.5
2 years4847
2.5 years4948
3 years4949
3.5 years5049
4 years50.549.5
4.5 years5150
5 years5150
6 years5251
7 years5352
8 years5453

The head size keeps increasing with age. This is why finding the right size is crucial. Make sure to measure the head size of your kid before shopping. Then match the helmet size with the measurement. Only then can you find the right helmet size for your kid. 

What Is MIPS In Bicycle Helmet For Kids?

MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) is a protective lining added to helmets for extra safety. Bicycle helmets for kids come with or without a MIPS lining. It is just an extra feature to maximize safety and avoid head injury. 

MIPS lining is added to minimize the rotational forces. When a kid falls from the cycle, the helmet bumps on his head. It may twist too if he falls aside. This gives a sudden shock to the head. But with the MIPS lining, the rotation is minimized to avoid severe head injury. It adjusts the impact and friction to protect the head. 

It is proven that helmets with MIPS lining are 10 times better in minimizing rotational impact than those without it. Thus it improves the safety measures of a helmet. And it can be a good addition to your kids’ safety.

How Often To Replace Bicycle Helmets For Kids?

Don’t think that bicycle helmets don’t expire. They do expire. Their outer and inner shells become fragile with time. And using them after the expiry period can be very risky especially when the concern is the kids’ safety. Just because the helmet fits your kid doesn’t mean you can use it. You must replace it after a certain time. 

Ideally, a kids’ helmet should be replaced after 5 years of usage. However, if your kid has met with an accident and the helmet has shown cracks, you must replace it immediately. Most kids may not end up using a helmet for 5 years due to frequent falls, impacts, and abrasions. This is why replacement is necessary. 

If your kid manages to use a single helmet for 5 years, replace it after that. This is because the inner pads are worn out and the shell has become fragile. It won’t provide the same protection as before. Thus using it would be risky.

What Is The Price Of A Bicycle Helmet For Kids?

Different types of bicycle helmets for kids have different prices. As their specifications are different, they are available at different prices. The materials and reinforcements vary too. 

Here is a table to give you an idea about the price range of different types of kids bicycle helmets:

Types Of Bicycle Helmet For KidsAverage Price Range 
Road Helmet$30- 80
Skate Helmet$50- $100
MTB Helmet$65- $120 
BMX Helmet$130- $200
Toddler Helmet$25- $50
Trail Helmet$130- $180

As you can see, BMX helmets are expensive and road helmets are the cheapest. They differ hugely due to the specifications and features that impact the price. 

Conclusion:

A variety of bicycle helmets are available for kids. You need to handpick the best one after examining the factors. Prioritize safety and comfort while choosing the right helmet for your kid. 

Now it is your turn to select the best bicycle helmet for your kid! Make your kids’ riding experience safe and enjoyable!

Shamim Ahmed

My journey with cycling started in 2011 and I have been cycling since then. I am a self-taught bicycle enthusiast who has collected a lot of knowledge about it through the years. On this blog, I share my passion and experiences with cycling, as well as insights and recommendations. This blog is also useful for any riders out there who want to improve their cycling skills and techniques.

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