The Best Bike Helmets For Kids: A Comprehensive Guide

Choosing the Best Bike Helmets for Kids

According to a recent study published in the journal Accident Analysis & Prevention, from 2006 to 2015, the U.S emergency departments have treated more than 2.2 million children between the age of 5 and 17 years. Arguably, this means that each day the U.S. emergency departments handle 25 cases of children bike injuries per hour. This translates to 600 cases of bike injuries per day. 

The CDC reports that children from the age of 5 and above have the highest rates of bicycle injuries. They account for 60% of the emergency department visits.

The statistics are already daunting, but what can serve as a caution for getting the best bike helmets for kids is the fact that the injuries mostly affect the upper extremities. The most affected group is between age 10 and 14 years.

The bike injuries can occur anywhere-either at home or on the streets.  Some of the common injuries include fractures, scrapes, cuts, and bruises, which can lead to traumatic brain injuries in kids. Conclusively, a helmet reduces the risk of severe injuries for the kids.

You do understand the benefits of cycling, being a low impact activity, for kids. It makes them fit, healthy, and independent. Besides, cycling is a relatively safe physical activity. Most of the elite cyclists with the big teams were once cyclists in their early days.

Therefore, getting your kids a nice bike could be a kick-start to their passion and career later in life. Getting the bike is one great achievement and ensuring their safety is another.  Ordinarily, one thing to keep in mind is that safety comes first.

It is not substitutable by the thrill on the bike. Did you know that getting your kids a good and well-fitting bike helmet can reduce the chances of head injury? Well, wearing a helmet reduces the chances of head injury by 85%. The kids are delicate beings, and a helmet on the head can prevent against physical damages to the head that can come with far-reaching impacts on the growth and development of kids.

When should the Kids wear Bike Helmets?

Whether your kid just started cycling or has been on the two wheels for adventure for ages, getting the best bike helmets for kids is not an option but an obligation you have as the parent or guardian. The helmets cannot be seen as accessories. Instead, they are safety equipment that provides the necessary life-saving protection for the kids when cycling. Buying the best bike helmets for the kids can be a tough task for you as a parent.

Especially, given the dearth of information over the internet on children’s and toddlers bike helmets and the little choice, unlike adult bike helmets. In this article, we offer a comprehensive analysis of the best kids bike helmets, how to choose guides, and some of the top bike helmets for both babies and toddlers. We do this to save you the precious time that you can use to build a long-lasting relationship with your kids.

Getting your Kids to wear bike Helmets

As a parent or a guardian, you have probably wondered how you can encourage your kids to wear helmets. We have useful tips to get enroll your kid in a safety culture of wearing helmets even when you are not around.

Our Buying Guide: What to Look For When Buying Kids Bike Helmets

We are all armatures at some point in our lives and information can save us the cost of ignorance. We come in to fill the information gap for parents and guardians on the importance of having kids’ bike helmets. We do this by informing you of the safest and best helmet for your child. Does expensive mean safer? We comprehensively demystify the common belief by parents. There are different features that you should consider when shopping for a kid’s bike helmet:

1. The size of the helmet

As parents, we always wonder about how a bike helmet should fit a child/kid. One thing to note is that helmets are not one-size-fits-all. Rather, there are different ranges of circumferences. You need to ensure that you have the best fit helmet.

How do you measure a child for a bike helmet? Alternatively, how can I measure a kids head for a bike helmet?  These are two common questions that parents ask. 

The best way is to use a soft tape to measure the circumference of the head. When measuring wrap the soft tape around the head of the kid just one-inch above the eyebrow. Sometimes, for a helmet to fit appropriately, you can wear a cycling cap or a beanie.

How Should a Bike Helmet Fit a Child?

After getting the right size, you should get the best fitting helmet for your kid. Helmets come with the option of allowing you to adjust them to fit appropriately. Wrong adjustments on the helmets can lead to tilting that causes irritations when riding.

Besides, the helmets can fall off, rotate, or cover the kids face causing accidents or discomfort. A poorly fitting helmet reduces the efficacy of a helmet in protecting the head of the kids during a crash. Helmets should remain well fitting on the head and should remain in place even when the kids are in motion.

There are certain signs of a well-fitting kids’ bike helmets:

2. The Visors

When purchasing a kid’s bike helmet, ensure that they have visors. Traditionally, bike helmets have always had either a clip-on or built-in visors. The visors help keep away the sun rays from interfering with the vision of the kids when riding for an appealing ride. For pre-school helmets, choose the helmet with built-in visors. However, for the teenagers and youths go for the helmets with Snap-On or clip-on visors.

3. MIPS Safety Technology

Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) technology is an innovative way of helmet construction aimed at protecting rotational forces during a bike crash. The MIPS equipped helmets to have a low-friction layer that allows the impact absorbing foam liner inside the helmets to rotate during an impact. The MIPS system is non-obtrusive and comprises an inner plastic cage that attaches to the foam core through flexible rubber anchors.

The movement is limited to a few millimeters and is active in reducing the impact that can damage the brain of the kids. Therefore, when shopping for a kids’ bike helmet, you should consider ones that incorporate the MIPS technology for total safety. Safety experiments and studies on the efficiency of the MIPS technology have shown it reduces the chances of brain injury by 30%.

4. The Construction of the Kid’s Bike Helmet

Regarding construction, helmets can either be in-mold or hard-shell. Regardless of the construction, each type offers protection during a crash. However, they differ in style, durability, and the number of vents. The in-Mold construction has its outer plastic protective shell, and the foam core joined together. The fusion of the two ensures lightness and allows for more vents. In-Mold construction ensures that the outer shell of the helmet does not peel off upon impact.

On the other hand, the hard-shell construction helmets have two variations.  There is the skater style kid’s bicycle helmets and the lower-end bike helmets. The lower-end hardshell helmet for kids has a thin plastic shell embedded in the foam core using a tape.

Given its features, the thin plastic can easily come off, crack, and fall off, thus offering the little durability of the helmet. The skater style, on the other hand, has a thick shell that is glued to the helmet’s form core. The thick shell offers durability, multiple impact protection, and meets the ASTM certification for skateboarders.

5. Buckle Types

As a parent, choosing the right buckle type for a kid’s bike helmet can be petty. Nevertheless, it is a big deal as kids can get pinched while fastening the helmet. Snap! This can change their attitude in wearing a helmet and can even lead to endless battles and quarrels at home.

We do not want to see these so we advise you to choose the best buckle when deciding on the bike helmets for kids to purchase. The right buckle prevents skin sores due to pinching. Luckily, different companies have pinch-free buckles. The non-pinch buckle type has a plastic guard beneath the buckle.

6. Adjustability

When purchasing a helmet, you need to check on the adjustability features that the bike helmet for kids you are purchasing has. Many helmets have an internal adjustable plastic cage or lining that ensures good-fit for kids helmet depending on the size of the head.

As for the lower-end hardshell type, there are no internal adjustment systems. Internal adjustment systems for helmets are vital in helping the helmet to stay on the head and offer appropriate protection. There are different types of internal adjustment systems.

Still, on adjustability, it is essential to look at the strap sliders. The strap sliders and the chin strap sliders keep the helmet on the head. Ensure that the chin straps form a V-shape below the ears of the child. There are plastic strap sliders that hold the straps together, to allow them to buckle and keep the helmet in place. The high-end helmets come with locking sliders to lock into the pace and form a perfect V-shape on the ears. Poorly fitted sliders can lead to the helmets falling off the head.

7. CPSC/ASTM Safety Certifications

Before buying a kid’s bike helmet, it is important to look at the Consumer Product Safety Committee (CPSC) sticker that is usually located in the helmet. The label is an assurance and a guarantee that the helmet will offer high-grade protection upon bike crash. It is a legal requirement that the helmets manufactured after March of 1999 meet the standards of CPSC.

Apart from the CPSC standard, labels such as Snell, ANSI, and ASTM also denote the safety of a kid’s bike helmet, which are voluntary safety standards implemented before 1999.

All the helmets sold within the U.S. must meet the CPSC and are, therefore, safe. However, it is vital to find the best-fit helmet for your kid.  Note that the CPSC certifications vary from helmet to helmet as there is no standard.

Given the guide in choosing the best bike helmet for kids, be prepared to read through our next article that answers the questions and concerns: What helmet size does my child need?, Different Types of Kids Bike Helmets, and What is the best bike Helmet for a toddler?

Caring for Kids’ Bike Helmets

Buying a helmet and educating the kids on wearing them is one thing. Taking care of the bike helmets for kids is another thing altogether. There are different DIY guidelines on how to take care of a child’s bike helmet.

Final Thoughts

The right size at the right time can save your kid from brain damage due to crash. Apart from having the best helmet-fit ensure that your kids have the right bike fits. Comfort when riding makes biking a thrilling adventure for the kids. As they ride around, they get all the benefits of riding bikes.

Cheap might not be expensive when it comes to helmets. Also, expensive does not mean safe. Therefore, it would help if you considered the above pieces of advice when purchasing bike helmets for kids.

Upon buying kids bike helmets, ensure that you take good care of the helmets.

Expert advice is essential, but research on your own can make you aware of the nitty-gritty. Safety is not and will never be substitutable. Be a responsible parent or guardian out there and inculcate the safety culture into your kids from a young age.

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