The Best Kids Bike Helmet


Are you thinking about getting your child their first set of wheels? Perhaps a balance bike, pedal bike, or even a scooter? Then bike safety should be a top priority! One of the essential pieces of safety equipment for children of all ages is a bicycle helmet. 

A proper fitting kid’s bike helmet can reduce the risk of head trauma by as much as 85% and the risk of severe brain injuries by close to 90%. Children who don’t wear bicycle helmets, or wear ill-fitting ones, are twice as likely to sustain head injuries. Keep in mind that the best way to convince your child to wear his helmet is to wear one yourself. Almost all kids who don’t wear their helmets have parents who don’t either.

Remember, not only their head needs protecting. While helmets are a crucial aspect of safety gear, parents should not overlook bike gloves or knee and elbow pads.

Top Pick
Schwinn Classic Design Kids Bike Helmet

Schwinn has designed this classical helmet for your newborn to 3 year old. It has a lower molded shell which improves the durability of the design and adds extra protection to the rear of the helmet.

How to properly fit a bike helmet

  • Take the measurement just above the ears, at the largest part of the head. The smallest setting on the helmet should not be larger than your child’s head, as a helmet that is too big won’t give the needed protection. Don’t be afraid to ask the seller to measure the helmet for you or look the hat size up online. If you buy a kiddie’s bicycle helmet at a brick-and-mortar store, take your child with you to ensure a proper fit.
  • You should align the front of the helmet just above your child’s eyebrows – where you measured their head circumference. If the helmet tilts backward to where you can see a large portion of their forehead, then the helmet is either too large or needs to be tightened. A proper fit is when your child can shake and roll their head without the helmet shifting.
  • The helmet should fit flush against the head from all sides.
  • It should not move over an inch in any direction when pushed or pulled. When buckled, it should be impossible to pull the helmet off.
  • The helmet should cover the forehead, leaving about one or two fingers above the eyebrows.
  • When tightening the chin strap, the left buckle should be under the chin, with only one finger fitting between the strap and chin.

A Word from an Expert

According to Dr. Kyran Quinlan, division director and associate professor of general pediatrics at Rush University Medical Center:

“Helmets are designed to prevent severe head injuries like skull fractures and severe traumatic brain injuries. One thing they don’t do is prevent concussions. Bike helmets are required to comply with mandatory safety standards set by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Helmets designed for other activities have different safety standards, but kids can still wear a bike helmet on a scooter, skateboard, or roller skating.

Start them young and create a habit by requiring your child to wear a helmet even when starting on a tricycle. Lastly, always remember that they’re watching your example – so you’ve got to wear one, too.”

Safety Tips

  • The more expensive kids’ bike helmets are not necessarily safer than cheaper helmets; the main differences are ventilation or added features, such as a 3D design on top of the helmet.
  • All helmets have to comply with basic safety standards, but be on the lookout for those with the Snell B90 standards from the United States, as these standards are stricter.
  • Bicycle helmets are not suitable for any other use other than riding a bicycle, such as skateboarding and skating use. Kids’ bike helmets are meant only to protect the head from one crash, by using a lighter foam that compresses during impact.
  • Don’t buy a more oversized helmet, thinking that the child grows into it. If you purchase a kids’ bike helmet online, you need to measure your child’s head to ensure that you have a rough indication of what size you will need. For a bicycle helmet to work correctly, it should fit properly. If does not, the helmet won’t absorb and distribute shock properly. Many kids’ bike helmets have a universal fit ring that is adjustable to fit the kid’s head, and others come with sizing pads to secure it better.

Note that for a bicycle helmet, you’ll need to replace your helmet after a major accident, whereas they designed skateboarding helmets to handle multiple crashes. Although skateboarding helmets can take numerous hits without compressing, don’t buy one of those for cycling, thinking that you will save money. This type of foam can only handle shorter falls, making it unsuitable for bicycles. If you want a helmet that you can use for different sports, go for a helmet that carries a Snell N-94 multi-purpose seal.

Features to Look for When Buying a Kids Bike Helmet


Selecting a Helmet Design

Have your child pick out their helmet. Manufacturers make helmets to be appealing to boys and girls, with designs including superheroes, cartoon characters, camouflage, dolls, princesses, and even sparkles. If a child loves his helmet, he would be proud to wear it, and you eliminate the battle of getting it on every time before a bike ride.


Helmet and Shell Construction

Look out for helmets featuring MIPS (Multi-Directional Impact Protection System). They designed the system to reduce impact and protect riders from a concussion.

Check for snags. Any fancy features such as an aerodynamic or square shape or even vents can catch onto things when the child takes a fall, something that you want to avoid at all costs. A basic, smooth, rounded model will work best.

Don’t buy the “aero” shape if you will be using a child seat on your bike. This design forces the child’s head downward, which is a bad, unnatural position and puts a strain on the neck.


Weight of the Helmet

Check the weight. Toddlers don’t have very strong neck muscles, so they can’t wear a heavy helmet. A too heavy helmet could put strain on their necks and spines. Rather than a larger, heavier helmet that may fit, buy a toddler design for young children.



When buying a kid’s bike helmet, look for one that is CPSC-certified. The CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) is a government organization that certifies bike helmets for safety based on a specific set of standards.

Check for stickers that carry the safety standards, including the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission), ANSI (American National Standards Institute), and Snell marks, ensuring this helmet design has been tested to ensure safe use.



To provide the best fit, look for a helmet with an internal adjustment system. Since every child has a different head shape, added with the fact that kids grow like weeds, having an internal adjustment system will mean that the helmet can offer a custom, snug fit.



The straps and fastener on your child’s helmet should be strong and stable. Don’t buy a model that unbuckles too easily, as it might also unbuckle during a fall, defeating the helmet’s purpose. Wider straps are more comfortable, and helmets with a side-releasing buckle provide greater ease of use.



They line the inner part of the helmet with a shock-absorbent foam. Kids’ bike helmets have thicker padding than adults, as their heads are softer and more vulnerable. Some manufacturers also include additional foam inserts to provide a secure and snug fit.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve rounded up a few of the most frequently asked questions about kid’s bike helmets. Got a question we haven’t answered here? Leave a comment, and we will get back to you!

How often should you replace your kids bike helmet?

Like car seats, you need to replace your kids’ bike helmets after a crash, when it no longer fits correctly and when suggested by the manufacturer.
If you haven’t needed to replace the helmet for the reasons mentioned above, then a good rule of thumb is to replace helmets every three years. Added to the minor bumps and knocks sustained from general cycling, the foam inside the helmet also degrades over time because of the sun, heat, and sweat.

How to adjust bike helmets for kids?

First, adjust the dial at the back of the helmet to ensure a snug fit on the head. Next, you’ll adjust the side straps. The straps should form a “Y” shape on either side, with the “Y” meeting right below the ear. Finally, buckle the chin strap, ensuring that no more than one finger can fit between the strap and your child’s chin.

How do you know when a kid’s bike helmet is too small?

A kids’ bike helmet should provide complete coverage of the entire scalp area. If the helmet doesn’t come down enough and leaves areas of the scalp exposed, it is too small. If the helmet pinches, it is too small.


Buying the right helmet for your kid is just as important as purchasing the right bike. In the end, it is the child’s safety that is at stake. When shopping for kids’ bike helmets, the higher-priced ones with the extra features are not always better. You need to look at the helmet’s seals of safety, size, comfort, and a design that your kid will be proud to wear.

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