Yes, helmets are a must for your child during a bike ride to prevent any mishaps, but not just any helmet is going to do that!
A helmet needs to be of the right size and fit perfectly to provide the highest level of head protection to your kid.
It is essential to know the correct size to get a properly fitting bike helmet for your child. Often parents are tempted to get a bigger helmet for the child’s head to grow into, which is not a wise idea.
To keep your child protected, you need to replace their bike helmets according to their growing head. Without a proper fit, a helmet cannot completely protect your child’s head as it is designed to do!
How to know the right size, you may ask? Well, it’s not rocket science.
The right size is when the product is firm, and snuggly fits the head, feels comfortable, and not flopping around when your child is on the move.
Generally, you might get the helmet of the following sizes:
If the helmet hangs over your child’s forehead and is moving around a lot even after secured straps and adjusters means the size is big and needs to be replaced with a smaller size.
The helmet is tiny on your child’s head; it is tight, uncomfortable, and sits high over the head. A tight helmet leaves visible red marks on the skin, pressing the temples or hurting ears when your child wears it.
A helmet is properly fit if it feels comfortable, resting two inches above the eyebrows and snugly fitting on all the sides with a gap. Just enough for your child to put the glasses on while wearing the helmet means it is the correct size.
Know your Kid’s Helmet Size
Generally, the size of a kid’s helmet is available in centimeters, and you can obtain the size of your child by measuring their head circumference.
While helmets are also advertised with size tags such as toddler, child, youth, XS, S, or M, you should know your child's head circumference to get the right size helmet for them.
There is also a referral head chart for the kid’s head, but one cannot rely on the head chart completely to determine the accurate size.
You can measure the head size quickly following this simple process:
- Take a fabric measuring tape and wrap it around your child’s head about an inch above the eyebrows.
- Position the tape over an eyebrow and tightly surround the head, bringing it to the starting point.
- Mark the acquired number, which is your child’s head circumference.
Straps and Adjusters for fixing the Helmet Size
With straps and adjusters, the bike helmet can fit a range of different sizes.
Sizing pads of various types or clicky dials are the most common ways to adjust the helmet's size.
Ensure the chin strap of the bike helmet is secured firmly and not hanging loose. At the same time, maintaining space for the child to open their mouth comfortably before going around the ears.
Straps can be easily adjusted at these points to acquire firm and secure fitting for your kid.
A poorly adjusted slider can cause the bike helmet to move forward or back on a child’s head while they’re wearing it.
You should adjust the strap slider so that the straps on both sides come together to form a “V” at the base of the child’s ear. It will help keep the helmet centered on the child’s head.
Some kinds of strap sliders are locked in a fixed place, while most sliders glide up and down on the straps for easy adjustments. You should check the position of the sliders frequently to maintain the desired secure fit for your kid.
Some advanced helmets don’t have sliders, and the side straps are sewn together, in which case you don’t have to worry about adjusting the strap sliders.
The Main Points to Consider
Always place helmets squarely on top of the head and remove thick hairstyles such as buns or high ponytails. It’s good to remove any hair accessories as they may hinder the helmet from fitting well on a child’s head.
A properly positioned helmet should stick out slightly beyond the tip of your child’s nose with a side view.
For clear vision while riding, avoid positioning the helmet low or tilted forward. Keep in mind that helmets placed high or tilted back will not protect the child’s face properly.
The bike helmet comes with sizing pads for the front, back, and sides which should touch your kid’s head evenly as the helmet should stay put while moving the head.
Sizing pads can be replaced with thinner ones or removed as your child grows, but you mustn’t buy the helmet if not sure about the right size.
You should check and adjust the helmet for a perfect fit every time they ride the bike. Adjusting the helmet is as important as making sure your child is wearing one.
Visit the Bike Helmet Store for the Accurate Size
It is easy and convenient to shop online. But when buying bike helmets for your kids, it can get tricky.
Sometimes, you might not be sure about the correct size you need to purchase. In that case, take your child to the helmet store to get an added peace of mind.
The head chart or circumference measurement can give you a rough idea about the bike helmet size for your kid. You can adjust them easily to acquire the right fit.
Later on, there is no denying the fact that head sizes are not the same for every kid.
So, you should get into the helmet store when you are not sure the size you want for your child.
Some stores often measure your kid’s head, then recommend helmets suitable for them.
Thus, there is no alternative to trying the helmets directly to ensure your child’s accurate size.
Best Bike Helmets for my Kid
Finding a proper sized helmet for your kids would not be enough. The helmets your kids wear should be of good quality.
Here is a list of few of my best picks:
- Giro Tremor MTB Helmet
- Lazer Gekko Kids Helmet
- Nickelodeon Kids Helmet
- Bell Sidetrack II MIPS Helmet
- Schwinn Thrasher Kids Helmets
Finally, we all know how important it is wearing a helmet while riding a bike. But, being one step father, a right sized bike helmet for your kids is the matter where we usually do not reach.
The proper safety and protection can only be ensured if your kid is wearing a properly fit helmet. If you are not sure about that, you need to go check it, and buy a new one for your kid.
Furthermore, I have written articles which you might find helpful in case of your kids’ helmet queries: