HELMET BUYING GUIDE, how to choose a good helmet for the kids

6 steps helmet guide

1-activity | 2-standards | 3-size| 4-fitting | 5-shape | 6-MIPS

When you are outside with your kids, teaching them how to ride, or enjoying some biking together, what you what to feel is comfortable with them on the wild environment. It is really important to be making new memories and having some fun not to be worrying about their safety or lack of it.

For this reason, having good kids bikes helmets is one of the top priorities for parents when riding outside.

A helmet can protect your kids from bike- related head injuries. Keeping this practice in daily basis leaves a sense of protection and duty for the rest of their lives. You can be part of a good example wearing always a helmet when you ride with them. You can make the helmet be part of their daily routine.

There are a lot of models out there. Getting an approved helmet is a basic step. Also, you need to choose the perfect size as if your kids feel uncomfortable, they will refuse to wear it. And what it is important is that they prefer wearing a cool helmet than not wearing it.

Prices go from $25 to $80. It does not mean some of them are not qualified to prevent injuries (we assumed they are all approved by an entity). It can be caused because of the material, flexibility, weight and design. Whatever you choose, the most important thing is that the helmet fits perfectly your kids head and the way they ride. It is not the same a helmet for kids who like go into the BMX trails or the ones commuting in the city. So think about the necessities your kids are having, measure their head´s circumferences, check your wallet and have a look to our selection in cool biking kid´s helmets.

 

To choose a good helmet for your kids, we have organised this guide in six steps. Hope this helps you!


 

1.type of activity

The first question is, which kind of activities/ sports are your kids going to be involved?

you will need to take into account the daily adventure they use to be in. Maybe they are BMX little lovers, or they enjoy some nice slopes in the skate park, or maybe they like to ride with you the city and cruising around.

So, we have made a classification depending on the main activity your kids are going to take part in. However, this is our personal opinion, so, if you feel any of these helmets should not be in any of these groups, please, feel free to share your opinion 🙂

 a- COMMUTING IN TOWN OR CRUISING

city helmet guideFor those kids who are learning how to ride a bike, or maybe the ones who are going to stay around the neighborhood, a good helmet could be the Giro Scamp.

If your kids are not going to take any dangerous paths, or not even slopes (at least, not normally)  and you are the kind of biker who enjoys a great ride around town, these helmets are very suitable for your kids. Cruiser people, relax mood, and beauty on the balance.

More helmets and info here.

b- MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAILS

MOUNTAIN HELMET GUIDEDo you enjoy a mountain bike trails whenever you can? Some mountain trails are perfect to go with your kids and have a nice contact with nature. A lot of families are discovering this kind of spare time as one important one.

Notice that here we are talking about easy paths, family friendly trails. Something like the Bell Sidetrack to make your kids starting in the mountain bike adventure. If they get more experienced, they should wear a downhill helmets. Meanwhile, these helmets can be a good choice for them.

More helmets and info here.

c- BMX TRAILS AND SKATE PARKS

BMX SKATE helmet guideSome kids discover slopes and speed as they learn how to ride a bicycle. These helmets use to have a skater-style shape. Also, they use to be more compacts and they cover a bigger area of the head because kids need more protection for the different kinds of injuries they could have. More speed, more risk, so they need more protection.

This selection of helmets can make it great for those little ones learning how to take the slopes. However, if your kids are improving, they should use ASTM certified ones ( skateboard certified) like the Bell Segment Jr.

More helmets and info here.

d- IN BIKE SEATS OR TRAILERS

bike seat helmet guideWhen kids are smaller, and they may start to learn how to ride a bike, or if they are taken to school by bike, they need a helmet like the Bern Nina/Nino for this ride too.

There is a trend in cities, those which try to make a positive attitude towards environment, that consist in promoting bicycle motion in the city.

This way, trailers, sidecars and bike seats are becoming huge. And thus, safety for kids on bike seats. These helmets, which count with all certificates, have a characteristic shape for make it suitable to the bike seat: a flatter back rear of the helmet.

More helmets and info here.

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2.certifications

certification helmet guide

Whatever helmet you buy, that helmet has to be certified.

This way we make sure kids are safe and protected.

So, which certification does the helmet need? It will depend on the activity your kids are involved in.

All helmets in our selection are certified for their specific use.

So let’s check the main certifications we can find in a helmet:

  1. “My kids just take their bikes and roll around. They could take some slopes but those are always paved. And sometimes I take them with me for some rides to school”  Then, the certification you need is CPSC. For example, the Lazer BOB helmet.
  2. ” They are getting into the BMX trails easier these days. They enjoy the jumps and slopes”. Now  you need a little bit more. CPSC and ASTM F2032. A good example can be the Bell Segment Jr.
  3. ” These kids, you know, they take the bike, or the skate, or the longboard. It seems they do not need to put their feet on the floor”. For kids enjoying multiple sports, go for CPSC, ASTM F1492 (skate/longboard), and maybe some more. You can check here. For example, the Nutcase Little Nutty
  4. “We live in an area where winter and summer sports are really in our lives. I would like something that could be suitable for more than one sport” Ok, this is getting complicated. But sure here you can find the certifications for you. Look for CPSC, ASTM 2040 (ski), ASTM 1492 (skate/longboard), ASTM F1447 ( biking in ice/recreational). You can have a look to the Bern bandita/Bandito for snow and ski helmet.

regulation certification

For some more information about helmet and activities, click here.
Summary of abbreviations:
CPSCU.S. government standards for biking helmets.
ASTM: U. S. government standards for Mountain bike racing, ski, longboarding, skateboarding and aggressive tricks helmets.
ASTM International: International standards for Mountain bike racing, ski, longboarding, skateboarding and aggressive tricks helmets.
CE/EN: European standards for biking, skate, ski, and boards helmets.
AS/NZS: Australian and New Zealand biking, skate, ski, and boards helmets.
CSA: Canadian standars for biking, skate, ski, and boards helmets.


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3.size of the helmet

head measurement helmet guideFirst, just so you know, there are two sizes approved by the CPSC that are for kids older than one year old, 1+, and kids over five years old, 5+. This is just an aproximation about the size you need to choose. However, every brand has its own sizes and measures.

SO WHAT DO WE DO? The easiest thing ever: MEASURE THE KID HEAD!!! And with that measure, we will go checking every helmet’s brand to see which size we can choose.

How to measure a head? Just this way. We will measure the thickest part of the kid’s head with a soft tape measure. That area is 2 fingers above the eyebrows. With that circumference dimension, we will choose the correct size for the kids. Please remember that every kid is unique, therefore their heads. Different shapes are expected so do not get very upset if you made all procedure perfectly and the helmet still doesn’t fit. Maybe, that helmet or that shape is not adequate to the kid. 

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4.correct fitting of helmet

helmet position helmet guide

funny illustration by www.iwastesomuchtime.com

If you are checking with your kids how well the helmet adjusts, you need to make sure the helmet is correctly positioned.

So the first thing is to make sure is the helmet fitting perfectly horizontally. Also, the straps make a triangle shaped where the ears leave situated in the middle of it. This ear holes on the helmet straps should line up with your child’s ears.

After that, you would need to buckle and adjust the straps. After tighten the strap, make sure it is snug, so just two fingers fit under the strap. And be careful with your kid’s chin, as they could be pinched. However, a lot of brands incorporate creative solutions for the buckles, as magnetic buckles or plastic guards under the buckles.

You can check how properly the helmet was attached and how well the helmet fits your kid’s head after several minutes the kid is wearing it. If the helmet moves back guard, it is too loose and you may need to change the helmet size or the interior pads. If your kid is touching constantly the strap, maybe it is too tight…not good. In both cases, the strap can make some pressure in the kid’s neck, and hurt it or make some difficulty breathing.

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5.helmet’s shape

Classic helmet style or skater-style helmet?

PROS:

The classic-shaped helmets have more ventilations, are lighter and are more adjustable. The skater-style helmets have a bigger coverage of the head, fit different-shape heads and normally, are dual-certified.

CONS:

Classic-shaped helmets do not cover the back area of the head, so they are not dual-certified. Also, they adjust with problems to different-head shapes. The skater-style has less ventilations, so for warmer areas can be a bit suffocating, they tend to be heavier and the adjustment is not dial-in adjustment.

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6.MIPS, what’s that?

BELL MIPS helmet guideMIPS is Multi-directional Impact Protection System. Nice. MIPS helmets are designed to protect against multi-directional impacts, not just for direct impacts. These impacts could happen when hitting the ground while in a forward movement or in a downward motion.

MIPS can be a good choice for those kids in fast activities and a huge number of crashes.

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