Multipurpose model with forehead protection and extra protection on back.
Durable outer shell. Comfortable interior padding. Ideal for older children, ages 8 and above. One-size fits all. Breathable and adaptable. Dial adjuster on back. Several airways keep inside cool.
External black shell paint may chip or fade over time.
Versatile option with 360 degree support and protection while biking, skating, and scooting.
Has all-around protection, especially in back. Natural fit, that is not too bulky for skating. Multiple airways on top and in front keep interior cool. Available in various colors.
Sizes may be too big for very small or very young children.
Multipurpose model with stylish, graphic artwork prints on external shell.
Equipped with 2 sets of pads that adjust to different head sizes. Classic skateboarding helmet design. Meets CPSC guidelines for safety. Cool vents increase breathability. Attractive, stylized art prints available in several designs.
Sizes run large and may be a better option for youth and teens.
Classic option that is best for young, small children.
External shell provides maximum protection for kids ages 2-5. Stylish, double white racing streaks. Internal padding provides both comfort and protection. Safety buckle is easy to use. Not too heavy.
Bigger young children may find it fits snug or too tightly.
Athletic, classic bicycle style kids' helmet, with sharp front visor and extra back padding.
Intended for children between ages 5-8, though it fits many children older than 8. Adjustable to accommodate head sizes between 52-56 centimeters. Wide protection of entire head. Athletic 'racing' visor.
Interior padding may be adhesive and stick to hair.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
The right helmet for your child could be the difference between a minor scrape and a serious head injury. Helmets feature an exterior plastic shell and interior foam that work together to absorb the force of a crash. However, a helmet is only effective if it fits correctly and is secured appropriately.
Your child needs to wear a helmet whether their chosen activity is biking, skateboarding, longboarding, roller skating, snowboarding, hoverboarding, or a similarly hazardous activity. Whether you have a two-wheeling tot or a confident youth on wheels, you will need to invest in a helmet that fits them properly now. A helmet should not be something your kid grows into.
The fit of your child’s helmet is a key consideration. The right fit is vital. Helmets come in small, medium, large, and extended sizes. You can find your child’s helmet size by wrapping a flexible tape measure around their head one inch above their eyebrows. Consult the sizing chart provided by the helmet manufacturer to determine the right size.
Although you’ll choose a size, there is still some adjustability within that size. Helmets have plastic internal cages that you can manipulate to create the best fit. Some helmet cages can be adjusted with a knob; others work via tension wire. Adding more padding is another way to adjust the fit; the padding is typically inserted in the space between your child’s head and the helmet along the front, back, and/or sides of the helmet.
Helmet chin straps are also adjustable, and they can help make the fit more snug. The key is to adjust the chin strap so the helmet presses securely against the head and stays in place, even in the event of an impact. For a proper chin strap fit, the straps should rest under each ear, forming a V shape. The wearer should be able to open their mouth comfortably.
All helmets have an inner foam core (EPS) and an outer plastic shell, but there are two types of construction: in-mold and hard shell. Both designs are equipped with suitable protection, but they differ in durability and style.
In helmets made with in-mold construction, the outer shell is bonded with the inner foam. The result is a lightweight helmet, often with vents. Many bike helmets have this type of construction.
In helmets made with hard shell construction, the inner foam is glued to the outer shell. These helmets are highly durable and offer good resistance to impact. Hard shell construction is found on many multi-use helmets.
Helmet vents allow air to flow over the head. This keeps the wearer more comfortable and helps to prevent overheating. It also prevents excess sweating, which can lead to the loss of electrolytes and dehydration. The more vents, or holes, a helmet has, the better the airflow and the lighter the weight.
Manufacturers have gotten very creative with kids’ helmets. You can buy the standard head-shaped helmet in a rainbow of colors and patterns, including metallic hues and cool geometric designs. You can buy helmets with funky or cute designs: lady bug helmets, dinosaur helmets, superhero helmets, and more. There are even helmets that assume a non-traditional shape, such as the head of a unicorn (complete with horn) or a creature with a spiky mohawk.
You may pay a few dollars more for a fancy helmet, but if your child is more motivated to wear it due to its looks, it’s money well spent.
The price range for kids’ helmets is rather small. Budget-priced helmets of good quality may dip down to the $14 mark; high-quality helmets with extra padding, pinch-proof buckles, and cool-looking designs may cost up to $35. The materials used, as well as the brand name, affect price. Aesthetics are big, too: if you want the coolest helmet on the block, it will cost a few extra dollars.
Q. How can I tell if my child’s helmet fits correctly?
A. Check to see if the helmet is snug on their head. If their eyebrows move when the helmet shifts, the helmet is properly sized. It should come to the tops of the ears and rest on the forehead, about two fingers above the eyebrows. Your child should be able to see the edge of the helmet, and the chin strap should be secure enough that the child can open their mouth and not pinch the skin.
Q. What’s the difference between CPSC and ASTM certification?
A. The CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) is a U.S. government organization that certifies bike helmets for safety based on a specific set of safety standards. The ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) is an independent, international, nonprofit organization that tests and certifies multi-sport helmets.
All helmets are tested to ensure their effectiveness. When purchasing a helmet, locate the CPSC sticker on the inside of a helmet. Note that all CPSC stickers do not look the same.
When purchasing a multi-sport helmet, an ASTM sticker should be displayed in addition to the CPSC sticker.
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