Fitting A Kids' Bike Helmet
22 April 2021
How to fit a kids’ bike helmet
If your child has a love of cycling, a bike helmet should be a standard piece of equipment for their two-wheeled adventures.
The helmet plays an important role in protecting their head if they happen to fall off the bike. Whether they are toddlers or teenagers, new to cycling, or cycling experts, a helmet should be their number one kit item on EVERY bike ride!
With this being said, it’s all well and good for your child to be wearing a helmet, but if it isn’t correctly positioned or it doesn’t fit properly, it’s almost as bad as not wearing a helmet at all.
Here’s our guide to ensuring that your child is wearing their helmet correctly:
ENSURE IT’S THE CORRECT SIZE
Think like Goldilocks, you are looking for a snug-fitting bicycle helmet, not too tight and not too loose! An ill-fitting helmet is not safe, it will not provide the protection required and may end up causing more damage than it prevents.
- ✅ To make sure the helmet fits properly you will need to measure the circumference of your child’s head
- ✅ Like buying a kids bike don’t be tempted to buy something a little bigger that they can grow into
- ✅ All helmets are sized with a head circumference range, so pick the one that your child’s head measurement falls into - not bigger, not smaller
HOW TO MEASURE A CHILD FOR A BIKE HELMET
To measure your child’s head accurately use a cloth measuring tape or a piece of string. Simply measure around your child’s forehead, 1-2 adult finger-widths above the eyebrows. Do this by placing the tape measure or string on the centre of their forehead and wrap it around their head above the ears. We would recommend doing this a couple of times to ensure you have the right measurement.
This guide from Two Wheeling Tots' helps explain it:
MAKE SURE THE HELMET IS CORRECTLY POSITIONED
- ✅ The helmet needs to be flat over the crown of the head, covering the forehead, without blocking the child’s view
- ✅ The bottom of the helmet should sit 1-2 adult finger widths above the eyebrows
- ✅ If the helmet has a universal fitting ring at the base, use this to adjust the tightness of the helmet (before fastening the chinstrap). If the helmet doesn’t come with a tightening dial, it should have various size pads that you can replace inside
- ✅ The helmet should be tight enough that if the child shakes their head (without the chinstrap fastened) it does not fall off, but loose enough to not put pressure on the head
- ✅ A properly positioned helmet should stick out further than your child’s nose when viewed from the side
- ✅ We do not recommend wearing a helmet with a thick or woolly hat, thin thermal liner hats for kids are a great alternative, and it’s best to tie long hair up at the base of the neck
ADJUST THE CHINSTRAP
- ✅ Always ensure that the chinstrap is fastened
- ✅ The straps should lay flat against the child’s head, forming a ‘Y’ at each earlobe, if the side straps are sewn together, you can ignore this step
- ✅ Adjust the strap so that you can still fit one finger between the buckle and the chin
- ✅ If you twist and pull the helmet lightly and it doesn’t move, then the chinstrap fits perfectly
- ✅ When your child opens their mouth, you will see the helmet visibly pull downwards
CHECK THE FIT EVERY TIME THEY RIDE
Make sure to check the fit of the helmet every time your child rides as buckles and straps can move and become too loose.
DO NOT BUY SECOND-HAND
Whilst we advocate using pre-loved items, bike helmets are not one of them! Second-hand helmets may have sustained damage that cannot be seen, and might not meet current safety standards, so it’s best to buy new!
WHEN TO REPLACE A BIKE HELMET
If your child has crashed and received an impact to the helmet it should be replaced. Some companies offer a crash replacement discount, so do check with your local bike shop or the manufacturer’s website to see if they offer this service, before buying a replacement.
As your child grows you will notice that the helmet no longer fits correctly, so it’s best to re-measure their head and get a replacement.
Check out our guide for the best kids bike helmets here >>
Or if you’re looking for ‘full-face helmets’ view our guide here >>
Here are some helmets available on our website >>