Full Face Helmets for Kids
15 November 2019 - News
Why Choose a Full Face Helmet for Your Child?
It might not be a legal requirement yet but here at Frog Bikes, we always recommend wearing one.
Many bike parks and trail centres are now stating you need to wear a helmet on their premises and if you’ve ever watched (one of the many) YouTube videos featuring mountain bike crashes you’ll know why!
Steeper terrain, technical trails or even a stray rock and big gust of wind can cause you to come off your bike so it’s easy to see why helmets are worn by most riders both on and off-road.
Full face helmets are increasingly becoming the kids’ bike helmet of choice for children all over the world. We wanted to investigate this new trend a little further and understand why this type of helmet is fast becoming the ‘go-to’ safety choice for parents.
What is a Full Face Helmet?
These helmets have their roots in slightly more brutal sports as a heavily re-inforced method of head protection. They have been designed to ultimately protect your head and face in the event of a heavy and fast impact.
You will have seen many downhill mountain bikers, BMXers, snowboard Boardercross riders and of course American Footballers all sporting this type of protection.
Unlike conventional helmets, they include a specially designed unit around the jaw to protect the whole head when you are travelling at high speeds and at risk of a collision with the environment or fellow competitors!
The helmet itself is often far stronger than a standard bike helmet with extra padding internally should you end up hitting your head for yet more protection.
Why are more kids wearing full face helmets?
Why are we seeing more and more kids sporting this style of helmet? Is it the new league of young rippers, going faster and harder than previous generations of bike riders that are making this type of helmet a necessity? Or is it an increase in awareness of concussions and brain injuries in sport that is making safety-conscious parents look towards the full face helmet?
Frog Parent, Jan Svendsen, told us his reasons behind kitting his daughter out with a full-face helmet over the conventional type.
She’s not afraid of anything and because of that, she pushes her own limits, increasing the risk of face-planting! With the detachable chin guard, this helmet also doubles as a normal helmet back and forth to school
For Vincent Thasselgard and his son the decision was easy:
We got him a full face when he started riding BMX. Higher speeds, harder falls. He loves the helmet and it seems to me that it gives him some extra confidence on the trails too.
William Gibby had first-hand experience that made him choose full-face helmets for his boys.
For us, there were two reasons; one is that they think it looks cool after watching Redbull TV! The other is that their cousin had a bad fall (aged 8) so as a family we are a bit more safety conscious
The ultimate purpose of wearing a helmet is to protect your head by absorbing the impact of a collision in the event of a crash or accident. But we should remember that many kids will want to look awesome too!
Kids Helmet Sizing
To make sure the helmet will fit 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. An ill-fitting helmet is not safe, it will not provide the protection required and may end up causing more damage than it prevents. Think like Goldilocks, you are looking for a snug-fitting bicycle helmet, not too tight and not too loose!
Here's our Frog Ambassador, Leonard ready to rip and trying on Dad's helmet. It might be a few years before he grows into that!! 😉
How to Measure a Child for a Bike Helmet
All you need to do this accurately is a cloth measuring tape or piece of string. Simply measure around your child’s forehead, just 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, a wiggling kid can throw off the measurements without you realising!
We’re a big fan of Two Wheeling Tots' infographic for those of you that prefer something a little more visual:
You can then compare this measurement to the helmet manufacturer’s sizing table and pick the appropriate sized helmet for your child. As most manufacturers list their sizes in centimetres be sure to measure in cm or convert the measurement to cm’s afterwards.
If you are buying the helmet as a surprise or gift and are unable to physically measure the child you can use the table below for a basic guideline. Please be aware that this is only a guideline and nothing trumps actually measuring your child’s head for accurate sizing!
|Age||Head Circumference (cm)|
|12 months||46 cm|
|2 years old||48 cm|
|3 - 5 years old||51 cm|
|6 - 10 years old||53 cm|
|11+ years old||56 cm|
When looking at helmets don’t forget to check the inside - well-made helmets allow you to adjust the circumference of the inner helmet cage so that it cradles the head comfortably.
There should be foam or gel pads evenly spaced around the inside of the helmet spreading the weight and pressure evenly around the head.
When you have your kid's full face helmet make sure you try it on to be certain of the correct fit. Follow these simple steps and you can be happy to have a snug fitting, safe helmet:
- 🚴 To put the helmet on your child grab the chin straps and pull them apart slightly. This will spread the sides of the helmet apart, then ease it down over their head still using the chin straps
Note here that there should be a little resistance pulling it down, it should not just slide down super easily. If it goes on easily it might come off easily!!
- 🚴 Check the cheek pads - they should touch the cheeks but not press uncomfortably
- 🚴 Check for gaps - there should not be any gaps between the temples and the brow pads. Try and put your fingers up inside the helmet on their forehead, you should not be able to get your fingers inside. There should be a uniform pressure throughout the crown of the head
- 🚴 Pull down on the chin piece. The helmet should not come down covering their eyes and touch their nose or chin
- 🚴 Fasten the straps, check it fits squarely on their head (not tilted back) and check there is no movement. If it moves up and down when standing still it will almost certainly do so when riding, making it noisy inside the helmet and worst of all it could even come off in a crash
- 🚴 Once the helmet is on the last check you can do is to press on the sides of the helmet and twist it side to side. There should be no lateral movement here
If you’re in a store and the helmet feels like a good fit, try the next size down too. This will help you to be certain that you have the right size.
If you’re at home and it initially looks to be a good fit, let your child wander around the house wearing the helmet for 10 minutes (if they’re happy to do so). This will show up any pressure points and tell you if the helmet is a little too tight.
Try out this 5 point checklist if you decide to go with a full face helmet for your child and be confident that you have chosen the right size for them.