There comes a time when you need to get or replace a helmet for your kids. Helmets are a really important form of protection. They need to be replaced when they’ve been outgrown or involved in a crash or sometimes a hard drop. And not just any helmet will do. Get the wrong size and your kids will be less than comfortable and they won’t be safe either. An ill-fitting helmet won’t provide the same level of protection as one which fits well but how do you know which helmet fits correctly?

Step 1: How to measure for a kid’s helmet

Bicycle helmets come in centimetre sizes so, to get the right fit, measure your child’s head. Use a measuring tape if you have one (or a piece of string which you can stretch out next to a ruler afterwards if you don’t). With the measuring tape level round the whole head, measure the head about an inch above the eyebrows at its widest part.

Step 2: How to find the right helmet fit when trying them on

Using your measurement as a basis, go into a local shop and try some helmets on. Adjust straps as you go to make sure any issues are with the actual helmet size not just the length that the straps are being worn. Here are some guidelines on what you’re looking for to make sure the helmet fits.

Too big

  • The helmet is tilting on the head.
  • The helmet wobbles around on the head.

Don’t get a helmet for your child to grow into. If the helmet is too big, it might not protect them when it really matters.

Too small

  • The helmet is sitting high on the head.
  • Your child can’t fit their glasses on when wearing the helmet.
  • The helmet leaves a mark on the forehead.

Just right

  • The helmet should be snug and sit fairly level.
  • There should be one to two finger widths of space between the child’s eyebrows and the bike helmet.

Step 3: How to adjust the straps and position a helmet correctly

  • The Y-shaped side straps should meet just under the ear.
  • The chin strap should fit closely with room for only one finger between the strap and the chin.
  • The chin strap should be loose enough that the child can open their mouth without difficulty BUT it should be tight enough that when they open their mouth, the helmet pushes down on their head.
  • The child should be able to see the front of the helmet when they look up but it shouldn’t fall down over their eyes.

Step 4: Get pedalling!

Getting the right helmet for your child is well worth the effort to make sure they’re safe and wearing something which will give them the most protection. With various styles, designs and colours out there, it doesn’t have to be boring either. And once you’ve done it? Then they can take to their wheels and the real fun begins…