One of the most important safety equipment you can possibly buy for your child is a helmet. And it’s great for several activities: biking, skateboarding, rollerblading, just to name a few. And there are so many different options for parents to choose from today, ranging from basic helmets to ones that look sleek and cool. In this guide, we’ll be talking about the best helmets for kids, specifically their importance and how you can choose one. And as the cherry on top, we’re also sharing with you our best picks, so you can choose among the highest-rated ones today.
The Importance of Kids Wearing Helmets
Accidents happen when you least expect them, that’s a fact of life. So, to prepare for the unlikely event that your child gets into an accident, he needs to have a helmet. Helmets, including ones for adults, act as a buffer that separates the head from the area of impact. And it’s no exaggeration that they’ve saved countless lives already. In fact, experts agree that helmets reduce the chances of suffering from brain injury by as much as 90% — an impressive statistic.
When Can Your Kid Start Wearing a Helmet?
As a rule, parents shouldn’t let their children sit on a bicycle child seat, trailer, or sidecar under 12 months old. This is exposing them to unnecessary risk, as infants tend to be more unpredictable and won’t hesitate to find ways to get off.
If you really want a straight answer on when your child should start wearing helmets, think of it like this:
Helmets are meant to protect your child in case of accidents. So, it would make sense for you to provide your child a helmet at the same time you’re ready for him to engage in activities that are likely to cause accidents, like sports or cycling. And that could be any age you see fit.
Considerations When Choosing a Helmet for Kids
Before you buy a kid’s helmet, you’ll first need to get familiar on the factors that can help you choose the best one for your child. Here they are:
Instead of choosing a helmet because it’s fashionable, it makes more sense to choose based on practicality and safety standards. So, when choosing a helmet for your child, look for something that’s approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). You should see the ANSI certification seal on the label of the packaging.
The laws regarding helmet wear varies from state to state, while some states have no laws at the state or local level, such as Utah. For example, in Maryland, all kids younger than sixteen years of age are required to wear helmets. We suggest checking with your state or local municipality first just to be sure.
Size and Shape
A helmet that’s either too big or too small won’t be as effective at keeping your child safe compared to one that fits properly. Make sure the helmet is positioned on an even level on your child’s head. Moreover, the straps should be adjustable, so the helmet doesn’t rock back and forth, or side to side.
Expect to pay at least $25 for a decent helmet for kids. The price also tends to go up according to the size you’ll be choosing – the bigger, the more expensive. Also, the kind of material used for the helmet will also play a determining role in setting its price tag. And if it comes from a reputable brand, you’re also likely to be paying more since these companies also spend a lot in refining their helmet designs and features.
Interior and Padding
Any helmet you buy for your child, whether it’s for biking or for riding with you on a motorcycle, make sure it has enough padding. The interior should also be properly lined, with the padding properly located around the neck and cheek area for a snug fit. The neck padding can be especially useful if your child’s neck gets tired, since helmets can start feeling heavy, especially on longer rides.
The above considerations should give you a better idea now about what you need to think about before buying the best helmet for your kid.
The Best Helmets You Can Buy for Your Child
You now know a considerable amount of information about helmets in general. So, bearing in mind the considerations we’ve just shared above, take a pick out of the ten most popular choices of best helmets for kids we’ve compiled below for parents:
Raskullz Peace Love Kitty Helmet
- Chin strap made of nylon and can be easily adjusted
- Features cooling vents for hot days and to reduce sweat
- Can start to warp in very hot weather
Shopping for a helmet for your little girl? You’re sure to get plenty of hugs and kisses from her when she sees you bought her something this adorable. This ‘Peace Love Kitty’ Helmet from Raskullz is truly a product that’s been designed with an artistic flare. But the good news is that it’s reasonably well-made; complete with adjustable straps and a well-ventilated interior. But buyers living in states with very hot climates may find this helmet a problem, since there’s been reports of warping after some time.
ProRider BMX Bike & Skate Helmet – 3 Sizes Available: Kids, Youth, Adult
- Complies with the standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
- Comes with padded inserts
- Has polyester straps that are adjustable, with a quick-release buckle
This cycling or biking helmet from ProRider is a good choice if your child is particularly fond of doing tricks with his bike, or he just needs something lightweight. The helmet can come in five different colors, so you can find something for a girl or boy. Also, one additional advantage is that you can easily get a matching one for yourself, so you and your child can sport matching helmets on bike rides. From customer reviews, it’s one of those affordable products that’s still a solid purchase.
Giro Scamp Youth Bike Helmet
- Can be worn even with a ponytail hairdo
- Has a built-in visor for eye protection
- Made from polycarbonate shell with EPS liner
Giro sells a lot of children’s helmets, and they’re all great for cycling. And the best part is that they all look very classy, not like other brands that may unapologetically design theirs inspired from cartoons. This helmet is tailored for girls, which is why the back has a slight curve for ponytails. This is especially convenient because hair can get annoying if the wearer starts to sweat, so it’s best to keep hair in a ponytail for cardio activities.
Raskullz Girls Loud Cloud Sparklez Helmet
- CPSC compliant
- Great for girls ages 8 years old and above
- Inner shell made from shock-absorbing EPS
- Comfortable and adjustable chin strap
If your girl wants something extra sparkly, or is just a big fan of glitters, then you can’t possibly go wrong with this helmet. It’s quite impressive how Raskullz pays great attention to creating eye-catching helmets. This actually works in favor of parents and children. The more the helmet can draw attention, the more kids will be visible to other drivers or cyclers. Aside from its design, the product also complies with both CPSC and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).
Dora Toddler Microshell Helmet (Pink
- Includes a built-in visor for debris and sun protection
- Designed with ventilation for both the top and front part
- Comes with a ‘Diego Bell’
- Good for 1-2-year-old children
If your toddler is a big fan of Dora the Explorer and her adventures, she’s going to be delighted when she sees this helmet. It looks adorable enough to be easily mistaken for a toy, but the quality is surprisingly durable. Also, the top and front ventilation is a welcome design feature so your little girl’s head doesn’t get sweaty or hot during the summer. The Diego bell is also a nice touch, so your child can have something to play with if you’d like to keep her distracted on bike rides.
Razor V-17 Child Multi-sport Helmet
- Designed with 17 ventilation points on the top and sides
- Buckles release from the side rather from the bottom
- Complies with CPSC safety standards
This sleek-looking children’s helmet is good for girls and boys between the ages of five to eight years old. And it comes from one of the most well-known helmet brands in the US, Razor. This company doesn’t just pay special attention to design, but safety issues as well. The numerous ventilations, side buckle, and the fact that it’s CPSC compliant all shows how the company has invested a lot in making sure the helmet is top-notch when it comes to appearances and functionality.
C-Preme Licensed Helmet
- Certified by the ASTM and the CPSC
- Includes cooling vents and a Ninja Turtle cloth bandana
- Good padding but not adjustable
This Ninja Turtle inspired helmet is an absolute favorite of toddlers, even by those who have never seen the cartoon franchise. But the combination of fun design and safety compliance of the product doesn’t make it surprising how this product manages to capture the hearts of kids and parents. According to the product description, the helmet should be ideal for kids over the age of five. But according to some parents, the fit can sometimes be a bit too big.
Bell Spider-Man Child Helmets
- Ventilation located at the top and rear side
- Complies with CPSC safety standards
- A good fit for 51-54 head circumference; usually for kids 5 years old and older
- Comes in 7 Spiderman-inspired designs
If you want your kid to be the coolest kid on the block, you won’t regret getting him this web-design helmet. The art, realistic accents, and Spiderman symbol at the front really sets it apart from other cartoony helmets. If other helmets look cute, sleek, or adorable, this one just looks absolutely ‘cool’. The buckle on the strap also includes a pinch guard so your child’s chin so he can bike or skate comfortably.
Schwinn Thrasher Youth
- 20 ventilation holes from top, side, to bottom
- Heat sealed padding for additional comfort
- Comes with detachable visors
- Adjustable to fit any child’s head between the ages of 6-10
A helmet that’s been said to have kept numerous children’s heads from dangerous impact is this quality product from Schwinn. And we’re not surprised. From the material and sophisticated design of this helmet alone, it’s not hard to tell that it’s well-put-together. There are vents all over surface and it comes with a visor that you can easily remove, too. Throw in the fact that you can adjust the head fit by huge size differences makes this product give other helmets a run for their money.
Raskullz Mohawk Helmet
- The mohawk spikes are bendable and aren’t dangerous at all
- Passes safety standards by the CPSC and ASTM
- Interior is made from polystyrene foam; Exterior is made from PVC
- Good for head sizes between 48-52 cm
If you want to give your child the tough-kid look, this might be the first helmet you’ll consider buying. Also, it’s likely to be something your kid might have seen while browsing online and begged you to buy for him. And we can’t blame him. This helmet is definitely an eye-catcher which, again, is a good thing if your child is thinking of cycling along the side of the road. You child won’t look like a dinosaur, but at least you’ll have peace of mind knowing the helmet passes important safety standards.
Ready to Buy?
It’s amazing the number of options available to parents when it comes to helmets for kids. The designs to choose from are also astounding. But more than that, they’re also built to keep your child safe just in case the unlikely happens. So, depending on the budget you have and the features you’re looking for, there’s likely to be a helmet that meets everything you need.
Just make sure your final choice is a product that complies with certain institutions’ safety standard so you won’t have any regrets.