It is essential you buy the correct sized helmet. You MUST NOT buy a helmet for your kid to grow into. Find the correct size to buy by using goRide’s How to Size & Fit a Kids Bike Helmet. You will need a flexible measuring tape or a piece of string and a ruler.
How does the helmet adjust? As a general rule traditional bike helmets are adjusted by its adjustable straps, and an adjustable occipital dial or slide compared to street style helmets that use additional foam pads and a chin strap. It is essential that the adjustment system of the helmet is good enough and used well so you get the right fit so the helmet will stay on and over your child’s head in an impact. Again go to the Size & Fit information page.
All bike helmets sold in New Zealand need to meet a minimum safety standard. To get maximum protection for your child’s head we suggest a helmet shaped like your head – that is round and smooth. No protrusions. Being round and smooth it allows the helmet to slide better along a surface, reducing the peak forces with sudden stopping. An outcome that reduces the risk of a head injury. A rounded shaped helmet is important for comfort if the child’s head will be leaning against a surface like the back of a kids bike seat – you definitely want to avoid an elongated styled helmet in this situation. The shape of the helmet needs to provide good coverage of the head. Coverage from above the eyebrows to right down low at the back of the head (where the head meets the neck) see The Right Kids Bike Helmet.
Putting a bike helmet on your child’s head adds weight to their head. Therefore they will need the strength to support their head and the helmet. This is of particular importance if you are buying for young kids. You want a lightweight helmet. The Right Kids Bike Helmet.
Colour and Graphics
Bright coloured helmets and graphics can offer improved visibility. If your kids love their helmets it will help with the challenge of getting them to wear it and look after it.
Different brands use different materials and construction methods. For a detailed overview of what this means read our story Essential Guide to Bike Helmets – Components & How They Work. This will help you understand things like…how the shell is attached, what the foam is designed to do…
The interior foam of a kids bike helmet is an insulator so ventilation holes are important for temperature control. Kids often struggle with temperature control. A good temperature makes for a more comfortable experience. Ventilation becomes more important as the kids are not just the passenger but are now the riders.
A helmet that matches the type of riding your child does.
As all helmets are required to meet a minimum standard this is not as important as matching the helmet to the type of riding they do most often.
- If your child needs a helmet for multi-use eg. skiing and biking then consider a multi-sport helmet.
- Are they beginning to ride on the trails, regularly, being more dynamic on the trails, having a go at jumps etc? Then you may need to consider a helmet with higher specification like our youth mountain bike helmet.
- Being visible in traffic is important if they do a lot of on road riding. The addition of a rear vent light is a great way to keep them safe
A kids head grows and changes. Each child will have different rates of growth and times when they are growing. Please be aware that most of your head growth is done by the time you reach 6yrs old (this is an average head growth, you or your child may be different). After this age your head will change shape allowing for maturity of your face. What this means for helmet buying is that children as young as 6yrs old can fit into adult size helmets. “Youth” helmets tend to be an adults size small in kids graphics or colours.
For other types of riding (town, recreation, road) see the BIKE HELMET BUYING GUIDE
For Mountain Bike Helmet options see the specific MOUNTAIN BIKE HELMET BUYING GUIDE
Make your purchase a success…
Adjustment to the head for a snug Fit
get Safe – when you first purchase your helmet you need to invest some time to make the necessary adjustments to make the helmet fit snugly to the head. Then you need to do a pre-ride check- that is a quick helmet check before you goRide. How are you wearing your helmet
Caring for your Helmet
Role model good habits with your helmet, how do kids learn…by watching you. Wear your helmet every time you ride a bike, don’t drop it or throw it, store it in a safe place, hang it by the chin strap not through the V-straps (otherwise you will be forever adjusting it) See tips- caring for your helmet.