When our first child was born, he was full of life and we noticed the spirit of a pro biker in him. On his first birthday, he got his first biking experience sitting on the baby seat while his mom pushed the wheels. Though he loved bikes since his early years, our priority was his safety, and finding a perfect helmet for him seemed like a challenging task.
It took a while but we found the right headgear. However, toddlers go through a stage of tremendous neuro-transformation due to the fast growth rate of neurons in their brains. You can bet it's the most crucial time for their mental development and, you'd do anything to protect their heads-- and ideally, going for the best toddler helmet is the right decision to make if you plan to put your baby on a bike.
Today, we've put up this baby helmet buying guide to save you from getting lost in the myriad of models available on the market. Hopefully, our research-backed helmet reviews would help keep your child safe and sound when riding his/her lovely toddler's bike.
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Needless to say, we don't have any connection with any brand or manufacturer. We literally handpick each of our reviewing items and conduct field-tests on them only to have practical data. Our diverse knowledge base and decade long experience with bikes help us make better choices for our readers.
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How We Picked These Products
When it's about helmets, it's about a line between life and death. The wrong choice could cause you to end up in life support. So, we took extra caution when we carried out over 30 hours of online research finding 35 highest rated models.
Next, we carefully conducted a series of durability tests on each headgear in our lab. A group of community-based volunteers assisted our team in carrying out the tests. During our tests, we closely monitored the materials the helmets were made of, how comfortable they were and whether they passed our durability tests. Based on their strength, protection level, comfort, and ergonomics we championed 10 from the rest.
Then we met other industry experts and helmet designers for having their insights into our final list. Their suggestions helped us rank the best toddler helmets based on their exclusive features and categories. Having the final list ready, we proceeded to write the reviews on them that you'll find in the following section.
Our Top 10 Best Helmets for Toddlers
So, what is the best helmet for toddlers? In the following section you'll get the answer. It doesn't matter what type of bike your toddler rides, choose the right one from below and there’ll be nothing to worry about.
Why Do You Need a Bike Helmet For Your Kid?
Helmets help protect your child’s head absorbing the impact during a fall or crash while riding a bike. Of course, falling isn’t a big deal, it’s part of the learning process. We learn walking by falling first. But the issue is keeping your young ones safe from skull injuries.
Putting on a helmet is so crucial that most US states made it compulsory for everyone. At the same time, the Federal government created its safety rules under the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Headgear can protect your baby’s head and face from the sun’s scorching heat, especially when you’re on a distant journey. Besides, your child looks confident and beautiful when wearing an eye-catchy helmet.
Though accidents occur, a toddler helmet is necessarily a lifesaver that every pediatrician recommends. You’ll spend less on medical bills if your child falls off or crashes on a bike while wearing a good helmet.
Toddler Helmet – A Comprehensive Buying Guide
Keeping your child safe is an essential thing to have in mind. The material for the helmet should be sturdy enough to withstand the crash impact and also protect the baby’s head. The product should meet the minimum safety standards for skating or bicycle use. So, always check the CPSC or DOT certification sticker before buying.
The helmet should have a perfect fit, reaching the child’s forehead. It should be snug but also tight to prevent it from coming off when an accident happens. A snugly fit helmet is always important if a kid rides a BMX bike.
Generally, helmets aren’t a one size fit for all. So measuring your child’s head circumference is always the best option before purchasing a headcover. You should measure a little above the ears and across the forehead since the manufacturers often concentrate on these spots. Most helmets in this category are micro in size and have adjustable straps.
You can choose one with an adjustable dial in the interest of your growing toddler; this will help save a few bucks.
Baby helmets are available in either the skates or standard models.
- Skates –They have better paddings and coverage for a higher level of protection. Since skates have harder shells, your child may feel uncomfortable when resting their head on the bike seat, so always opt for one with a flat back.
- Standard – Compared to skates, these have more holes, but only available in smaller sizes.
Helmets with many air vents help to keep the baby cool and comfortable. If you want your child to enjoy the ride, and wear the headgear for longer hours, choose one with adequate ventilation. Full-faced helmets offer less ventilation but better protection with extra face shield and chin guard.
The helmet’s inner foam core should have enough cushioning to keep the child comfortable during the ride.
You should start hunting for the best toddler helmet only when your child is ready. Your kid’s neck muscles should have enough strength to bear the load. Though it depends on the growth rate, 8-month-olds usually could start wearing headgear. Theoretically toddler's helmets are ideal for babies aged below 4 years of age, but some models can fit ages above that range.
8. Adjustability & Buckle Type
Since helmets vary in sizes, always look for those with adjustable features like strap and dial to provide the perfect fit. The buckles should be easy to adjust and less likely to hurt the baby. Most toddlers' helmets have ratchet or magnetic style buckles that will not easily pinch.
Consider buying a lightweight helmet since your child’s neck muscles are too weak for a large type. The lighter the weight, the lesser the pressure on your baby. Most children dislike helmets because they’re heavy and feel quite uncomfortable.
Helmets with the MIPS technology provide extra protection and safety for your young one. MIPS features a plastic layer that rotates during impact to protect the child’s head from fatal injuries.
Though the top-rated biking helmets are obviously expensive, you shouldn’t trade your child’s safety and comfort over money. So, look for those reputable brands that you can always trust.
Most bike helmets for infants have built-in or clip-on visors that protect your kid’s eyes and face from direct sunlight, making the riding more appealing.
It’s Time to Wrap Up
The helmets on this toddler helmet review are the trendiest among both parents and kids. After careful research and field-tests, we’ve picked the best toddler helmets from hundreds of choices on the market.
These helmets are essential for your baby’s safety and comfort when biking or skating; that’s the reason we’ve gathered only the best-rated models to ease your buying decision.
Our most favorite toddler helmet was the Schwinn Thrasher because of its many crucial features. It had 20 vents for cooling, ergonomic interior padding, and complies with CPSC standards.
If you’re on a limited budget, but looking for products with amazing designs, you might consider the Raskullz and Bell models.
Feel free to choose any of our products that suits your pocket and preferences.
1. What is EPS?
Ans. Expanded Polystyrene or EPS is a rigid and lightweight foam often used as the primary material for helmets and picnic coolers.
2. What is MIPS?
Ans. MIPS stands for Multi-Directional Impact Protection System. This is an extra safety feature often found in expensive headgear models. It allows the helmet to absorb the impact from the crash despite the direction of hit and, in turn, reduces brain injury. The design consists of a unique plastic core that attaches to the outer helmet via a rubberized cord. During a crash, the base expands, causing the foam layer to rotate to dissipate the impact’s energy.
3. Should I put a helmet rated for a one-year-old on my eight-month-old?
Ans.Most toddler helmets are for one-year-olds. However, the head size of kids differs and your focus should be on finding the right fit for your child.
4. How can I tell if my child’s helmet fits correctly?
Ans. The helmet should have a snug fit, allowing your child’s eyebrow to move when you’re trying to shift it from the head. Another correct fit indicator is that the chin strap should be tight when your baby’s mouth is open and loose when closed. Finally, the helmet should cover the skull to the top of the ear and the middle of the forehead.
5. What’s the difference between traditional helmets and multi-use helmets?
Ans. Your kid will feel more comfortable in traditional bike helmets since they have more vents than the multipurpose type. However, multi-sport helmets like the Nutcase – Little Nutty Bike Helmet often have CPSC and ASTM F1492 certifications, meaning that you can use them on a bike, skateboard, scooter, etc. Also, they’re more durable, offering secure fit, comfort, and protection for the kid’s head.
6. What’s the difference between in-mold and hardshell construction?
Ans. Each helmet features an EPS core and an outer shell layer. Most bike helmets have in-mold construction where the foam core and the lightweight plastic layer are fused. In Hardshells, the plastic layers are thick such that the EPS foam is only glued to it.
7. What’s the difference between CPSC and ASTM certification?
Ans. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is a US government agency that is saddled with the responsibility of outlining the safety rules and standards for bike helmets. The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) is an independent organization that tests and certifies all multi-functional helmets.
8. Should I look for a helmet with a flat back if I’m going to use a bike carrier instead of a trailer?
Ans.Helmets with flat backs allow your children to rest their head while sitting on the bike carrier or trailer while preventing the mask from slipping off when they want to rest on the trailer. Also, babies wearing flat back head covers will enjoy a better view of the environment.
9. Is the magnetic buckle on a helmet safe for my baby?
Ans. Magnetic buckles are the easiest to use, but most children often play with them during their rides and could loosen the fit. Besides, they fit more securely and don’t pinch the user’s skin like most traditional buckles.