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 seems like a challenging task.
So, we started the investigation for the best toddler helmet asking a couple of family and friends as well as our neighbors, though I wanted something different from what they had. We also researched online. It took a while but the effort finally paid off; we found his most ideal headgear. Over time, it’d become his habit to gear up before cruising the neighborhood with his tricycle.
We put up this baby helmet buying guide to save you from experiencing the hassles I went through. As a parent, I know a parent's worst fear is seeing their child in pain. I believe my review can help keep your child safe and sound.
Why Do You Need a Bike Helmet?
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. 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. You’ll spend less on medical bills if your child falls off or crashes on a bike while wearing a good helmet.
Toddler Helmet – Buyer’s 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 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.
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.
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, hence, offering a higher level of protection. Since skates have harder shells, your child may feel uncomfortable when resting the head on a bike baby 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.
The helmet’s inner foam core should have enough cushioning to keep the child comfortable during the ride.
You should only buy the helmet when your child is ready. Your baby’s neck muscles should have enough strength to bear the load. Though it depends on the growth rate, most eight months olds could start wearing a headgear.
Adjustability and 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.
Products with 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 most top-rated biking helmets are 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.
Our Top 10 Product List
Wrapping it Up
The toddler helmets on our list are the trendiest among parents. After careful research, 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 specification.
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, babies head sizes differ, so, 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 headcovers 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.