Gearbikesreview is audience-supported. When you buy through links on this site, we may earn an affiliate commission that we use for site maintenance. Learn more


How To Fit a Bike Helmet for a Child – Children’s Safety Checklist

How to Fit a Kid’s Bike Helmet | The Ultimate Checklist with Safety Tips
Written by James Jordan
Last Update: August 16, 2023

The joy of riding a bicycle may lose its color if your child wears a helmet that wobbles too much or puts extra pressure on their head. This happens because many parents don’t know how to fit a bike helmet for a child. This is straightforward yet a large number of kids are seen cycling with a loose or tight helmet without a snug fit.

A poorly fitted helmet not only looks odd but poses risks for the biker as well, making it important for parents to ensure that toddler bike helmets fits their child well and the chin strap is fastened perfectly. No worries, we’ve got you covered in this post. Keep on reading to learn how you should fit your child’s bike helmet.

How To Fit a Bike Helmet for a Child- Racing for Safety

how to fit a bike helmet for a child

1. Ensure the Right Size

The secret to a fit helmet lies in choosing the right size for the wearer. Before buying a helmet, you should wrap a measurement tape around your child’s head. Place the measurement tape just above their eyebrows and wrap it around crossing the ears in the course. This is the circumference of the head that you should remember.

Get help from the following size chart that shows the approximate head circumferences of children that age between 1 to 8 years.

 Age  Head Circumference (in centimeter)
Boy Girl
1 Year 46 45
2 Years 47.5 46.5
3 Years 49 49
4 Years 50.5 49.5
5 Years 51 50
6 Years 52 51
7 Years 53 52
8 Years 54 53

2. Get a Snug Fit

Helmets come in adjustable so the users can wear them for a long time. You can even wear the same helmet for three years at a stretch. This is possible since almost all helmets are equipped with multiple pads or adjustable side and chin straps. You can easily adjust your helmet to the right size with the help of padding and straps. Employ padding if the helmet is loose and remove it when your dear child’s head will grow bigger.

Some models also feature a ‘universal fit ring’ in place of pads. If your helmet is one of these, only adjusting the ring is enough to get a snug fit. A perfectly fit helmet will not expose the forehead fully. It will cover the areas starting from just above the eyebrows and protect the whole head, including the backside. A snug fit will not restrict the vision or cause discomfort to your children but protect their heads in case of accidents.

3. Adjust the Side & Chin Straps

A snug fit also depends on the adjustability of the two types of straps – side straps and chin straps. The side straps take the shape of ‘Y’ near the ears. Don’t keep it too high or low, target the ears when adjusting the side straps.

Once the side straps are perfectly fitted, it’s time to adjust the chin strap. Tighten it gently so it remains snug but not too snug to restrict the wearer’s movements. There should be enough space between the chin and strap so you can easily fit your pinky finger in the space, but not more than one finger.

4. Check & Double-Check

Mission accomplished! It’s time to check the helmet for different conditions. Tell your kid to open their mouth wide. Make sure that the helmet doesn’t block their eyes. Let them shake their heads to see if the helmet slips and moves. If it does so, you need to secure a snug fit by using sizing pads or readjusting the universal fit ring (if any). Inspect the buckle and rubber to find out if there are any faulty parts. Replace them, if any.

Now that the helmet fits well, it’s time to put things to the test. Let your children ride on their cute toddler bicycles wearing helmets. Notice if the helmets cause any trouble while they are out there cycling to the fullest. If the helmet becomes loose automatically, tighten the straps or add extra padding after inspecting the problem. If too tight, fix using the straps.

Keep an eye on your children’s growth and regular cycling activities. Don’t feel satisfied after adjusting your children’s helmet just for once. You should allow your kids to ride a bicycle after having all the gear and gadgets inspected by you before each use. You may even need to replace a helmet to fit your child perfectly.

Helmet Safety Tips

  • Check the helmet regularly for signs of crack, wear and tear. Any such sign should be taken into account and you should use that helmet no further.
  • Help your kids understand the importance of treating their helmets carefully. Teach them to use and handle a helmet gently so it doesn’t get damaged and remains effective in the event of a crash.
  • Don’t look for cheap, poorly made helmets. Buy a good quality helmet made of durable and protective materials and meets the safety laws.
  • Inspect the helmet thoroughly if it encounters any crash. There may not be any visible sign of damage but it will not allow superior protection as before.
  • Don’t use helmets that are intended for other sports for cycling unless CPSC certifies them. Check the label if it says CPSC certified.
  • Clean a helmet regularly with mild detergent and lukewarm water. Dry it perfectly after washing.
  • Store your helmet in a cool and dry place. Helmets are susceptible to extreme hot and cold temperatures and direct sunlight. So, keep them in a secure place to enhance their performance and prolong their longevity.

Now you know everything about how to fit a bike helmet for your child. Only knowledge will not help until you practically apply that. Your attempt may fail once or twice, but success will follow over time for sure.


Q. 1: Can adults wear youth bike helmets?

A. Adults who have a smaller head circumference can wear youth bike helmets. But make sure you get a snug fit when wearing one. Usually, child or toddler bike helmets are fashionable with vibrant colors. You should also consider this since these stylish helmets mightn’t suit your personality.

Q. 2: How do I get my child to wear a helmet?

A. First thing’s first! You must buy a helmet as per the choice of your child. If they don’t like the helmet they’ll never wear that. Sometimes you have to tell them some white lies, such as- helmets would provide them with superpowers. Gradually let them understand the need for helmets. Hope this will work.

About the author

James Jordan

As a kid I inherited the love for mountain bikes from my father who used to ride for weeks through the Colorado trail in the city of Denver. He had his gang, and I followed pretty much the same track.

Later on, my interest in biking grew more after joining the Enduro race back in 2013. My buddies and I also participated in the Downhill racing for the third consecutive year, and it’s been an amazing experience.

Leave a Comment