What makes for the best toddler bike helmet? There are a few criteria, such as weight, adjustability, and comfort/fit. Some of which have to be experienced first hand.
One of the first mistakes made in buying a helmet in the youth or toddler category is trying to buy for the future. Too big of a helmet will not protect properly, as there is too much movement inside the helmet. Most toddler helmets include a lower rear section of the helmet to protect the base of the skull and spine, where youth helmets have a pronounced rear area for protection but do not extend as low.
One of the easiest helmets to recommend for this age range is the Giro Scamp. This is a great looking helmet with many colors, but also is flexible in its use, and can be used for snow sports, as well as summer.
The Giro is easily the best choice, as it is engineered correctly, and protects the head properly. Giro is one of the leading helmet makers in the world, and have years of experience behind them. Their chief focus is making helmets, rather than off-brand companies that do not engineer their own units.
Top Choice – Bell Ollie
Another top choice brand is Bell. Bell makes quite a few toddler helmet models. Bell understands the proper engineering and safety requirements at this age, and you will see helmets reflecting that.
Take the Bell Ollie helmet. This cool helmet looks like the older kids’ helmets and comes in many colors. It is popular because of this and allows the younger kids to fit in easier. They also have some cool offshoot versions for it as well.
The Ollie looks more skate helmet than anything, but the design is right. It provides great rear protection and also covers the temple properly as well. These are two key areas that must be protected on very young kids. Additionally, this helmet doubles for skating, snow, and a variety of other sports.
The design of this helmet makes it easy to fit low on the forehead. While some adult helmet styles can look cool, for younger kids, these helmets can be dangerous. Kids’ crashes are at lower speeds, so the helmet needs to work differently, thus the bigger coverage. Adult crashes are faster and usually sliding. Adult helmets are designed for airflow as well.
The other cool aspect of the Ollie is that the low rear creates a natural chin strap mount point. This point helps anchor the helmet better, so it doesn’t swing down into the eyes.
High-End Helmets: POC POCito
In adult helmets, there are significant differences in design and engineering that make up a helmet. And while similar is true in youth helmets, the argument that expensive is better is not all that great. Generally, an expensive adult helmet will have aerodynamics, an inner cage to hold the helmet together through multiple impacts, and additional engineering for comfort and fit.
On kids’ helmets, aerodynamics and high-speed crashes are not part of the design. High-end adult helmets used in racing could see crashes above 30mph, where kids helmets might see 1/3rd that speed.
So high end in toddler and youth helmets will add some cool features for parents. Take the POC POCito helmet. The cool engineering here is specialty internal pads that absorb impacts better than just foam and styrofoam.
The POC also integrates flashing LED lights for immediate visibility. Not many adult helmets offer this feature. The POCito is also designed to crossover many sports.
Alternate Design: Bell Marvel Superheroe or Hello Kitty
A difficult proposition for some parents is getting your kids to wear a helmet in the first place. Making them want to wear is a whole different deal.
One of the cool alternate designs are these Bell Marvel Superhero helmets. There are quite a few options, so you may find one that works with your child’s movie likes, or heroes. If the helmet is cool to them, the hope is that they will wear it.
There are many designs out there for kids’ helmets. Another cool choice from Bell is the Hello Kitty helmet. One thing to make sure of is that you are searching out toddler sizing. It is easy to get confused and get a youth helmet which is for older kids.
As you can see, even with these two picks, there are many possibilities. For the most part, whatever your children are interested in for movies, tv, or other entertainment, there is probably a matching helmet which makes it much easier to find something to like.
Cute Helmets: Raskullz Child Unicorn
Coming up with a cute helmet is not hard to do anymore. A few years ago, the choices were slim, but with licensing, and a better market there are so many designs that it should be easy to find something cool.
Lets start with unicorns! Yes, there is a Raskullz Child Unicorn helmet listed, but be careful, some of them are for slightly older kids, make sure it fits well.
If we are talking cute, we have to go princess! While the shell is basic, the graphics are cool. Check out the Bell Princess Bike Helmets, they come in toddler and youth sizes.
It does have gemstones though. Be it a specific Disney Princess, or several, Bell probably has you covered.
If I saw all the kids on my block with these helmets, it would be so cool. The Bell Finding Dory helmets are a cool look, and really stand out for attention.
It isn’t just Dory, but there is Nemo also! Totally fun, and a really cute look for your young ones.
Key features to Look For in The Best Toddler Bike Helmet
Every helmet should come with sizing pads. These are usually sandwiched between the hard interior surface and the pre-installed pads. Having to stack more than one pad could mean that the helmet is way too big for the child’s head. Effectively, if you can insert a finger between the temple and the helmet on both sides at the same time, it is too big of a size.
The pads are there to help relieve pressure spots. Some heads have a more pronounced crown. Adding pads to the center can relieve direct pressure there.
Always check to verify that a CPSC label is on the interior of the helmet. ALL helmets sold in the USA must be CPSC certified. Some helmets may add Snell Memorial Foundation certification as well. Snell is a more stringent standard, but the CPSC standard is more than enough to certify ample protection.
Some helmets have features molded into them. Be careful of sharp edges, as they can cut the face pretty easily. One nice feature is an integrated visor. Not only to help with glare but to protect the nose more.
The chin strap is important on a helmet. Consider two things, make sure that the helmet is secure, but comfortable on the head. Second, the quick release buckle should be easily mastered. If the child struggles to buckle the strap, they may not wear it. After all, the goal is for it to be worn.
Toddler helmets are not really built for cooling. As I live in a very hot climate, I wonder why there isn’t a better cooling built-in. Part of this is the safety aspects for such a small helmet to have big vent holes. But keep in mind, during hot summer days, you may want to watch your kids for dehydration.
Finally, some helmets are starting to build LED lighting into the shell. If this isn’t a feature of a particular helmet, all is for naught. Lights are easy to glue on, or perhaps can be directly clipped on.
Conclusion – Best Toddler Bike Helmet
As you can see, there are so many helmets to choose from. We have barely scratched the surfaces with graphics, colors, and characters. There are hundreds to choose from. It should be easy to find something that your child will love to wear.
Try to condition your kids to wear helmets. There are dozens of studies that show that a great deal of hospital emergency room visits could be prevented by simply wearing a helmet. Bicycles are one of the key ways that kids can get hurt, so wearing the proper gear should be logical for parents to mandate.
There are no shortcuts with helmets. Always buy the right size first of all. Trying to buy for the future is wrong, and can add to injury rather than prevent one. Helmets that are too large, whether for children or adults cause issues.
Helmets are designed to cushion the impact in several ways. Both the outer shell and the padding helps. But if the helmet is too big, the head effectively makes the 2nd impact, with the inside of the helmet!
If you are looking for a great all-around helmet that will work for bikes, skates, home, or on the ski slopes, look at the Giro brand. Giro focuses on helmets, it is their primary business. The Giro Scamp is one of our top pics simply for the versatility.
Finding Nemo is an older movie, but who can resist the Dory and Nemo helmets? To see a big group of kids on their Striders all wearing cute helmets like these would be very picture-worthy.
In our worldwide marketplace, it is easy to find choices like these for our kids. Make sure that whatever helmet you choose has a minimum of a CPSC test sticker. If it passes multiple tests even better, as our kid’s lives are at stake. But a good helmet, it is worth it.