There’s a reason why your parents always hounded you to wear a helmet: When your child has a need for speed, you have to make sure they’re well protected. Bike helmets are the most important component when preparing your rider for the open road or winding sidewalk, even if your cyclist has a clean record. Unfortunately, accidents happen, kids crash and you need to make sure that if you can’t prevent the fall, you can at least prevent a serious injury.
When shopping for kids’ bicycle helmets, there are a few things to keep in mind: safety features, comfort and visual appeal, in pretty much that order. Ask yourself, does the helmet meet U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) criteria? Are the straps easily adjustable? How long until your child outgrows the helmet? Comfort is also key — you don’t want your child to feel weighed down because then they definitely won’t want to wear it.
The good news is, kids’ bike helmets come in a variety of colors, shapes and patterns, so finding a style they’ll actually want to sport shouldn’t be too difficult. Here are a few of our top picks.
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1. Schwinn Thrasher Microshell Bicycle Helmet
Schwinn’s Thrasher Microshell Bicycle Helmet comes in a range of styles for cyclists as young as five years old. Tough enough to keep your child safe from injury but light enough so that they don’t feel weighed down, Schwinn’s kids’ bike helmet features a 360-degree comfort system that combines a dial-adjust fit with full-range padding. And that’s in addition to its side straps to help properly adjust the head piece.
If your child’s a speed demon in the summer, no sweat: the helmet has a whopping 20 air vents to keep noggins nice and cool. What’s more, these helmets are also designed to be just as stylish as they are safe with a range of 12 colors and patterns to choose from.
2. Razor V-17 Sports Helmet
Razor’s V-17 Sports Helmet is as sleek as they come. Aesthetically, the helmet is smooth all around and comes in a wide range of colors and finishes including gloss, satin, bold mattes and glitter. This kids’ bike helmet was designed for riders eight to 14 years old, and fits heads 22 to 23.5 inches. Featuring ergonomic interior padding to fit your individual child’s shape most comfortably and 17 top and side vents to keep them cool on the go, this helmet is also compliant with the CPSC, so you can rest easy knowing your child’s in good hands on the road (or sidewalk).
3. Bell Rally Child Helmet
Adjusting your kid’s bike helmet shouldn’t be rocket science — if you can’t figure it out, they’re definitely going to struggle. Bell’s Rally Child Helmet was designed to simplify the process for both parent and child. Unlike other bike helmets that use knobs, this one boasts a True Fit mechanism that features an adjustable elastic belt at the back of the head. Just make sure your child’s chin strap is tight enough and they’re ready to ride.
4. TeamObsidian FunWave Kids Bike Helmet
Kids aren’t always super compliant when it comes to wearing their bicycle helmets. The straps are too itchy, it’s all too tight — you’ve probably heard every excuse in the book. Once they feast their eyes on TeamObsidian’s kids’ bike helmet that’s decked out in Blue Shark and Pink Octopus aquatic designs, however, the whining will stop.
Designed for children ages 3 to 7, the FunWave is CPSC-certified and features an absorbing expanded polystyrene shell (EPS) that molds to the shape of your child’s head for the utmost comfort and protection. It also features 14 vent holes for cool air flow, a visor to block the sun and keep their vision clear, as well as a Fit Dial adjustable system with padded inserts for extra cushion.
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