It sounds simple — if your child wants to ride a bike or skateboard, then they have to wear a helmet.
As many seasoned parents know, the reality is often different, especially as your child gets older. We know that safety is your top priority, which is why all the helmets on our list are CPSC or ASTM certified.
Second on the priority list is the cool factor. If you want your child to wear the helmet, it has to look appealing.
We’ve compiled a list of fun, exciting options that will have your kids excitedly reaching for their helmets every time they go for a ride.
In this article:
Does my child need to wear a helmet?
Experts can’t stress this enough: YES. Wearing a helmet is essential while biking, skateboarding, roller skating, ice skating, or engaging in any other activity that risks trauma to the brain.
In some states, it’s even the law. Wearing a helmet reduces the risk of head injury by 45% and brain injury by 33%.1Bike Helmets: Finding the Right Fit chla.org/blog/health-and-safety-tips/bike-helmets-finding-the-right-fit
Simply put, it’s just not worth the risk. Your child may put up a fight, especially as they approach their teenage years, but don’t give in. Rather, lead by example yourself by wearing your own helmet when biking.
Can my child wear a used helmet?
Avoid the temptation to use a previously used helmet. Helmets are essentially only good for one impact, and you have no way of knowing what a used helmet has been through.
That being said, helmets should be replaced after each crash. You must also size up when your child outgrows their current helmet. It may seem inconvenient, but it will protect your child from brain trauma or injury.
How do I measure my kid’s head for a helmet?
Starting in the center of your child’s forehead, wrap the measuring tape around their head while keeping it level all the way around.
If you only have a ruler, you can also wrap a string around their head and then measure that. When ordering a helmet for your child, make sure to choose a size based not on age, but on head circumference.
Head size can vary greatly from person to person. Proper fit is extremely important when it comes to helmet safety, so check the fit immediately after purchasing.
The helmet should not slide around on your child’s head but, instead, fit snugly (but comfortably). The back of the helmet should not touch the child’s neck, and there should be room for one or two finger widths between their eyebrows and the helmet.
The chin strap should be tightened till it fits closely and you can adjust any dials that your helmet has for a better fit.
Your child should be able to see straight ahead, from side to side, and shake their head without the helmet sliding around.
What should I look for in a child’s helmet?
Safety. Make sure the helmet is safety-certified by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).
CPSC standards are more specific to bicycle riding, while you’ll want to look for ASTM certification on skateboarding or multi-impact helmets.
Helmets Dual Certified to Both Bike and Skateboard Standards
Better yet, many helmets have both.
Size and adjustability. Measure your child’s head to find the best fit. If your child has either a smaller or larger than normal head, look for a helmet with adjustment dials. These help ensure the right fit and keep your child safe.
Features. Vents, padded chin straps, side buckles, extra padding, and lightweight construction are some of the available features on today’s market, and, at varying prices, you can choose what’s most important for you and your child.
Design. If your child is wearing the helmet for hours at a time, design is important. Will they want a traditional bike helmet, a skater helmet, a 3-D animal design, a mohawk, or a dry erase helmet? Whatever the case, they’re all on our list.
Our top picks for the best kids bike helmets
In addition to being a trusted scooter company, Razor also makes very cool kids’ bike helmets. We love the price, the look, and that they come in four different colors.
With 17 vents to keep heads cool in the summer heat, it’s the most ventilated helmet on the list.
The durable buckle will keep the helmet secured to your child’s head no matter what they get into and is easy to adjust and release. Parents loved the ergonomic padding included for a tighter fit.
Kids who are into skateboarding, BMXing, or rollerblading won’t mind wearing these helmets because they’re both comfortable and will keep them cool (both figuratively and literally). Be assured their heads will be safe with the Razor V-17 (check price on Amazon) multi-sport helmet that meets all CPSC safety requirements.
The child-size is intended for ages 5 – 8 years and measures 21.5 to 22 inches, although some parents thought this helmet was larger than expected.
What we love
- The helmet is super ventilated to keep kids from overheating.
- Your skateboarder won’t mind wearing this cool helmet.
- The ergonomic designed padding will keep them comfortable.
- Some parents found it large.
Best for boys
The Raskullz Mohawk Bike Helmet (check price on Amazon) is just what you need to get your wild child to keep that helmet on. If you’re wondering just how fun these are, some design options are Slimeball, Pirate, Camo, and T-rex.
Parents were impressed with the quality of the vibrant patterns, and kids unanimously loved the 3-D rubber mohawks. The non-toxic mohawks are lightweight, elastic, durable, and soft.
Raskullz has imaginative, well-designed helmets that were a hit with parents and kids alike. While we love these for the little boy in your life, I know many girls who’d be thrilled to rock one of these.
There’s even a zebra-striped, pink option for pink lovers. However, this helmet isn’t just for show and meets CPSC and ASTM standards.
The EPS shell and soft interior pads absorb the shock of any impact, keeping your child safe. Raskullz is the first company to use 3-D technology to create helmets your kids will certainly want to wear.
At a little extra cost, some come with LED lights in the spikes. Designed for children 5 and over, they measure 48 to 52 centimeters.
What we love
- These helmets are well-made and comfortable.
- Your child will want to wear a helmet with these imaginative 3-D designs.
- The EPS shell and soft padding keep your kids safe.
- Parents felt the LED lights weren't worth the extra $10 because they glowed for under a minute at a time, and the batteries can't be replaced.
Best for older kids
The Raskullz Mohawk Bike Helmet (check price on Amazon) is designed for children ages 8 to 14, and for 22- to 23.5-inch head circumference. Your child can adjust the side chin strap for a better fit, and the buckle releases easily and quickly.
What we love
- Razor helmets have a modern design for your older kids.
- It meets CPSC safety standards.
- The side release buckle is adjustable and easy to use.
- Make sure to measure your child’s head, as some parents found that this helmet ran large. Some adults were even able to use it.
Best animal themed helmet
If your child wants a helmet that’ll turn them into their favorite animal, then CredHedz is here to grant their wish! For $25, your child can be a panda, penguin, tiger, shark, or cat, among others.
Of all the different animal helmets we looked at, CredHedz (check price on Amazon) had by far the most animal options for your child to choose from.
We also liked the look of the animal faces more than the competitors’, but check them out for yourself.
These helmets not only look fun, but they’re also safe, comfortable, and will keep your child’s head protected from any fall. Some features we liked were the shock-absorbing EPS inner shell, the cooling vents, and the adjustable straps.
Parents love these adorable 3-D animal helmets and found that their skateboarding tiger child was happy to keep it on.
What we love
- CredHedz are comfortable and loved by kids.
- The awesome animal designs can’t be beat.
- The helmets are comfortable and shock-absorbing.
- A couple reviewers reported that the outer shell on the helmet warped in the heat.
Best for girls
Just about every little girl I know has gone through an intense unicorn phase, which is why this colorful helmet is the way to get your rider to protect her head while tearing it up on her bike or skateboard.
This ASTM certified Raskullz Child Unicorn Helmet (check price on Amazon) comes in multiple shades of pink and purple and sports adjustable sliders, an open ventilation system, and a soft inner shell.
You and your child will love that this helmet has a 3-D rubber horn, snout, ears, and mane that are all non-toxic and soft to the touch, plus an LED option for a light-up horn.
Knowing that Raskullz is part of Bell, one of the biggest bike companies in the business, you can rest assured that this pretty pink helmet will keep your child safe.
What we love
- The colorful pink and purple unicorn design.
- The affordable price makes it an easy choice.
- It doesn’t skimp on safety features.
- While it is intended for ages 5 to 8, parents found this helmet ran small.
Best for budget
The Bell Rally Kids’ Bike Helmet (check price on Amazon) is made by one of the most trusted names in biking and features a classic bike helmet design.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive, traditional bike helmet, Bell has you covered. We love that it comes in eight different colors and has a visor for sunshade, patented pinch guard, and True Fit adjusting belt.
Your child won’t pinch their fingers taking this on and off, and you can adjust the True Fit system for a perfect fit. The adjustability was especially appreciated by parents because, as we all know, one size doesn’t fit all.
Other standout features include comfortable foam inside the helmet and adjustable chin straps that are properly positioned for bike safety. Made for children 5 – 8 years, with a 52 – 56 cm. head circumference.
What we love
- Bell is a leading bicycle helmet company.
- Has a more traditional, functional appearance.
- One of the most inexpensive kids' bike helmets.
- A couple parents found that the glue on the foam inserts pulled their child’s hair.
Best for safety
We chose this helmet because, even though it’s the priciest option, it has several features that make it a standout.
The Giro Scamp MIPS Helmet (check price on Amazon) is the only one on our list that features cutting-edge MIPS (Multi-Directional Impact Protection System) technology.
In short, this safety feature redirects energy to provide extra protection during impact and reduce the rotational force on the rider’s brain.
It’s most helpful in angled impact protection and ideal for kids more prone to intense biking or skating accidents, as it will reduce trauma to the brain (3).
If you cringe while watching your daredevil perform their favorite tricks, the higher price tag may be worth it.
Another popular feature is the Roc Loc Jr. Fit system, a dial that helps shape the helmet to each individual head. Between this and the in-mold construction, this helmet will fit a variety of head sizes and shapes.
Parents found that the customizable dial fit their child’s head very well. Sizing was a major complaint with some of the other helmets, so that alone gives this helmet a leg up.
Worth mentioning are the visor, EPS liner, eight vents, and pinch guard buckle. The Giro Scamp Helmet comes in two sizes ranging from 45 to 57 cm, one of the widest ranges on our list.
What we love
- The MIPS technology will give parents peace of mind.
- It features a wide size range.
- The dial fit system helps customize the size.
- You'll spend more for this one, but its safety features and sizing make it money well spent.
Best with visor
The Bern Kids’ Helmet (check price on Target) is a great bike helmet for kids if you’re looking for a more mature, stylish option to keep your kiddo safe.
We chose this one because it combines style and functionality, comes in multiple colors, and has a flip visor for protection from sun or gravel.
It’s available in three different sizes for kids, and the crank fit helps make sure the helmet stays tight on your child’s head for optimal safety.
Parents loved the fit of this children’s bike helmet, including many who had been through several ill-fitting helmets before opting for the Bern. Most importantly, it held up really well in accidents.
This helmet also comes in an adult version, with reviewers raving about how comfortable it is. They found it to be lightweight, nicely padded, well ventilated, and an all-around great fit, proving again that Bern knows what they’re doing.
What we love
- The adjustment knob provides a better fit.
- This bike helmet is comfortable and effective.
- Bern is available in multiple sizes and colors for kids.
- Not your cheapest option.
Best multipurpose helmet for kids
The Flybar Skateboard Helmet (check price on eBay) is advertised for aggressive skateboarding, longboarding, pogoing, roller skating, or BMXing.
If you don’t know what half of those things are, you’re not alone. If you do, this might be the perfect helmet to keep your wild child safe. There are over ten color options and three different sizes for kids, all the way up to 24 inches in circumference.
Some features include a high-density EPS foam interior and ABS outer shell that reduce the severity of head injuries. It’s also CPSC and ASTM safety certified.
Parents and kids were very happy with the padded chin strap, adjustment dial, twelve vents, and found that this helmet was comparable in quality to its more expensive counterparts.
Your son or daughter will love choosing from a solid matte finish or a fun pattern. Flybar has impeccable customer service — always a plus.
What we love
- These helmets are made from high quality materials to keep your kid safe, no matter what they’re into.
- Flybar has a wide range of size options.
- The adjustment dial and padded chin strap make for a comfortable, snug fit.
- A couple reviewers had the buckle on their helmets break.
Best for artists
Budding artist? We’ve got just the helmet. Wipeout Dry Erase Kids’ Helmet (check price on Walmart) comes with five non-toxic markers and eight different stencils so your child can create an original design time and time again.
They can draw and wipe off as many times as they want so that, when their interests change, so does their helmet. Reviewers found that once the marker dries, the drawings stay on very well, so they won’t be rubbed off while riding.
These bike helmets for kids come in black, neon pink, neon green, and teal, and cost around $20, making them an affordable gift idea for kids that love customizing their stuff.
While you may think that this helmet won’t hold up when put to the test, that’s simply not the case. Parents were pleased with the durability and quality, and that their child was eager to wear it.
It’s both CPSC and ASTM certified and available in two sizes for kids of all ages.
What we love
- Your child can assert their individuality with fun drawings.
- Meets all safety standards.
- A great gift idea for creative and active kids.
- The Wipeout Dry Erase helmet does not have an adjustable knob.
And the winner is…
Our favorite among bike helmets for kids has to be the Razor V-17 Child Helmet (check price on Amazon).
It’s cool, comfortable, ventilated, and will stand up to whatever your kid puts it through. Even better, when your child outgrows it, simply move them up to the Youth size.
Whether you have an artist, daredevil, unicorn lover, or all three, we’ve got you covered. You can rest easy knowing that your child’s head will be kept safe with one of these winners.
There may be some trial and error while finding the right size and fit for your child, but there’s nothing more important than keeping those brains protected.