Kids’ Bike Helmet Buyers Guide

For every single ride, no matter how short, children should always wear a helmet.

However, their helmet needs to fit perfectly to offer maximum protection, so you’ll need to choose the right fit. Then you’ve got colours and styles and shapes to contend with!

Here’s our guide to choosing the best kids’ bike helmet for your child, as well as a few tips to ensure it fits correctly.

Kids’ helmet sizing

Before you start shopping, you’ll need to know the size of your child’s head. Kids’ bike helmets use centimetres or inches to indicate which size is needed, so you’ll need an accurate measurement in order to get the correct fit.

Use a fabric tape measure to get your child’s head measurement; it’s flexible and comfortable for them. If you don’t have one, then a piece of string and a ruler or conventional tape measure should do the trick.

Wrap the fabric measure or string around your child’s head, with the tape sitting around an inch above their eyebrows. It shouldn’t be too tight and should be level around their head. Take down the measurement in both inches and centimetres, just in case the helmet your child likes only has sizing in one or the other.

If you’re using string, then keep your thumb on the point where the string overlaps and lie it against your ruler or tape measure, before taking the measurement down.

You can get more tips for getting the right size kids’ bike helmet in our how to size a kids’ bike helmet guide.

Buying the right kids bike helmet

Once you’re sized up, it’s time to try a few one. The best way to do this is to head to your local Halfords store with whoever is going to be wearing the helmet. If the helmet is going to be part of a Christmas or Birthday surprise, then you can always just buy using the measurements.

We sell a wide range of helmets in a variety of colours, shapes and styles, including kids mountain bike helmets, character helmets, full-face kids helmets and even mini road bike helmets for aspiring racers.

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Adjusting the helmet

Once everyone is happy with the style, design and size, there’s still a little bit of work to be done before they can get out and about.

Children’s cycle helmets need to be fitted precisely in order to offer maximum protection. Helmets that are too loose may not adequately cushion their head if they do come off their bike. Here are the key things to check.


The straps around their ears should make a comfortable V shape just underneath the ears and shouldn’t be loose. They shouldn’t dig in either, so ensure there is some tension without causing any irritation to the skin.

The strap under the shin should sit loosely against their skin, but shouldn’t droop more than a centimetre or too. If it’s too tight, then the helmet strap adjuster needs to be let out. Start small and go bigger if it still doesn’t look or feel right.


There should be enough space for your child to fit two fingers between their eyebrow and the bottom of the helmet. Any more or less and the helmet needs to be tightened or loosened.


If the helmet has a dial adjuster, then this needs to be at the correct tightness. If you can fit a full finger between the adjuster and the back of their head, then it’s too loose. If there’s no room between the adjuster and their head at all, then it’s probably too tight. Ask them how comfortable it feels as you get the setting right.

Wobble test

Ask your child to give their head a good shake in every direction. If the helmet moves significantly, then it’s too loose. If it still moves on maximum tightness on each setting, then it’s too big – time for a re-measure!

Once their helmet is on correctly, they’re good to go! If they’re just learning to ride a bike, or are fearless daredevils, then it may be worth pairing their new helmet with some safety pads. As well as saving the skin on their elbows and knees, it could be the difference between a trip to hospital or a quick rub off Mum or Dad then back in the saddle!

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