When it comes to cycling with a baby on board, you might be a little apprehensive; after all you’re riding some precious cargo – your child. So to make it safer for baby and put your mind at ease, getting the right baby bike helmet is an absolute must. It needs to be secure, well designed and comfortable to really do the job.
However, when it comes to choosing the right helmet for an infant or toddler it’s not always straightforward. Manufacturers, on a whole, tend to make helmets for children of school age and upwards. But with a little digging around there are still some excellent options for baby helmets. Here we’ll explore some of the best ones on the market today, so you and your infant can both enjoy a trouble free bike ride.
How do baby bike helmets differ from adult helmets?
Before we dive into the comparison of baby helmets, you might be wondering about the differences between infants and adult helmets.
Since a baby’s skull is not properly formed, infant helmets have the bigger task of protecting those delicate areas. For instance, the fontanel region of the head (also known as the soft spot) located at the top of the head, needs particular care. Also, there’s a huge weight difference between adult and infant heads, so baby helmets tend to focus on being as light as possible.
A few years back baby helmets were just miniature versions of adult ones. The good news is that since then helmets for infants have come a long way. These days you can expect a certain features as standard. For example, infant helmets tend to be more rounded or flatter at the back, this prevents it sliding forward and pressing on the upper portion of the head where it could cause damage. Extra padding is also added at the rear of infant’s helmets, this acts like a shock absorber protecting the back of the head, as well as giving a better fit.
Below are some other tips to make your bike ride a safe one. Although these steps don’t eliminate risk of injury, they will certainly help to prevent them.
- When riding with your little one, try to avoid going out in lousy weather.
- Stick to quiet streets, parks and places where there’s less commotion, this way there’s less reason to brake suddenly and cause your infant’s head to jolt forward.
- Try short trips first to see how you get on with your baby on board before anything longer. This will allow you to see how your bike handles with the extra weight.
- An infant should always be strapped into their child seat with a strong and sturdy harness.
- Do your best to stay visible to drivers, since a majority of them will take more care when they see you cycling with a small child.
- Always ensure that your infant wears their helmet and that the helmet is the best possible fit.
Things To Consider When Buying A Baby Helmet
Even as an adult there are few things worse than having a buckle that pinches and chaffs your face, so you can imagine what it’s like on the sensitive skin of a infant. A “pinch free” buckle ensures that wearing the helmet is a comfortable one.
ince an infant’s neck muscles are still developing, too much weight around that area is a big no no. Look out for Lightweight helmets to ensure small children can easily remain upright.
A well ventilated head is a happy head, particularly in the warmer months.
It would be easy to assume that helmets, just like clothes, need constant replacing as your baby get bigger. However, this is not always the case. Many helmets come with two and sometimes three sets of foam padding which “grow” with your child. You start with the thicker pads and as your child gets older, progress to the thinner ones.
For that secure fit, adjustable straps are a must. These should form a Y and come together beneath the ear lobe, ensuring a snug yet comfortable fit.
What is it made of?
High-quality components such as EPS, which stands for Expanded Polystyrene foam, have great shock absorbing abilities. The density in EPS ensures that it either cushions or crushes on impact preventing head injury.
Quality and price don’t need to be mutually exclusive; in a good baby helmet it’s possible to have both.
Appearance / design
he more visually stimulating and interesting the helmet is to the infant the less chance they’ll be tantrums when it comes to putting it on. Aside from aesthetics, a baby helmet with a flat back will support the back of your baby’s head.
Top 5 Safe Baby Bike Helmets
ELENKER Adjustable Baby Toddler Safety Helmet Hat Head Protection Blue
This helmet comes in a variety of soft pastel colours from baby blue to pale peach, and at just under £20 it’s very reasonably priced too. It comes with the addition of a special mesh material called IXPE. This lines the interior and gives it extra shock absorbency, as well as making it impact resistant and soft. It also features:
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- A visor that inclines towards the face if there is a fall
- Good ventilation
- If helmet happens to be hooked by an external force, a “magic tape” immediately loosens the hat protecting the child.
- 100% breathable cotton material
- Aged for infants from 8 to 60 months, it has removable inserts that enable it to “grow” with your baby.
- Weighs 322 g
It should be noted that this is classed as a protective hat rather than a professional safety helmet for bike riding. It’s primarily designed for infants learning to crawl and walk. Even so, this helmet provides great everyday protection at a low cost.
Nutcase – Baby Nutty Street Bike Helmet, Fits Your Head, Suits Your Soul
With designs such as vibrant Stripes, cow skin and fuchsia pink to name but a few, these bike helmets are bound to peak your infants interest. At around £40 they cost twice as much as the ELENKER Adjustable Baby Toddler Safety Helmet, but these are most certainly meant for bike wear. It also features:
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- EPS shock absorbing lining
- Easy-on, Easy-off buckle – The magnetic buckle opens and closes easily, while remaining secure. This is great for getting the helmet on wriggling toddlers fast.
- Lightweight shell – The “Baby Nutty” helmets are just 9.9oz / 280g. Its ergonomic-design is also ideal for creating the right seating posture.
- Has “no pinch buckle”
- Adjustable pads – These allow the helmet to expand as your infant grows.
- Ventilation – Located on both the top and back this helmet has a nice amount of air flow.
- Certified – This helmet holds a CPSC safety certificate for baby heads from 1 year and upwards
Not only does this helmet include many of the features need in a good infant helmet, many users have stated this “fits like a glove”. It is designed so the baby’s head doesn’t tip back or get tipped forward when in use, providing excellent coverage. However, this is a fairly pricy helmet.
WeeRide Babies Bike Helmet – Black, 44 cm/Small
While the flame design implies that you’re going to have a little daredevil on your hands, this helmet doesn’t skimp on safety. At approximately £35 it’s just behind “Baby Nutty Street Bike Helmet” price wise. But this helmet specialises in fitting infants under 1 year old. This is good news for little ones with smaller heads or baby’s under a year. It also features:
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- Twist technology – This ensures the snuggest fit
- Lightweight design – At 190g this does not add any undue pressure an infants neck or head.
- Washable padding – These are available in black, pink and blue
- Adjustable straps
- Design – This helmet is designed with a flatter back to protect the back of the head
Although the WeeRide Babies Bike Helmet isn’t as feature rich as the Nutcase – Baby Nutty Street Bike Helmet, however it is much lighter and smaller making it easier on younger infants heads and necks. Created by European manufacturers, it made at a high standard.
ABUSA Infant Baby Toddler Safety Helmet Kids Head Protection Hat for Biking Walking Crawling
Available in sky blue, at just over £15 this is the cheapest of all the helmets. With a well padded interior this nicely cushions your infants head providing support for biking, walking and crawling. It also features:
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- Filling – Just like the Elenker Helmet the Abusa also contains IXPE for better shock absorption
- Applicable Age – The helmet fits babies aged eight to sixty months which, like the Nutty Street Bike Helmet, enables infants younger than 1 to wear it.
- Has a damping and cushioning functioning, this alleviates damage to the head when infants falls forward
- Magic tape – Like the Elenker Helmet this automatically loosens the helmet under great pressure, protecting the infant
- Good ventilation
- Very lightweight at just 141 g
This helmet has a good amount of saftey features at only a fraction of the cost of other helmets, it is also the lightest helmet featured here. That being said, some users have commented that the fit is not quite as snug as they’d like. Still, this is a well solid helmet at a very low price.
Giro Me2 Baby Bicycle Helmet
At a mid to low price range of about £20, these colourful cheery looking helmets are a good option. Made for children 1 and up, this helmet includes an advanced strap feature to ensure it stays firmly in place. It also features:
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- Mini-loc system for more helmet security.
- Built-in visor – Along with this it has a handy built-in bug net
- Ventilation – Twenty vents for good amount of circulation to the head
- Adjusts to head size by simply turning a knob
- Meets CE EN1078 certification.
- EPS liner for shock absorbing along with a light micro shell outer protect
- Pinch-guard buckle.
- Reflective rear decal for higher visibility.
- Designed with flat back to protect the back of the head.
This helmet certainly does not hold back on features. For a relatively low priced helmet, it’s a pleasant surprise to see it contain the same EPS technology as the more expensive Baby Nutty Street Bike Helmet. It is also the only helmets with built in bug net, which will be a welcome addition on warmer days. One of the few downsides noted are the Velcro straps that may pull away if the helmet is secured too tightly.
Whether you’re a parent that relies on their bicycle to get around, or you simply want to take your infant out without the car, these baby bike helmets offer viable options for protecting your little one. Take the WeeRide Babies Bike Helmet, for example, this could be a good choice for infants under 1 while the Giro Me2 Baby Bicycle Helmet exhibits a great deal of safety technology for the price. Whatever helmet you decide on, once the safety is taken care of, you and your little one can get on with making the most of those bike rides.