Riding a bike is fun for kids, but also risky: Hundreds of children have to be rushed to the ER every day because of bicycle-related injuries. Of those injuries, 15% are to the head and neck, and 11% are traumatic brain injuries. Wearing a good bike helmet should therefore be a “no-brainer.” But which helmets offer the greatest protection? Study Finds consulted 10 expert websites to find the best bike helmets for children to keep your little ones safe.
Almost 90% of children with fractured skulls from bicycling accidents were not wearing helmets – another number that proves how important it is to protect your child’s head. “Wearing a helmet while riding a bike is the best way to decrease the risk of serious injuries,” says Dr. Lara McKenzie, principal investigator in the Center for Injury Research and Policy. “We want parents and kids to keep riding their bikes, but it’s important for all riders to wear a helmet.”
And yet, one in five parents are not taking this basic safety measure for their bike-riding children. Sadly, when it comes to skateboards and scooters, the numbers are even worse. “It is very concerning that so many children ride bikes and other non-motorized wheeled vehicles without ever using helmets,” says Dr. Gary Freed, pediatrician at C.S. Mott.
If your child does not have a helmet, or if you need to replace an old one, please check out our list below. StudyFinds gathered information from ten expert websites to create a list of the top five best bike helmets for kids. If we missed any, please let us know in the comments!
The List: Best Bike Helmets For Kids, According To Safety Experts
1. Nutcase Little Nutty/Baby Nutty
The colorful Nutcase helmets are a clear expert favorite. “The Nutcase Little Nutty Helmet is our best overall pick because it’s stylish, provides security, and offers full protection,” writes Verywell Family. “With an Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) shell, a hard thermoplastic that is considered the best option for helmets, and Multi-Directional Impact Protection System (MIPS), this helmet offers full-coverage protection for your adventurous little one.”
The Nutcase helmets are available in multiple styles and three sizes – baby, toddler, and youth – “to suit every child’s needs and style preference,” says Bikexchange. They “are some of the best child bike helmets designed not only to look and feel good but keep your little ones safe and protected.”
As for the baby model, it “is available in just one tiny size […] but comes with two sets of pads so you can get a closer fit. It’s made from an in-mold EPS foam with a polycarbonate shell that’s lighter than Nutcase’s harder-shell Little Nutty, which is for heads too big for the Baby model,” mentions Bicycling.
2. Giro Scamp
The Giro Scamp is another expert favorite and a close second to the Nutcase. The Strategist voted the Giro Scamp “best overall” bike helmet for kids and toddlers, referring to its release as a “sea change.” “You can’t go ten feet down a bike path without someone singing the praises of the Giro Scamp.”
For Babylist, this helmet is a winner because it “is lightweight, easy to adjust, and comfortable.” Beyond that, “it aligns with the curvature of your child’s head and has a rubberized adjustment knob that’s a cinch for parents to securely tighten.”
Among kids, the Giro Scamp has “consistently been one of our testers’ favorites because it’s so lightweight and comfortable,” states Two Wheeling Tots. And for parents, “it offers incredible quality and great coverage. The Scamp is a win-win!” The helmet comes in MIPS and non-MIPS versions.
3. Joovy Noodle
If you want quality on an under $50 budget, this helmet is for you. “Joovy Noodle helmets are the perfect mid-range helmet – offering great features at a great price,” says Two Wheeling Tots. It’s not as “high-end” as other top helmets, but “the Joovy is heads above any helmet you’re going to pick up at Walmart.”
In addition to “plenty of ventilation,” this helmet’s “front vents are covered in mesh to prevent bugs from getting in — a thoughtful feature for kids who are getting down in the dirt,” mentions The Strategist. Because of the “accessible price point,” the Joovy Noodle is not available with MIPS. However, it’s still CPSC-approved.
“Many of the safest helmets can be on the higher end of the price spectrum, but the Joovy Noodle is a budget-friendly option that doesn’t skimp on safety,” notes Verywell Family. This helmet further covers a wide age range from one to nine with its sizes XS and S.
4. Giro Tremor
Our number four is the second-most expert-hailed Giro helmet. Like the Giro Scamp, “the Giro Tremor also boasts the added safety of MIPS technology,” says Rascal Rides. In addition, it’s “one of the more attractive kids’ bike helmets on the market” and a “top pick” for mountain biking kids.
As a mountain biking-style helmet, the Giro Tremor is “one of the lightest children’s helmets on the market. The padding is quick drying for all weather use and the decals are reflective to enhance the visibility of child riders in poor lighting conditions for added safety,” adds Bikexchange.
Verywell Family adds, “In addition to all of the safety features, this helmet is also functional and stylish. It comes in several bright colors and is ponytail compatible (a huge plus for kids with long hair). It also has 18 vents for optimal air circulation and a removable sun visor.”
5. Tie: Woom Kids’ Helmet and Bell Sidetrack/Sidetrack II
With an equal number of experts “top pick votes,” these two ended up tying. According to Bikexchange, the stylish Woom helmet with a reflective logo “is tough enough to take on harsh falls and the soft padding on the inside keeps kids safe while providing comfort.”
The Strategist says, it comes with a “flexible visor that is designed for both sun protection and to cushion any falls.” Unfortunately, this helmet is not available with MIPS.
The Bell Sidetrack, however, is available with or without MIPS. This helmet “has a trendy, mountain-bike style design, and safety experts give it top ratings for crash protection,” says SafeWise. In addition, “it’s priced reasonably, and its extra comfort features put it near the top of our list for best kids’ bike helmets.” Bicycling notes that both the Sidetrack and the Sidetrack II have “good coverage at the back of the head,” built-in visors, and a dial adjuster system. Babylist says this makes them “a seriously cool, safe helmet.”
- Verywell Family
- The Strategist
- Two Wheeling Tots
- Rascal Rides
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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.