A Toddler Bicycle Helmets

Bicycle helmets are an essential piece of bike riding wardrobe for adults and toddlers alike. The young brain is quilt fragile and you only have one, so train your childrn to wear appropriately sized toddle bicycle helmets from the beginning and then they rarely see it as anything but normal, as long as you follow a few suggestions.

Brainwashing or training.. no helmet, no riding! When dealing with toddlers it is best to start them early. First and foremost buy them a helmet that fits properly with the strap fastened under their chin. It should sit flat, ie. horizontal with the ground, not resting on the back of their head or it will serve little purpose when and if they ever need it in a crash.

The straps must adjust around the ears without driving them crazy.

The newer designs have a flip lever that allows for quick and easy one handed adjustment of the length of the ear straps, encouraging the young ones to play with it until it is comfortable. It must be fastened securely so it doesn't shift in transit. Only with proper fitting will it protect your toddler. Bicycle helmets are of little value if they fall off when needed.

The buckle on a kids helmet should be easily done up and released by the child or they'll be frustrated by their lack of independence. Most of the newer helmets include a pinch proof buckle that prevents them from pinching their neck when doing it up. Again a small feature but gives them less reason to not wear their bicycle helmet.

First find a brand of bicycle helmet that has these features and then one that appeals to their sense of fashion, within that brand or style. For instance the Bell toddler bike helmet line has a selection of 3 different colour and pattern combinations each within the series of lil' Bell Shell, Amigo or Boomerang Bell helmet, … blue aliens, Pink Animals or Red Poodles. And the Bell Boomerang for toddlers just won the Consumer Reports Best Buy

A Kid's bicycle helmet must grow with the child! That doesn't mean that you have to purchase a new helmet every year. When a child is born its head is dis-proportionally large, then grows slower then the rest of their body, suggesting smaller yearly changes.

As well as that most kids' helmets are purchased a little larger and then have a number of foam pads of various thicknesses that are included with your purchase to fine tune the fit. You add the correct pads to the inside circumference of the helmet to make a firm fit around your child's head, shifting to the thinner foam as your child's head grows. The foam pads do not affect the protective capabilities of the bike helmet.

Manufacturers like Giro have a trade-in program called "grow with Giro" offered at many of their dealers. If your child outgrows his or her Giro Me2 helmet, you just have to take in the old helmet to the retailer and they are authorized to offer you a $10.00 discount on the purchase of a larger Giro bike helmet…. So be sure to ask.

Caution: A Kids Bicycle Helmet Can Be Dangerous! I know this sounds kind of stupid, but there have been a number of deaths both in North American and European countries where a toddler has died or been seriously injured when their helmet strap got hooked on playground equipment or climbing a tree. A toddler bike helmet must have a strong strap in order to keep the helmet on the child's head during a crash, but this creates a "hanging hazard" if it is used in occupations it was not intended for.

This is not a stretch if you remember the stories in Toronto a few years ago where two young boys were asphyxiated when the cords from their hoody sweaters got caught on the sharp corners of a playground slide. Since then the City of Toronto has removed all offending playground equipment until new designs can be created without the risk of injury.

More Information:
Cycling Helmet Basics
Bell Helmets
Giro Helmets

Consumer Reports Best Buy Review 2007
Regulations for a Kids Bicycle Helmet (under 5)

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copyright Jan. 2007