Getting It Right: Measuring Children for Proper Helmet Sizes

We all know how important safety is, and as parents, we certainly want to ensure our children’s safety at all times. Helmets are a crucial safety precaution for bike or tricycle riding, roller skating, scooting, and other activities, but it is important that the helmet fits properly or it cannot do its job. In certain cases, a poorly fitting helmet can actually cause more severe injuries in the event of a fall from a bike or scooter than not wearing a helmet at all. But how do you determine what size is appropriate for your child?

Some brands run smaller or larger than their peers do, so you need to know how to measure your child’s head properly to compare his or her head size to the size of the helmet. First, wrap a soft cloth tape measure around your child’s head, approximately one centimetre above his or her eyes and ears. A string will suffice if you don’t have a cloth tape measure. Record the measurement by finding the spot where the end of the tape or string meets the rest, without overlap. Once you have this measurement in hand, you can check it against the manufacturer’s helmet sizing information to find the best fit for your child.

While it is important to measure your child’s head to determine his or her individual head size, you may find the following average sizes helpful in determining a range of helmets to narrow down:

6-12 Months: 41-48 cm

12-36 Months: 46-48 cm

3-10 Years: 48-51 cm

Just remember: there is no such thing as “standard” when it comes to head size in children, and there is no standard for helmet sizes either. An extra small in one brand could have the same range as a small in another, so it is important to pay attention to the measurement range, not the size, to ensure the safest, snuggest fit for your child.