How to choose a bike helmet for your child

Cadel Evans tells you what you need to look out for when purchasing a bike helmet.

In Australia, bike riders of all ages must wear a helmet – and for good reason. Research shows that wearing a bicycle helmet can reduce the risk of head injuries by 69%, and of serious brain injury by up to 74%.

But not all bike helmets are created equal. Bike helmets come in a variety of styles, sizes and shapes, so you’ll need to try a few to find the right one for your child.

What to look for when buying a bike helmet

To make your search a little easier, Tour de France legend and Medibank ambassador Cadel Evans shares his top tips on what to look for.

1. Australian standards

All bicycle helmets sold in Australia are required to meet the Australian Safety Standards (AS/NZS2063). Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for helmets bought online or from overseas. If you’re buying a helmet online, buy from an Australian store and always make sure to check the safety standards.

2. Correct fit

“A helmet is not an item that you buy to grow into. If a helmet doesn’t fit correctly it won’t protect your child,” says Cadel. “If you’re not sure, ask the staff at your local store and I’m sure they’ll be happy to help you find the right fit.”

A helmet should sit firmly and comfortably on top of the head and shouldn’t move from side to side when your child shakes their head. When buying, look out for helmets with adjustable dials or straps. Helmets with these features offer a more comfortable and precise fit.

“A helmet is not an item that you buy to grow into. If a helmet doesn’t fit correctly it won’t protect your child.”

 

3. Construction

Bike helmets come in two construction styles: in-mold and hard shell. Both have an exterior shell that’s made from plastic and an interior layer of protective polystyrene foam.

If purchased from a store in Australia, both styles of helmet will provide adequate protection while riding.

The main differences in styles are:

• In-mold helmets have a thinner outer layer, so they are lighter and usually have more air vents, which makes them cooler to wear.

• Hard shell bike helmets have a thicker outer layer and look more similar to round, skateboarding helmets, which may be more appealing to some kids. However, because of their thick outer layer, hard shell helmets are heavier and have fewer vents, making them hotter to wear.

4. Design

The color and design of a child’s helmet is a lot more important than you might think. If you let your child have a say in which helmet you buy, chances are they’ll be more likely to wear it and be excited by it.

These days, you can find bike helmets that are spotted, striped or even have mohawks –so you can be sure to find one that your child will love.

When should you replace your child’s bike helmet?

Most bicycle helmet manufacturers recommend replacing a helmet every three to five years. While this is just a guide, it is something to think about if you’re planning to pass your child’s helmet on to a sibling or friend.

There are also three situations when you should definitely replace your child’s helmet.

1. If it no longer fits correctly

If your child has grown out of their helmet, it won’t offer adequate protection so it’s time to size up.

2. If the helmet is damaged from a crash or a hit

The inner foam layer of a bike helmet is designed to crumble or shatter to absorb impact. If a helmet has received a heavy blow, it will no longer provide adequate protection.

3. If any part of the helmet is broken or worn

Broken or worn straps, broken buckles, cracked outer layers – anything that affects the fit or construction of a helmet is a sign that it’s time to buy a new one.

Keep reading about the benefits of bike riding for kids and what you need to know. Share your favourite bike memory for the chance to win a balance bike for your child!

Recommended reading - Vegan recipes

Recipes

Mini vegan chocolate macadamia cheesecakes recipe

Here's a treat you can feel good about – naturally sweet 'cheesecakes', with delicious macadamias

Read more
Recipes

Coriander cashew pesto quinoa salad recipe

This vegan, gluten-free salad from Thoroughly Nourished Life is sure to liven up your weeknight.

Read more
Recipes

Purple sweet potato and pea pastie recipe

Hot or cold, these vegan pasties by Suzy Spoon make a deliciously healthy treat.

Read more
Recipes

Allergen-free red curry recipe

Be comforted by the warm, nourishing flavour of this yummy curry by Runners Kitchen.

Read more
Recipes

Heritage stuffed portobello mushroom recipe

Stuffing mushrooms with a herb-scented mix makes for an elegant and satisfying entree.

Read more
Recipes

Lentil loaf recipe

A vegan loaf with the earthy flavour of mushrooms and lentils with a fresh Mediterranean flair

Read more
Recipes

White bean and thyme dip recipe

Entertaining? Whip up this tasty dip from Forkin' Vegan and you're set to impress.

Read more
Recipes

Dijon potato salad recipe

Lighten up your potato salad with this delicious recipe from Forkin' Vegan.

Read more
Recipes

French lentil and tomato salad recipe

Like some lentils in your life? Fill up on this tasty vegan salad from Thoroughly Nourished Life.

Read more
Recipes

Crunchy vegetable and herb spaghetti recipe

Light and delicious, this spaghetti dish puts a fresh, herb-infused twist on a classic.

Read more
Recipes

Roast pumpkin and chickpea salad recipe

Roasted pumpkin with a tahini dressing - this is one salad you need in your life.

Read more
Recipes

Strawberry parfaits with pomegranate and pistachio recipe

A juicy burst of pomegranate makes these sweet vegan parfaits a real treat.

Read more
Recipes

Cypriot salad recipe

We're crazy about this light and colourful salad from Forkin' Vegan

Read more
Recipes

Spicy Bean Dip Recipe

Light and tasty, this protein-rich dip is sure to be a hit.

Read more
Recipes

Black Bean and Millet Stuffed Peppers Recipe

This vegan and gluten free dish from Thoroughly Nourished Life is sure to delight.

Read more
Recipes

Mushroom pâté with crispy bread sticks recipe

This pâté is high in fibre, potassium and iron – and it's pretty delicious, too!

Read more
Recipes

Cauliflower and broccoli soup with sweet potato crisps recipe

Warm up with this creamy, nourishing soup which is packed with nutrients from cruciferous veggies.

Read more
Recipes

Pecan, buckwheat, coconut and date granola recipe

Superfoods ahoy! This refreshing, crunchy blend is one sure way to get your morning fired up

Read more
Recipes

Zucchini noodle and coriander salad recipe

Try zucchini noodles with pineapple chilli dressing for a salad with a difference.

Read more

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.