Bike Helmet for 3 Year Old

Updated on May 30, 2010
C.A. asks from Petaluma, CA
7 answers

We are buying our daughter a bike for her 3rd birthday. I just started looking at bike helmets and realized that this is a big decision (it protects her brain after all). What should I look for when buying a helmet? Are some brands better then others? Are the Princess ones just as safe as a more expensive one? Should I go to an actual bike shop and buy one? Do places actually "fit" them for you (I did see that Consumer Reports has a great video about how to fit it, but I would love someone who knows what they are doing to make sure it fits, she's always had a bit of a large head 75% when the rest of her is 50%)? Should we get knee and elbow pads? I want to keep her safe, but I also don't want to make it hard for her to actually ride the bike :O)
Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Thank you!

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

More Answers



answers from Cincinnati on

hi -
Good for you for looking for a helmet to go with the bike :) I have treat children in the past who have sustained head injuries from falling off a bike and hitting their head “just right” to cause a life changing injury…. One that is preventable. Do you have a local children's hospital near by? The children's hospital in Ohio measures children for helmets and the parents can buy the helmets there.

Here is some great info on fitting a helmet:

Also according to in order to look for a proper helmet you want to assess the 4 S's: Size, Strap, Straight and Snell.

Size: Try on several different helmets before you purchase one. The best way to gauge comfort level and fit is through comparison. The helmet should fit comfortably all the way around your head. Additional pads can be used to make it snug.

Strap: Pay attention to the chin strap. Make sure that the chin strap fits around your ear and under your chin snugly and comfortably. The helmet should not shift on your head.

Straight: Know how a helmet should fit. A helmet is meant to be worn low on the forehead, just above your eyebrows. Look into a mirror or have a friend/parent help you determine the proper fit.

Sticker: Look for Snell certification. Snell Standards are the most stringent in the world, exceeding those set by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Need to know which helmet is Snell certified? Browse through our helmet certification lists. (the website has a list of certified helmets).

From (AAP)

Here are some things to keep in mind when buying a helmet:
1)Pick bright colors that are visible to drivers and other cyclists.
2) Look for a helmet that's well ventilated.
3) Make sure that the helmet has a CPSC or Snell sticker inside. These indicate that the helmet meets standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or the Snell Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit group that tests helmet safety.
4) Make sure your child's helmet fits correctly and can be adjusted.
5) You should be able to get help finding a well-fitting helmet and adjusting it properly at any bicycle store
6) When kids wear a helmet, make sure that the straps are fastened. Also make sure they don't wear any other hat underneath it.
7) Be sure to replace any helmet made before 1999. If your child hits any surface hard while wearing a helmet, replace it — helmets lose their capacity to absorb shock after taking serious hits.
8) A few bike helmets can be used as protection for other activities, but in general, they're best suited to biking. Most helmets are made for one specific type of activity — for example, special helmets also are made for inline skating, baseball, and snowmobiling.
9) Kids should not wear any helmet when they're on a playground or climbing a tree — there is a risk of strangulation from the chin strap during these types of activities.

Yes i would buy knee and elbow pads - you can buy adjustable ones that will fit well and prevent getting hurt/scars from forming

Good luck!!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Stockton on

Hi there. We love the Bell brand toddler helmets at Target. It has a strap in the back that keeps the helmet from sliding backward off the forehead area. Nice fit, comfortable and the buckle has a nice "no pinch" feature. Reasonably priced as well. They have cute designs as well. Hopefully the size will work for your daughter. I would take her with you and just try on helmets for fun if the bike is going to be a surprise. That way you really know it fits well before you buy it. Good luck and happy birthday to your little one!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

You've gotten a lot of good advice already. We got our younger son's helemt at Target as well & it worked out great. The only other thing I want to add: set a good example! When you're bike riding; everybody wears a helmet! I am always amazed at the amount of parents riding w/their kids & the parents do not wear helmets! I immediately go to: what if something happens to the parent whose head is unprotected? Their small child is left there on the sidewalk w/a potentially mortally injured parent. So, please, set a good example & wear your helmet too! Happy biking!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

We prefer Skate Helmets because they protect forehead, temples, & base of skull (and are rounded to deflect impact / protect the neck)... as opposed to bike helmets which only protect the top of the skull, which is the least vulnerable. Modern bike helmets are streamlined for racers. Instead, we use the kind of helmet you'd find on pro riders at parks, who are looking for protection rather than less wind drag.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I was just in this dilema, and I had read about a helmet that had a one handed adjustment... big bonus! trying to get the right fit on my daughters first helmet was a big pain in the butt.
So we went to walmart (target has them too), and checked them out. they are called Bell True Fit... LOVE it! Depending on her head size, you would get the 3+ or 5+ size. (my friend's 3 year year old needs the 5 year old size helmet). They are only $20!!!

they also sell seperately for $10, knee and elbow pads, plus riding gloves... but I would save all that for learning to ride without training wheels.

This is the one we got my 5 year old

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I took my son to an actual bike shop. I wanted to make sure the helmet fit him right and was a good quality. I had thought about buying from Toys R Us or Target, but decided letting a pro actually do the fitting was better. He too has a big head and it helped to find the helmet that fit him right.

We skipped the elbow and knee pads.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

we had the barbie bike helmet and they work well..but if you go to your local bike shop you can buy a great helmet that will grow with your child's head...they have adjustments within the might cost more..but so well worth it...we went on a bike ride on the river and forgot our girls we went to a bike shop right off of fair oaks and sunrise and got some more helmets investment we made.

1 mom found this helpful
For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

More Questions About