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How to keep your child's head warm under their cycle helmet
During a particularly cold spell of weather little heads and ears can get very cold when out on a bike. This is particularly so for smaller Cycle Sprogs sitting in cargo bikes, trailer or bike seats, as they're not expending any energy to keep them warm, but even those pedalling can get cold during the winter months.
How to keep your child's head warm under their cycle helmet
Here's a few hints and tips on how to keep your child's head warm under their cycle helmet.
Don't forget - there's not much point in your child wearing a cycle helmet if it's not fitted and done up correctly. Make sure any layers don't affect your ability to do the helmet strap up properly. Remember to resize the helmet back to your child's head when they're no longer wearing the additional layers so it fits snugly.
Kids Buffs / multi-tubes
I love buffs - they're so versatile! If you don't know what one is, a buff is a tube of material which you can wear around your neck or head, or knot into one of many different uses. They're great for both hot and cold weather use as scarfs, sweat bands, hair bands, hats and even emergency hankies (or worse!) - you imagine a use and a buff can probably do it! They wash and dry easily and can fit in your pocket when not in use. Buff is the trademarked name from the original manufacturers, so other manufacturers may call them multi-tubes.
The great thing about buffs is they're thin so can fit easily under a helmet, and then can be manipulated to be positioned it so it's not obsuring your child's vision - particularly important if they're riding themselves. You can get thicker polar fleece ones, but these are harder to adjust around the helmet.
Kids sized skull caps for under cycling helmets
If you're wanting something more thermal and hat like, then a thermal skull cap that helps cover the ears will fit closely under their cycling helmet and also keep their ears warm.
There are several kids sized under helmet cycling caps available:
The DHB kids skull cap costs £6 and is available from Wiggle
The HUP kids winter thermal cycling skull cap is probably the best designed and thought through of all the skull caps. HUP only make quality products, designed for junior racers. This particular cap comes in a choice of four sizes:
Size XS: head circumference (at widest point) = 46cm – 50cm.
Size S: head circumference (at widest point) = 50cm – 54cm.
Size M: head circumference (at widest point) = 54cm – 58cm.
Size L: head circumference (at widest point) = 58cm – 60cm.
They cost £14 but at the time of writing were down to £10, exclusively from Kids Racing.
Decalthon stock a thermal helmet liner, which is designed for under ski and snowboarding helmets. This will have more fabric protruding from under a cycle helmet, but will cover more of the head. It costs £5.99 and can be bought on line or reserved for pick up in store.
Polarn O Pyret caps and hats for babies and kids
The Swedish company Polarn O Pyret makes a range of different caps and hats for babies as young as 2 months, through to kids of 12 years. If they're suitable for Swedish winter weather they should be able to keep British kids warm on a bike!
Polarn O Pyret have got a wide selection of hats in different styles and thicknesses, some which will be suitable for under helmets, and other for kids in cargo bikes and trailers who aren't wearing helmets.
This wind fleece baby hat comes in sizes from 2 months and costs £16 with a choice of navy or pink. It's designed with ear flaps to keep ears warm and protected from the wind, and has a water repellent laminate finish. The popper fastening under the chin probably means this might interfere with helmet straps, but it would be idea for a child in a trailer or cargo bike who isn't wearing a helmet.
This helmet cap is made of a thinner fabric to fit more snuggly to your baby's head. It has a windproof and water repellent lining for rainy days. It comes in sizes from birth upwards and is available in navy or white.
Balaclavas and face masks
Balaclavas aren't great for kids who are pedalling themselves as they can obscure their peripheral vision, which can be dangerous if they've riding in traffic. However, for smaller kids in cargo bikes, trailers and seats they can be a good way to keep their faces warm.
Decathlon do this kids sized helmet liner balaclava for £7.99 - it's designed for use with a ski helmet, which should mean you can fit under a cycling helmet too.
Face masks which allow a greater field of vision are better for kids pedalling themselves, but obviously they don't have the same level of protection on the cheeks, nose and mouth.
Odlo do this fun kids face mask (£12) which is designed for active kids in cold environments (four-season) and is fast-drying and highly breathable. The material is extra stretchy the mask has a low-profile design so it can be worn comfortably under a helmet.
If you've got another way of keeping your Cycle Sprog's head warm under their helmet, then do please leave a comment below. Thanks
Thanks to members of the Family Cycling UK Facebook Group for their wisdom and advice on keeping little ones warm whilst cycling in cold weather.
Other articles you may find useful:
- The best children's winter cycling gloves
- Keeping warm on a bike seat - great ideas to keep the cold at bay
- The Polaris Fang Kids Winter Cycling Jersey
- Polaris Mini Attack Kids Winter Cycling Gloves
- Why you should get outside with your child in January
- Family Cycling Safety for Winter
- The best bike lights for kids
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