How to measure your child’s head for a bike helmet
Why it's important to measure your child's head before you buy a helmet
If you’re buying a new cycle helmet for your child, it’s really important to measure their head correctly so you can buy a helmet that fits them.
Buy a bike helmet that is too small for your child and it will either perch on the top of their head and not provide any protection on impact, or it will squeeze their head and cause discomfort.
We all know that an uncomfortable child is an unhappy child – and they’re unlikely to want to wear the helmet!
Choose a helmet that’s too large for your child and will move around on their head. This won’t protect them properly if they did come off their bike.
To determine the correct size cycle helmet for your child you need to accurately measure their head and buy a helmet that fits them now.
Never, ever buy a kids bike helmet that is too big for them so they grow into it.
Kids cycle helmets are generally sized in centimeters with the range of head circumferences that the helmet is designed for shown on a sticker inside the helmet.
Equipment you'll need:
Tailors style, flexible tape measure
Piece of string and ruler or metal tape measure
Measuring your child’s head using a flexible tape
Get your child to stand up straight and look straight ahead.
Run the tape around the circumference of your child’s head roughly 2cm above the eyebrow all the way around.
Be careful to keep the tape straight, and not to dip down around the back of their head.
Note the measurement in centimeters.
Measuring your child’s head using string
If you don’t have a tailor’s tape you can use a piece of string. Run the string around the circumference of the head around the centreline of the forehead. Mark the string and then measure against a ruler or a metal tape measure. Be careful to measure from the correct end of the string!
How NOT to measure your child's head for a cycle helmet
You must make sure you measure your child for a helmet in a straight line around their forehead.
The tape should not go up towards their hairline at the front, nor down towards their neck at the back.
This photo demonstrates how NOT to measure for a kids' bike helmet. If your tape looks like an Alice band, then it’s in the wrong place!
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More helmet advice:
- How to measure your child's head for a bike helmet
- Safety standards to look out for when buying a kids bike helmet
- Is your child’s bike helmet fitted correctly?
- Afro hair and kids bike helmets
- How to keep your child's head warm under their cycle helmet
- Should my child wear a bike helmet?
- Cycle helmets for older kids and young teens; a group test