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Biking With Your Baby|What is the Best Baby Bike Helmet?
Biking with Kids
Biking with kids has its own rewards too:
- You get some me time (once your baby is strapped in)
- Built in exercise
- The fresh air is good for both you and your baby
- No environmental footprint if you're doing errands with baby in the bike seat.
- Teaches your kids from a young age the importance of getting outside and staying active.
- Getting your toddler on a balance bike (no pedals) teaches them the life-long skill of balancing their bodies and you can even skip the training wheels.
Biking With Your Baby
When I ponder my childhood memories, biking seems to come up often. I remember exploring our streets and nearby hills on my bike with my sisters, feeling the cool air on my face, without a care in the world. Biking is a great sport because it gets you and your family outside, exercising and most of all, it's fun! When it comes to biking, why not bike with your baby? Kids have an affinity for fresh air and biking is a great opportunity for our little ones and for ourselves to take in some much needed CO2.
In this article I will discuss the basics and baby bike safety, bike helmet sizing for kids and I will review some of the top infant bike helmet brands.
Baby Bike Safety
Biking With Your Baby: Baby Bike Safety
There are some general baby bike safety guidelines you'll need to keep in mind, especially if you have young kids and babies.
- Only adult cyclists should carry young passengers.
- Preferably ride with passengers in parks, on bike paths, or on quiet streets. Avoid busy thoroughfares and bad weather, and ride with maximum caution and at a reduced speed.
- Infants younger than 12 months are too young to sit in a rear bike seat and should not be carried on a bicycle. Do not carry infants in backpacks or frontpacks on a bike.
- Children who are old enough (12 months to 4 years) to sit well unsupported and whose necks are strong enough to support a lightweight helmet may be carried in a child-trailer or rear-mounted seat.
- A rear-mounted seat must:
- Be securely attached over the rear wheel
- Have spoke guards to prevent feet and hands from being caught in the wheels
- Have a high back and a sturdy shoulder harness and lap belt that will support a sleeping child
- A lightweight infant bike helmet should always be worn by a young passenger to prevent or minimize head injury. Small styrofoam helmets that meet Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standards are available.
- The child must be strapped into the bike seat with a sturdy harness. Remember, the risk of serious injury still exists when you carry a young child on your bicycle.
Source TIPP—The Injury Prevention Program (1994 American Academy of Pediatrics, Updated 8/2001) via healthychildren
Bike Helmet Sizing, For Babies and Kids
Wearing a bike helmet is essential for everyone who bikes or travels onboard a bike seat. Kids head injuries involving cycling accidents can be easily prevented with proper head protection, but if your child's helmet doesn't fit properly, their heads will not be completely protected from a bicycle related fall.
The International Biking Fund recommends infant bike helmets be round, and not aero shaped, for infants riding in bike seats or bike trailers. Also, the infant helmet should cover the forehead and not sit on the back of the head. Be sure to make sure the infant helmet you use meets the safety standards for testing and materials for the country you live.
When researching infant bike helmets, you'll want to first measure the distance around your child's head, to ensure you get the right size of helmet. You can use a fabric measuring tape or a piece of string (just measure the length of the string against a ruler). Don't be fooled by a helmet size based on age, kids head sizes are all different. See the bike helmet sizing chart I've included to reference your child's bike helmet size, based on the child's head circumference. It's also important (but not essential) that your child actually likes their bike helmet, so be sure to get their input when you're helmet shopping.
I've compiled a list of some simple tips on bike helmet sizing, see below.
Biking with Kids: Some Simple Tips on Bike Helmet Sizing
Good Helmet Fit
Poor Helmet Fit
Infant bike helmets should sit level on your child's head, about 2 fingers above the brow.
The helmet should not move more than an inch back and forth or side to side
The straps should form a "V" just below the ears and the strap should be tight under the chin when the strap is buckled.
If the safety strap is loose around the chin or if the V shape below the ears isn't straight, then the helmet is not secure.
When the rider opens her mouth, the buckle should feel snug on the chin and the helmet should hug the head.
Make sure the chin straps are not loose.
Biking with Kids: Bike Helmet Sizing
Bike Helmet Sizing: Nutcase Spin Dial System
Infant Bike Helmets: The Reviews
Nutcase Little Nutty Bike Helmet
Nutcase is a well-known helmet brand that's been around since 2005. Nutcase makes multi-purpose helmet designs that are popular among bicycle, skateboard, scooter and in-line skate enthusiasts.
Although pricier than other brands, what you're getting is an innovative and high quality product. Besides the nice graphics and smooth helmet design, Nutcase helmets are equipped with some easy to use features that will make bicycle helmet wearing a lot smoother for your child. First off, the Spin Dial System, is a fantastic feature that allows you too easily adjust the helmet to make it comfortable and snug with a simple turn of a knob. Another great feature of the Nutcase Little Nutty Helmet is the anti-Pinch, magnetic buckle/chinstrap. Again, this feature allows you secure the helmet on your toddler with one hand. Every parents dream. In addition, the Little Nutty features reflective logos (front back and side of the helmet) and great helmet ventilation (total of 11 vents).
Giro Me2 Infant/Toddler Bike Helmet
Giro cycling helmets have been around since 1985, worn by millions of riders, cyclists, skiers, and snowboarders around the world.
The Giro Me2 Infant/Toddler helmet is a great option for it's lower price point and for its quality and features. What do people love about the Giro Me2 Infant helmet? The built-in visor is handy for sunny days. In addition to several colourfull designs--including yellow chicks, aviator pigs, pink bunnies, and red duck and goose--the helmet features 20 vents (protected with a built-in bug net) to help to keep your child's head cool. Giro's Mini-Loc fit system with simple strap guides that enable your kid to put on the helmet without pinching skin.