The best helmets and cycling safety equipment for children
Learning to cycle is an important step in any child’s life. Cycling gives kids freedom and independence, makes the trip to school or the local park more fun, and of course provides a welcome exercise boost.
Needless to say, safety equipment is an important consideration. Riding a bike – and other two-wheeled activities – comes with potential dangers, so you’ll naturally want to prepare your kid for bumps and bruises. Wrap them in cotton wool – only don’t, because that wouldn’t help much, would it?
Far better to buy them a helmet. It has to be a good fit, not too tight or loose – and will probably cost at least £20. Other potential purchases include high-visibility clothing and bike accessories to help make your child more visible, and elbow pads (although these can restrict riding, making it harder and less enjoyable for your young one.)
Below, The Telegraph shares its pick of the best children’s safety equipment for cycling.
The best kids’ helmets
1. Louis Garneau Brat kid’s helmet
This kids helmet is designed to maximise safety so your child can ride with confidence. An enlarged back of the head offers more protection than the regular bicycle helmet design, and the strap system offers easy tightening for the optimum fit for your child. The helmet size is 48-55cm.
The Lazer P’Nut is aimed at youngsters from 18 months to two-and-a-half years. Lazer market their helmets as “brain protection” with “synergy between design, comfort, safety and technology.”
The helmets come with technology that’s shown to decrease brain injury by 30pc. Another snazzy feature is the Autofit system, which means you don’t need to adjust the size, it’ll automatically fit snugly on your child’s head.
Also available in several other colours.
3. MET Crackerjack youth helmet
An ideal helmet for older children is the MET Crackerjack. There’s a built-in LED light to improve visibility; reflective rear stickers; anti-pinch buckles for extra safety and comfort; a removable visor; and it’s adjustable, so it can fit your child as he or she grows.
The best additional safety equipment
1. Louis Garneau Junior Creek full finger glove
If your child is starting to do a bit of off-road cycling, you may wish to consider a pair of thick gloves, which can provide some extra protection for the hands, warmth, and grip on the handles. These durable spandex gloves are available in several sizes, from age seven and up.
The most important thing for safe road cycling is visibility – the more your kid can be seen, the safer they are. So it’s worth investing in a high-vis jacket, and it doesn’t get more high-vis than this option from Dare2b. It’s waterproof, lightweight, and breathable, and features several reflective details to make visibility even greater. Ideal for the school run or a longer family cycle.
3. Sportful kids reflex jacket
If you or your child want something slightly less garish, this smart children’s cycling jacket from Sportful should do the trick. It’s incredibly lightweight, and it’s wind and water resistant. Most importantly, however, are the high visibility strips which provide 360 degree reflection.
4. Altura Kids Cruisers
Help your kid stay warm while cycling with these thermal cycling trousers from Altura. Aside from the thermal fabric for warmth, the trousers are water repellent and have a reflective trim for extra visibility. Available in a number of sizes, from ages five to 12.
5. Reflective safety vest
If you don’t want to shell out for a full jacket, or need something for warmer weather, these child’s reflective safety vests are ideal, cheap and effective.
If your child is cycling at night a bike light is crucial to provide the best visibility possible and these can be seen from over 600m. This set of silicone lights comes with a rear and front light which feature three settings: on, fast flashing and slow flashing.
The lights are lightweight and compact so can fit on smaller bicycles, and can be easily attached or removed as and when needed.
7. Kamugo kids youth adjustable protective gear
Cycling with elbow pads and knee pads can be restrictive for young children, but if your kid is starting to become more adventurous on two wheels, perhaps doing some off-road riding, this set, which features a helmet, knee, elbow and wrist pads, could be worth a shot.
Made of durable yet breathable material, and suitable for kids aged three to eight, it’s an affordable set that can help protect your boy or girl against injury.