The 7 best kids' helmets, according to a pediatrician

Most parents know that whether kiddos are zipping around on two, three or four wheels, helmets are a must. But kids ... they may have different ideas. Toddlers throw tantrums about them. Bigger kids refuse to wear them.

Here’s why you should lay down the law:

“Helmets are designed to prevent very serious head injuries like skull fractures and severe traumatic brain injuries,” said Dr. Kyran Quinlan , associate professor and division director of general pediatrics at Rush University Medical Center . One thing they don’t do is prevent concussions, he added.

Kids should sport helmets whether on a scooter, skateboard, in-line skates, or on a bike. Bike helmets are required to comply with mandatory safety standards set by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). However, helmets designed for other activities only need to comply with voluntary standards. Kids can wear bike helmets for in-line and roller skating and riding a kick scooter.

Start them young and get into the habit by requiring your tyke to wear a helmet even when riding a tricycle, said Quinlan. If your child puts up a fight about the helmet, sell it. “Make it seem like wearing a helmet is part of ‘gearing up’ for the activity,” he added. And remember that they’re always watching — so you’ve got to wear one, too.

To make it easier, here are seven helmets — for a range of ages and activities — that are designed to fit Dr. Quinlan's criteria:

Best bike helmet for kids

Giro Scamp Youth Bike Helmet, $55, Amazon

Be the role model your children deserve. Kids learn by watching their parents. Modeling appropriate, respectful, good behavior works much better than telling them what to do.

TODAY editors, writers and experts take care to recommend items we really like and hope you’ll enjoy! Just so you know, TODAY does have affiliate relationships. So, while every product is independently selected, if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the revenue.

Giro Scamp MIPS Cycling Helmet


Also available at Backcountry and Eastern Mountain Sports .

One of the top-rated kids' helmets on Amazon, parents will appreciate the “multi-directional impact protection system” for its safety, while kids will like the built-in visor, a chin strap that won’t pinch and accommodation for ponytails, too. The helmet is designed to fit kids as they grow, so this one should last through a couple seasons.

Best toddler helmet

Bell Pint Toddler Helmet, $25, Amazon

Bell Pint Toddler Helmet


Also available at Jet , Walmart and Target .

Ideal for when they’re learning to zip around on a scooter or trike, this lightweight helmet features an easy on-off buckle and extended coverage in back for added protection.

Best multisport helmet

Razor V-17 Youth Multi-Sport Helmet, $20, Amazon

Razor V-17 Youth Multi-Sport Helmet


Also available at Walmart and Target .

Designed to work for a range of activities like biking and skating, this helmet is best for an older kid’s noggin (it fits ages 8 to 14). If they give you a hard time because helmets are “too hot,” remind them that this one has 17 top and side vents for coolness.

Treat media as you would any other environment in your child's life. The same parenting guidelines apply in both real and virtual environments. Set limits; kids need and expect them. Know your children's friends, both online and off. Know what platforms, software, and apps your children are using, what sites they are visiting on the web, and what they are doing online.

Best stakeboarding helmet

Pro-Tec Jr. Classic Fit, Starting at $46, Amazon

Pro-Tec Junior Classic Certified Skate Helmet


The back of the helmet has a twist dial feature that lets you properly secure it (which means no foam liners needed). Plus, the buckle in front won’t pinch little necks.

Best BMX helmet

Bell Segment Helmet, $30, Amazon

Bell Segment Helmet


Certified for both skating and BMX, the helmet’s flexible design means this helmet fits snug around a kids head. In fact, it’s designed to wear more like a “comfortable cap” than a helmet.

Most fun helmet

Nickelodeon Bell Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3D Bike Helmets, $25, Amazon

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Youth Michelangelo Helmet


Parents love it because the cool characters get them excited to wear a helmet.

Best coverage helmet

Woom Kids Helmet, $69, Amazon

WOOM BIKES USA Woom Kids Helmet


The helmet extends over their temples and back of head for full coverage, plus the flexible visor in front offers forehead protection. The ventilation holes up top keep them comfortable. Plus, the magnetic buckle makes this easy to take on and off.

Fess up when you blow it. This is the best way to show your child how and when she should apologize.

Looking for more of the genius products for parents? Check out these:

  • This may be the best water bottle for kids
  • This restaurant toy keeps kids entertained for hours
  • The best parenting books for new parents