It's important for kids to wear helmets when participating in active sports such as indoor rock climbing. The helmets designed for children are made specifically for the type of sport or activity. For example, a child's climbing helmet is designed to the EN 12492, Snell N-94 climbing and mountaineering helmet standard. This means it is designed to protect the head for the specific type of bumps and impacts associated with a climbing fall. Children's helmets made for skiing and snowboarding are designed to the ASTM F2040, CE 1077, Snell RS-98 or S-98 standard. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, "Different activities require different helmets, and there are helmets for every season's sports". The NHTSA(1) provided an effectiveness estimate that 85 to 88% of head and brain injuries could be prevented by correctly wearing the appropriate helmet for the sport or activity.
Types of Child Helmets
There are many types of helmets, and the manufacturers usually designs several models for children. Look for a label or marking on the inside of the child helmet that shows which standard it complies with. Some comply with more than one standard and therefore can be used with more than one sport. The US CPSA(2) lists many helmets with the applicable manufacturer's safety standard for various sports in which children might participate:
Fitting a Child's Helmet(2)(3)
- It should fit level on the head. There should be a space of one to two finger-widths above the eyebrow.
- The helmet straps should meet in a “V” beneath the child's ears, and buckled with no more than two fingers' space between the chin and the strap.
- It should not slide on the child's head more than an inch in any direction.
Fit of a Helmet vs Child's Growth
Most child helmets are built with an adjustment for growth. This is also useful for wear over a beanie in extreme cold conditions. Other children's helmets may have several sets of foam fitting pads. If this is the type of adjustment provided they can be replaced using thinner pads as your child grows. The pads are only a spacer for fitting. They do not change the level of protection provided by the helmet.(4)
When to Replace a Child's Helmet.
There are three factors to consider. 1) fit, 2) severity of impact, 3) helmet design is a single-impact or multiple-impact type.
- Fit. When the child has outgrown the adjustment mechanism on the helmet, it is time to be replaced.
- Impact. A crash or fall which the helmet was not impacted or was very minimally contacted may not require replacement of the helmet. However a severe impact may require replacement. This is determined by inspection.
- Single, or multiple-impact design. An example of a single-impact helmet is a bicycle helmet. They are designed to protect against a single severe impact. The inner foam material in the helmet should crush to absorb the impact energy during a fall or collision. If the foam has been crushed for any reason it can no longer provide protection. Multiple-impact helmets are designed to protect against more than one moderate impact. An example of a multiple-impact helmet is the football helmet or ice hockey helmet. It may be necessary to replace the helmet after an extremely severe impact. Regardless of the helmet type or rating, replace the helmet if it has any visible damage. The manufacturer provides inspection instructions when the helmet is purchased. This guidance should be used to determine if a helmet should be replaced.(4)
References: (1) NHTSA: http://www.nhtsa.gov; (2) CPSA: http://www.cpsc.gov/PageFiles/117293/349.pdff; (3) NHTSA: How to Fit a Child's Helmet; (4) Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute: http://www.bhsi.org/childpam.htm.
Child Helmets for Sale
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Bell Buzz Child Slipstream Helmet
Non-Stop Kid-Hop The new Buzz is all the buzz for the mini-me set. Features Fusion In-Mold construction, cool graphics, our ErgoDial fit system, easy-to-adjust Cam-Lock levers for a sure fit, a snap-in visor, and 15 air vents to keep you cool.
Half Dome Climbing Helmet
Sale Price: $41.97
The Half Dome Climbing Helmet has been redesigned from the ground up. With an improved fit and weight savings of more than 40 grams over the original, the Half Dome is an all-purpose workhorse ideal for everything from trad cragging to alpine expeditions. Also featuring a new custom-designed wheel adjuster...
Mammut El Cap Climbing Helmet
The Mammut El Cap Climbing Helmet has a stylish design and a comfortable fit that leaves no excuses for not wearing a helmet when you're climbing.
Petzl Women's Elia Climbing Helmet
Designed to fit female climbers, the Petzl Elia Climbing Helmet provides great comfort and protection for rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, canyoning and caving.
Petzl Picchu Children's Climbing & Cycling Helmet
The PICCHU helmet is designed for children who want to rock climb or cycle. It is very light and comfortable and constructed for durability. For night use, the PICCHU has a mount on the back of the helmet specially designed for attaching the SiGNAL red signalization light (included). Three pages of stickers,...
Children's blue Zipline and climbing helmet
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Shield II Climbing Helmet
The Edelrid Shield II is perfect protection for long and demanding climbs. Lightweight and robust, In-Mold helmet with innovative closure system and excellent ventilation.
Black Diamond Women's Vector Climbing Helmet
Ideal for long routes, alpine climbs and other weight-sensitive exploits, the women's Black Diamond Vector helmet offers lightweight protection, superb ventilation and a great fit.
Black Diamond Men's Vector Climbing Helmet
Ideal for long routes, alpine climbs and other weight-sensitive exploits, the Black Diamond Vector helmet offers lightweight protection, superb ventilation and a great fit.
Meteor Climbing Helmet
Lightness and comfort have made the Petzl Meteor helmet a signature product for climbing and mountaineering. This model has the advantage of large openings for excellent ventilation. Its innovative adjustment system allows each climber to adjust his/her helmet to fit their specific head shape.
Sirocco Climbing Helmet
With a maximum weight of 165 g, the PETZL's SIROCCO climbing helmet becomes the new standard in terms of lightness. The monobloc construction minimizes helmet weight while retaining excellent impact resistance, due to the mechanical properties of expanded polypropylene (EPP). The textile adjustment...
Edelrid Shield II Climbing Helmet - Kids'
Simultaneously turn your child's head into a beast and protect his head from falling rocks with the Edelrid Kids' Shield II Climbing Helmet. Its lightweight in-mold construction includes a tough shell and an expanded foam core for comfort and protective durability. The Wing-Fit system uses...
Face Masks Xpassion Skull Mask
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Cooling Towel for Instant Relief - 40" Long As a Bandana Scarf - XL Ultra Soft Breathable Mesh Yoga Towel - Keep Cool for Running Biking Hiking Basketball Football Golf and All Other Sports, Premium Waterproof Bag Packaging with Carabiner, 100% Money Back Guarantee
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Multipurpose Premium Balaclava Bundle: Face Mask + Versatile Headband
SUPERIOR PROTECTION ALL YEAR ROUND HEADWEAR BUNDLE The performance of Cozia Design's CoolMax® Balaclava fabric is inherent in the structure itself. The specially engineered fibers allow designers to create high-performance fabrics that are soft, breathable, and moisture wicking. Our High Quality...
Super Bright CREE LED Headlamp Flashlight - Best Headlight w/ RED Light for Camping Running Hiking Fishing Reading Work - Waterproof Headlamps - Focused Adjustable Head Flashlight Hands Free + Battery
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