If your son or daughter is riding an ATV, they need to protect their head. Check out our favorite kids ATV helmets to find the best way to protect your child.
It occurred to me the other day when we published the best youth ATV for year story, that picking out the best kids ATV helmets should go right along with it. Wearing a helmet is so very important, especially for our kids. As parents we want them to be safe at all times. When I was a kid riding around on my Yamaha Tri-Moto 200 three-wheeler, my mom insisted I wear a helmet all the time. I had a couple of buddies with ATVs who’d come over to ride and they never wore a helmet. One of them got hurt (on his own property) and suddenly all the kids were wearing helmets. Start your kids out wearing helmets so that if they should ever consider riding without one, it will feel unnatural to them. Don’t let them say, “I’m just going to ride around the yard,” or something like that. That’s when accidents happen. It will help if they see you wearing one, too. It’s not a big deal to put one on, but it’s a very big deal for everyone to wear one.
What To Look For
When picking out kids ATV helmets for your child, you need to take into account safety, size, fit, styling and cost. There are a few other things, which we’ll touch on shortly, but on the safety front, never buy a used helmet. One that has been used may be damaged. Helmets, even the most expensive ones, are one-and-done, meaning one hard hit and you need a new one. Make sure you have the size and fit correct. Measure one inch above your child’s eyebrows and around the biggest part of their head. The helmet should fit snuggly and not wiggle much at all. Resist the urge to upsize and let your kid grow into it. That is asking for trouble. Let’s dig a little deeper.
Safety is the most important factor in wearing a helmet. We want our kids safe. Make sure the kids ATV helmets you are considering meet minimum safety standards for impact protection. If you’re looking for the ultimate in safety, you’re going to have to spend more money. The 6D ATR-1Y is the ultimate in kid’s helmets right now. 6D got a grant from the NFL to research concussion prevention in helmet technology thanks to their Omni-Directional Suspension Technology. They use multi-density EPS foam in the interior of the helmet with isolation dampeners to help soften any blows. The youth model 6D helmet is different from the adult-sized versions in that it is tailored to offer better protection to the developing brain of a child. Pretty cool stuff and easily one of the five best youth helmets.
There is another company that is putting a lot of research into materials and design when it comes to safety. Leatt makes most of the neck braces you see pro supercross racers wear. It also makes knee braces and some very interesting and safe helmets. Leatt uses a carbon matrix shell for its youth GPX 6.5 Carbon v.02 helmet, with 3-D in-molded impact foam for optimal fit and deceleration of your child’s head during impacts from any direction. It’s pretty interesting to see the technologies being used in kids ATV helmets to keep our kids safer.
One of the issues with some kids ATV helmets is sizing and fit. It is no secret that helmet companies make just a few outer shells of the helmets and adjust the sizing with the liners to fit correctly. Many youth helmets have only one actual shell size and then adjust with liners. There’s nothing wrong with this and you’re still going to get a helmet that fits and does what it is supposed to. It’s just that not all heads will fit. Some companies do make more than one true helmet size to make a youth helmet that fits better. Troy Lee Designs makes two sizes with its lightweight SE4 Polyacrylite Youth Helmet. These are sweet helmets that look exactly like the same thing the adults wear and make famous. But it’s not just a look. This helmet has the same MIPS Multi-Impact Protection System for safety that the adult helmets do. Plus, it has 16 intake ports for cooling, and more. And did I mention how cool it looks? Cost is reasonable for what you get and the kids are going to want to wear it.
Let’s face it; kids are not going to wear it if they hate the way it looks. When my daughter was five years old, I tried to get her a helmet. The first one we found was red and blue and very much themed for a boy. “No, no, no, no, Daddy.” We ended up spending $75 more for one with pink on it. At least it was a good helmet and fit her, so I paid it and left with a happy kid. Another brand that knows kids want style to go with the safety that parents want is Fox Racing. The Fox V1 Youth ATV helmets come in four shell sizes and four EPS foam liner sizes to ensure a good, safe fit. Plus, the styling is sweet, just like you’d expect from a fashionable brand like Fox. Fox also added magnetic visor attachments this year, to help the visor come off in the event of a crash. This helps make it so the visor doesn’t spin the head around if it gets snagged. An added plus is that the Fox V1 youth helmets are pretty reasonably priced too, making them one of the best youth helmets going.
I don’t want to scare you off from having your kid wear a helmet by listing off the most expensive kids ATV helmets on the market. You can spend more, but to get a good, dependable helmet that fits and is stylish, you can do so for around $100. That’s a bargain. In fact, you can get a helmet for your child and buy the same matching helmet for yourself. The Fly Racing Kinetic Helmet has a lightweight polymer shell and a multi-density EPS liner to protect your child’s head from impacts. These quality helmets come in a wide range of colors and styles and are a great buy, making them an easy addition to a list of the best youth helmets.
How important is it for my kid to wear a helmet?
It may be easy to think that kids don’t have to wear a helmet because maybe they’re riding slower or something. There is always the old adage too that kids bounce back from injuries quicker than adults, and there is some validity to that. Kids do tend to recover better from concussions than adults. However, studies have proven that head injuries are still nothing you would want your child to deal with. There can easily be cognitive, associative and behavioral damage from a traumatic head injury that may mask as something else. That’s not a risk any of us would be willing to take. Better to get into the habit of always wearing a helmet, regardless of the speed.
How do you size an ATV helmet?
The way you determine the size of a helmet is the same for adults as it is for kids. You measure approximately one inch above the eyebrows and around the widest part of the head. You then compare that measurement to the sizing chart for the individual helmet you are considering. We could say that there is a standardized helmet sizing, and technically there is. It is much the same as hat sizes. However, you really need to compare it to the individual helmet manufacturer’s sizing chart to get close. Not all helmet companies have the same sizing as others. One company’s XL is another company’s large. And with kid’s ATV helmets, never, ever go a size or two bigger, hoping they’ll “grow into it.” If they can grow into it, they can also fall out of it.
Does my kid need goggles too?
Yes, by all means, your child also need age-appropriate goggles when they are riding an ATV. A good-fitting, youth-sized goggle gives your child proper eye protection from dirt, debris and impacts. Proper youth sizing means the frame is smaller to better fit your child’s face. It also means the goggles will fit into a kids-sized helmet and not leave gaps that dirt, dust and debris can get in through. 100% makes some of the best goggles on the market and their youth-sized versions have the same style and functionality as the adult-sized goggles. They share the same size lenses and tear-offs as the adult-sized goggles, so finding replacements is easier and more economical.