It may look like overkill when my toddler rolls into the bike park wearing a full face helmet but I’m definitely a believer in the protection it offers. Despite the bobble head appearance, I’ve lost track of the amount of times it’s saved my son’s chin, face, and lips from the constant falls he takes on his bike.
We decided on a full face helmet shortly after my son got the hang of using his balance bike (15 months old) and began experimenting on hills and small pump tracks. The need for speed came quickly and soon enough he was taking some pretty good falls—both forward and backwards. Although I don’t want him whacking his head too much, I do believe falling is an essential part of learning—not only to bike but how to brush off a tumble and get back up.
Prior to owning a full face, my son was putting his teeth into his lip and banging up his chin whenever he jolted or snagged his handle bars and fell forward. It only took one major fall to convince us that we needed to change something. Since he always wanted back on his bike, we decided that the added protection of a full face would do the trick and keep him riding. While in Whistler, BC we pulled the trigger and bought a Bell Sanction which fit our 16 month old perfectly. It’s been great and worth every dollar!
The full face has been amazing and worth every dollar—especially during those nasty forward falls! There was also a brief time when he’d load all his weight towards the back of the bike while going downhill which resulted in him flinging backwards (thankfully he learnt to shift his weight forward quickly!). Over time his strength and stability (and smarts) has improved but the marks on his helmet definitely show the signs of his progressed learning.
Any downfalls? With all the padding, the helmet does get warm on hot days. I try to take frequent breaks and remove the helmet during these times to avoid overheating. It’s also nearly impossible to drink directly from a cup or water bottle. It’s also heavier and more complicated for kids to carry if you like them to share the load and haul some of their own gear.
All in all, we’ll continue to invest in full face helmets as long as our son continues to progress and experiment on his bike. We also keep a lightweight, regular helmet on hand for easy cruising and hot days—we’ve opted for a Giro Scamp with MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System). Is MIPS necessary? Probably not for his skill level but we decided to invest on the off chance that someone else hits him on the bike path—despite our directions and guidance, kids can be unpredictable.
A good helmet makes all the difference. Remember that fit and comfort override all so shop around at your local bike stores. I almost recommend buying new since it’s hard to know if a used helmet is in good condition (despite the appearance). Lots of helmets are also adjustable which is great for growing heads and shrinking wallets 🙂 Remember you’re protecting your child’s brain—a worthwhile investment and deserving of a good bucket.
Click here to read about other items that help while riding with toddlers.
None of my posts are sponsored. All items are purchased with my hard earned money and all opinions expressed are based on personal experiences.