Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute

Consumer-funded, volunteer staff

Helmets Children Promotions Statistics Search

Why Can't I Find an
Extra Small Helmet?

Summary: Manufacturers fear that if parents can buy extra small helmets they will take babies on bikes and in trailers who are too young. If you are looking for a helmet for a small adult head, see this page.

We get many inquires from parents with babies aged about 6 weeks to 14 months and from parents with children who have very small heads due to Microcephaly or another medical condition such as dwarfism, asking us where to find an extra small helmet.

If your child is less than one year old, please read our scare page about taking your child along in a carrier or trailer. You should be aware of the risks.

Tiny helmets are difficult to find. Most companies make their small size helmets for 47 cm (18.5 inches) heads. We don't list those here, but here are some even smaller ones:

You can check our latest page on helmets for the current season and do a search on xxs or extra small to find out if there is any more recent info on new models.

Why Not Smaller?

There are no tiny helmets on the market because injury prevention people and manufacturers alike believe that infants of less than one year should not be put on a bicycle as passengers. Manufacturers are also anxious to avoid product liability suits involving very young infants, which they regard as unwinable whatever the merits of the case. They will even forgo the revenue from selling a smaller helmet for that reason. If they make an extra small model for a child who is older but still has a very small head, the helmet will inevitably be used for much younger infants.

What if I need a smaller one?

The only alternative we are aware of to finding a very small helmet is using thicker fitting pads in a normal infant-toddler size. The thicker fitting pads do not detract from the protection of the helmet, as long as they hold it in place well. That is their function, since the harder crushable foam in the helmet is actually the part that handles the impact energy. You may have to experiment with firmer pads to make sure that the thickness does not make the helmet unstable on your child's head. Then carefully adjust the foam to touch all the way around your child's head but not be too tight, and adjust the straps for maximum stability to hold the helmet level on the child's head while still not too tight for comfort.

If you are not sure about the helmet, take it with your child to your pediatrician and ask.