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Learn How to Fit Your Child's Helmet in Three Easy Steps

Wearing a helmet is a simple choice for safety that most parents are aware of, yet we often see children who are wearing their helmets incorrectly. Here are some helmet safety tips to properly wearing a helmet. Not sure if you should replace your child's helmet? Click here to find out when it's time to replace your riding helmet.  

Incorrect helmet fit illustrated above

Incorrect helmet fit illustrated above

Fitting a helmet correctly is as important as wearing one. Fortunately, fitting your helmet can be done in three easy steps.



Don’t buy a helmet that’s too big, thinking it will fit next year. Your child needs one that fits well now. Use a helmet sizing to narrow down which helmets to try.


Helmets must fit properly for optimum performance. Don't guess your size. To ensure a proper fit, take a tailor's measuring tape and measure around your head above the ears and just above your eyebrows. C heck your size and individual box label before ordering. 

Head size (inches) 20 3/8 20 3/4 21 1/4 21 5/8 22 22 3/8 22 3/4 23 1/8 23 1/2 24 24 3/8
Head size (cm) 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62
Hat size 6 1/2 6 5/8 6 3/4 6 7/8 7 7 1/8 7 1/4 7 3/8 7 1/2 7 5/8 7 3/4

Disclaimer: This sizing chart is a guide only and does not constitute a guarantee as to the fit of the helmet. Some people may have a unique head shape changing what size they need. Some helmets fit different shaped heads better than others. 

The helmet must fit firmly but comfortably. A helmet that is too loose may shift position as you ride, possibly reducing the helmet’s protective potential, and one that fits too tightly may cause discomfort.

The helmet should sit level on the child's head, covering the forehead. The visors brim should be about 1 inch (about the width of two fingers) from your child's eyebrow.  If the helmet is tipped back, it won’t protect their foreheads in case of a crash. 

      If you feel gaps between your child's head and the sides of the helmet, remove the helmet and engage the
Flip-Fold ™pads
      in the areas that have gaps by folding the pads under to connect with the hook and loop fasteners on the inside of the helmet. Smooth the helmet liner with your hand, and try the helmet on again. If the helmet still feels too loose, consider a smaller size.


After the helmet fits the crown of the head snuggly, it is time to adjust the retention system. Proper adjustment of the fit pads and retention system should be checked each time your child wears the helmet to be sure their adjustments have not changed, but generally, once the retention system is adjusted properly, you won’t have to adjust it much more.

All Troxel helmets have a retention system made of webbing and quick-release buckles, and most also have a DialFit stabilizing system or SureFit™   system . Please note: the DialFit and SureFit is not part of the safety of the helmet, nor is it part of the ASTM testing of the helmet.

Fasten the chinstrap buckle. Adjust each slide glide so that it sits directly below the ear, as in the illustration above.

Next, adjust the webbing next to the male end of the buckle until there is no slack in the strap and fits snugly under the jaw without causing discomfort. You should only be able to fit two fingers between the strap and under the chin. Have your child yawn, they should feel the retention straps pull the helmet down on the top their head more.

Once the straps are the correct length, pass the loose ends through both of the two rubber o-rings and move the outside o-ring to the end of the strap. See the illustration above. Please note that the ends of the straps may be of different lengths due to the individual adjustment of the slide guides.

If your child's helmet has a DialFit system, turn the dial up to three clicks to reduce the space between the DialFit system and their neck. 

The SureFit can be adjusted by simply adjusting the glides on the elastic straps.  


A proper-fitting helmet will feel firmly-connected to the crown of the head with evenly-distributed snugness in the retention system. There should not be any pressure points. With the chinstrap still securely fastened, the helmet should not move significantly if your child tried to roll it off your head. If you can, the helmet is too big. Troxel stresses the importance of snugly adjusting and buckling the retention system for every ride. Troxel helmets utilize a simple, quick release buckle retention system that, once adjusted, can be buckled and unbuckled without changing the adjustment.


      1. Start young. Don’t wait until your child is old enough to ride a horse to require that they wear a helmet; they should start wearing a helmet when being around horses.

      2. Let your child choose the helmet. There are a lot of cool designs on helmets these days. Maybe a helmet in your child’s favorite color, or a fun graphic will help your child want to wear it more. They can also try it on to ensure that it fits them properly. 

Does your child like wearing his or her helmet? How do you encourage proper helmet use with your child?


  • September 30, 2013