If you're buying a bike helmet for your child, you need to make sure it will protect them well in the event of an accident.
Thankfully, manufacturers have standards for making and testing their children's cycle helmets and it's easy to check that the helmet you buy meets those standards.
We thought we would delve a little deeper into the various standards for children's bike helmets so that you can rest assured that the lid you put on your child's head is designed to keep them safe.
Cycling helmet standards
The British Standards Institute (BSI) is the national standards body responsible for setting product standards in the UK.
European standards are set by the General Product Safety Regulation (GPSR)
The GPSR was introduced by the BSI in 2005 and will be in use until 1 January 2021.
The GPSR standards relevant to cycle helmets are EN 1078 and the BSI standard BS EN 1078.
Therefore, the most common standard you should look for in any size of bicycle helmet is BS EN 1078 or EN 1078.
Specific standards for children's cycle helmets
A related standard to BS EN 1078 is BS EN 1080, which was created in 2013.
BS EN 1080 is specifically for helmets worn by young children and is a slightly adapted version of BS EN 1078 that takes into account the testing of quick release fastening systems.
This is to reduce the risk of strangulation in the fastening system, which is of great concern if you have young children.
You will usually find evidence of compliance on the label inside the helmet and/or on the packaging and on the labels listed on the manufacturer's website.
These are usually accompanied by one or both of the symbols on the right.
The 'kite mark' symbol on the left indicates compliance with British Standards and the CE symbol indicates compliance with European Standards.
Safety standards for children's cycling helmets in the UK post-Brexit
Following the UK/EU separation, the UK is changing the way it sells goods that previously required a CE mark to be sold.
The UK (excluding Northern Ireland) will introduce the UKCA mark on all products sold by January 2022.
Goods with the relevant CE marking will still be available for sale in the UK until December 2021.
What does this change in standards mean for people buying children's bike helmets?
To be honest, it is unlikely to have much of an impact, especially in the short term.
The UKCA mark will increasingly appear on products such as children's cycle helmets and we will get used to seeing it alongside or instead of the CE mark.
This change will not affect the validity of the product and is actually more of a concern to the manufacturer than to the consumer.
Products that currently carry the CE or UKCA mark will meet the same standards due to the harmonisation of UK/EU standards.
In the long term, the UK's withdrawal from the EU may lead to differences in standards if changes are made to testing on the part of the UK or EU.
However, manufacturers may be able to comply with both sets of standards to maintain a market in which they can legally sell cycle helmets.
* The Regulations 2016/425 and the Personal Protective Equipment (Enforcement) Regulations 2018. As they apply to equipment supplied in the UK from 1 January 2021