We live in a noisy world — one that’s growing noisier by the day. Infants and young children have particularly delicate eardrums that can easily be damaged by repeated exposure to loud sounds (anything louder than 70 decibels), which can lead to hearing problems. A common rule of thumb that the American Academy of Audiology follows is that if you have to shout to be heard you should walk away from the loud noise to protect little one’s ears.
The best thing you can do for your young one, then, is to invest in some hearing protection to break out whenever things get loud — festivals, restaurants, and so on. “Wearing hearing protection makes all of the sounds softer and can offer vital protection to developing ears that are still developing,” says Hanna Page, Doctor of Audiology at Family Hearing. The best ear protective devices for toddlers and infants are large contractor-style over-the-ear headphones or ear muffs. These are easy to put on, and simple for parents to monitor. Bonus: Your kid looks like a cool roadie when they wear them. The most important thing to look for when shopping for a pair is that they have a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 20 or better. Here are four excellent pairs that Dr. Page highly recommends.
EMs For Kids baby Earmuffs
Founded by a couple of professional musicians looking to take their new baby to concerts EM’s was the first company in the world to design earmuffs specifically for babies. Their baby muffs are lightweight and are certified by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) with an NRR rating of 22. Their stretchy headband fits around the head and is adjustable allowing parents to custom fit them to their own babies head size. They come in two colors and you can interchange headbands to fit your mood. Recommended for newborn to 18 months of age.
EMs For Kids Child Earmuffs
Once your child has moved on to toddler these earmuffs from EMs will continue offering them protection for many more years. With an NRR rating of 21, they will keep ears protected at a variety of events. They come in many different colors, telescope to fit their growing heads, and only weigh 6.5 ounces. What parents will love about them, besides the fact that they are protecting their kid’s ears, is the fact that they fold up small enough to fit in your palm — easy for packing along. Recommended for kids six months and older.
Banz Infant Earmuffs
From a company that makes a variety of protective items for children—sunglasses, sun hats and earmuffs these infant earmuffs offer an excellent NRR rating of 31. They fold up small for easy storage, come in a variety of styles, and cradle your baby’s noggin in a soft cushion to ensure comfort. Weighing in at only five ounces they are sure to not weigh down a little one’s head and are ANSI certified. Recommended for newborn to 2 years old.
Banz Kids Earmuffs
There are 16 different designs for these kid’s earmuffs from Banz, so there should be one that will make your kids want to wear theirs. Offering a NRR rating of 31 and a certification from ANSI they will keep your kid safe at a variety of events. Made with large foam filled cushions to ensure comfort and a telescoping headset they will fit comfortably and grow with your child. They fold up small so parents can carry them to events easily and only weigh 9.7 ounces. Recommended for kids 2 and up.