Hearing protection for infants and kids, easily done and more important than you think!
Kids are exposed to much more daily noise in contrast to a couple of decades ago: loud toys, nursery products and technological devices are only part of the noise increase. Loud sounds are even louder for children. Infants and young children are more sensitive to loud noises than adults are because the ear canal is smaller in children.
Growing ears of babies and toddlers are susceptible to damage.
Ears and hearing develop significantly in the first few years after birth. Exposure to loud sounds can cause all kinds of health issues like headaches, stress, increased heart rate and blood pressure, sleep deprivation and concentration problems to name a few.
Noise exposure is responsible for about one-third of all cases of hearing loss. And very important to realise: hearing loss is irreversible. Exposure of more than 80 dB over an eight hour day can cause hearing damage. This level is reached quicker than you think.
So prevention is the first thing to look at: making sure children aren’t exposed to loud noises (for too long periods of time).
Unfortunately, it is not always possible to remove children from loud environments and in those cases protection is key. Providing hearing protection helps to ensure optimal hearing as children grow.
Situations, where hearing protection is needed, are loud events like drag racing, movie theatres, concerts, fairs and parades. But also in surprising places like parties or crowded restaurants and children’s concerts. Kids that are easily distracted or who suffer from overstimulation will also benefit from (over the) ear protection.
For older children that play in a band or participate in other activities like loud sports, parents can consider custom hearing protection. But because children’s ears grow faster than adults that isn’t the best solution for small children.
A better recommendation would be an over-the-ear protector like Hearmuffs, which are adjustable to guarantee a good fit at all times. Some versions of earmuffs have a talkback button so no need to remove the earplugs from the kids head every time you want to talk to your child. This also decreases the chance of hearing damage substantially.
When should children start wearing hearing protection?
Hearmuffs are also available with soothing sounds to help with relaxation. These earmuffs help younger children have a quiet and undisturbed sleep in noisy situations. This kind of children’s hearing protection is ideal for traveling on airplanes, trains or cars.
Hearmuffs are also made with non-toxic materials and are safe for your child.
For children from 5 to 10 years we recommend the Hearmuffs kids. These are earmuffs for older children. They help them concentrate while studying and reading, both at home or at school.
The version with a cable and standard connector is perfect for watching movies or videos without damaging their hearing because they don’t need to turn the volume up. These earmuffs are available in several cool colours so kids will love wearing them. Hearmuffs are perfect presents for birthdays, Christmas and baby showers.
In conclusion: yes it is important to protect your child’s hearing from a young age as hearing damage is irreversible and kids are exposed to loud environments on a daily basis. A good fitting over the ear protector like hearmuffs are the best and easiest solution for kids.