Child Hearing Protection Options

How can you protect your children's hearing? Do baby ear plugs exist? See what child hearing protection options are available.



For Newborns

Newborn babies who require hospital care can be exposed to dangerous noise levels in the intensive care unit. Premature infants are especially in need of hearing protection, as their internal ear structures may not yet be fully developed. Natus MiniMuffs are foam pads designed to protect the hearing of premature infants, and they can be used for other infants as well.


For Babies, Toddlers, and Children up to Age 7

Until a few years ago, there were no hearing protection products designed to fit very young children. Then 3M introduced the Peltor Kid Earmuffs, to rave reviews. Now known as the 3M Peltor Junior Earmuff, they are a dependable product, and very reasonably priced.

Peltor Junior Earmuff, black

Peltor Junior Earmuff, pink



An inventive couple in Australia has also stepped into the gap and created hearing protectors for their baby daughter, which they are now marketing to other parents worldwide. Their Em's 4 Bubs Baby Earmuffs come in three sizes, for babies up to 6 months old, 6–18 months old, or older. They also offer an adjustable folding style designed for children of any age. Both products are sturdy and lightweight.

To get the best hearing protection from these or any child hearing protection ear muffs, be sure they are adjusted so that they are comfortable for the child to wear, and check the seal of each ear cup around the entire ear to make sure there are no gaps.

What about ear plugs? Ear plugs are generally not recommended for young children, because of the risk of swallowing them or choking on them. Also, it is difficult to insert them correctly to obtain effective hearing protection.


For Children Ages 7–15

For older children, there are a few more choices available, including:

These are designed to fit ages 3 and up, and are also suitable for some women and small adults. They can be found in shooting supply stores and shops that sell hardware safety supplies.

Also, many older children can use ear plugs safely and effectively. You may need to assist them in inserting them, or teach them how to insert them for a proper fit. A corded style may be preferable, to avoid losing them and to keep them readily available when needed. Small-sized foam ear plugs are available.

Especially for teens, the challenge may be not so much in finding proper equipment as in getting them to use it! Click here for some tips on helping kids develop and maintain good hearing protection habits.



See also:
Your child's hearing protection: When and how





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