Hearing Protection for Babies, Toddlers, and Kids at Concerts
Words By Cathleen Sullivan
Published February 13, 2017
Hearing protection should be one of your first considerations when attending a concert or festival with your little ones. Most venues will be loud enough that you’ll want to protect their young ears from the sound levels. Concerts can escalate to 110-120dB at their peak and that is enough to cause permanent hearing damage quickly, within minutes really.
Types of Hearing Protection
You’ll find two primary types of hearing protection, in-ear earplugs and over-the-ear earmuff style. Both have their purpose and place for the family of concertgoers.
In-Ear Hearing Protection
In-ear earplugs are cheap, most are disposable, and in some cases can be easier to keep in your kids ears. However, BE CAREFUL–they also pose a choking hazard if freed from the ear, especially for babies and toddlers. You would want to make sure they are supervised and the plugs are accounted for at all times if used.
I’ve used these Mac’s Putty Earplugs before when my oldest daughter kept ripping off her earmuff style Baby Banz hearing protection. She quickly forgot they were even in! Again, you just have to be very careful that they stay put and don’t end up in a toddlers hands.
For older kids and adults I couldn’t recommend in-ear protection more. Once you know your child won’t try to swallow the plugs you could consider buying them something beyond the disposable earplugs recommended above. There are a few brands that actually don’t make the music sound muffled, and they’re not a fortune to buy!
Etymotic Research makes some quality but cheap hearing protection that won’t deaden the music too much, just take it down a few notches. They are cheap enough that I’d get a couple pairs for each adult. There are a few other brands encroaching in this space that might be worth putting an eye to but I haven’t had hands on them. For example, Eargasm Earplugs, LiveMusic HearSafe plugs, and Vibes Acoustic Filters are all getting rave reviews.
Over-the-Ear / Earmuff Style Hearing Protection
Over the ear, earmuff style hearing protection is a popular choice for babies up to young adults. They’re effective and most are very adjustable allowing you to use them for many years, provided you don’t misplace them. There are a few different styles in the baby/toddler market worth taking a look at.
The more normal looking style of earmuff has a few mini varieties that fit babies and toddlers well. Parents recommend the Peltor Juniors, Baby Banz, and the Snug Safe-n-Sound Earmuffs. Most of these come in fun colors too, from hot pink to some trippy patterns. A bright color is a great idea, camo/black/green are probably bad ideas. Remember, you’ll have to find these if lost on the lawn.
Another unique approach to earmuffs that are particularly popular with infants and babies are the Em’s 4 Bubs which have a headband like system that makes them less prone to falling off.
Condition Your Little Ones to Accept Hearing Protection
With any of these options, parents will need to condition their kids to accept hearing protection willingly. Using them periodically for the weeks before your next big concert is a great idea. Start small and increase the length of time they keep them on. Soon they’ll be accepting of them and won’t fuss.
You might also find that a little peer pressure goes a long way. At least we have at recent concerts. If the kids next to you on the lawn are rocking out in some ear protection our kids actually start asking for their Baby Banz! That makes it about 150% easier on us!
If you have your own great hearing protection tips why don’t you let us know in the comments section!!!
For links to all of the products featured in this article visit FestivalBabies.com.
About the Author:
Cathleen is a mother of two, wife, concert enthusiast, and runs FestivalBabies.com a website for families who attend concerts and festivals together. She will be guest writing here at ShowTheShow, sharing some of FestivalBabies best tips! Check out her website for the best online directory of venue and festival reviews for parents looking for information on taking their kids to shows.