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McDonald Hearing Services - Grand Rapids, MI

When you have kids, sooner or later they will ask you to buy them headphones to use with their music players, computers, and gaming systems. And there are reasons for this, because headphones can enhance the experience of these media, but there are specific characteristics you should look for when you buy.

Proper fit is definitely the first thing to look for.Headphones which are created for adults are made for their full-sized heads, and won’t only not fit properly on children, they won’t provide a full range of sound to them. Kids may also end up breaking headphones that are too large for them by repeatedly repositioning or adjusting them. A number of children’s headphones include adjustable headbands that make the initial fitting easier, and that permit refitting as the child grows.

The second characteristic you need to look for – and the most essential – is some form of Sound Limiting Technology. Naturally, kids will occasionally use the highest allowable volume settings to really immerse themselves in the music. Parents recognize that this is a really poor idea that could contribute to future loss of hearing. Your choice of headphones really should be restricted to those headphones that don’t allow excessive volumes, and that have predetermined boundaries so that they cannot be made to surpass a volume of 80 to 85 decibels. The decibel limit recommendation pertains to both over-the-ear headphones and ear buds, although it is quite possibly more essential for the ear buds which sit inside the outer ear canal.

One more thing take into consideration is durability, because kids are hard on fragile things, and certain headphones can be very fragile . Refer to consumer guides or parents’ magazines to find out which makers of headphones have a reputation for durability and long lives. Occasionally you will have to give up a little bit of durability to get a lighter weight product. Certain headphones are simply too heavy for kids’ heads regardless of how many additional great features they have.

No matter what choice you make for children’s headphones, a final piece of advice is to limit usage to a few hours per day. Remember that noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is triggered by both the volume level and length of the sound contact. Even with the Sound Limiting Technology, too much time using headphones can cause ear damage.