It might seem like most devices that are aimed to be used by children comes with some handy headphones, such as using a portable DVD player during long driving trips, educational hand-help game tabs, and even down to your little iPod shuffle which you’ve loaded up with nursery rhymes and wiggles song.
Since there are now devices that don’t have headphone jacks, users are forced to use Bluetooth headphones for their convenience. However, wireless or not is the headphones safe for toddlers and babies to use? Let’s find out below
Is It Safe for Toddlers to use Headphones?
Thankfully, yes. It is alright for smaller kids to use headphones, which is a relief for those curious parents, every time they watch a video or listen to music. However, you should always keep an eye (or ear) on your children’s headphones, especially if you can hear it from a meter away. This means that it is too loud for your child’s ear.
What Happens If My Child Listens to Loud Sounds for Long Periods of Time?
According to a new study in the US, they claim that about 1 in 5 teens somewhat displays the possibility of hearing loss and that the number is slowly increasing these past years. And as for the previous Australian study, about 70% of children are at an increased risk of hearing loss because of the usage of personal listening devices.
So, to prevent your toddler from losing their hearing sense, you should always check the volume your child is listening to. The use of headphones is safe, the only thing that is not safe here is by letting your child listen to music or video in high volumes. No matter how old or young you are, our ear cannot tolerate loud sounds for long periods of time.
What Is the Ideal Listening Volume level for Kids?
When you let your child listen to music, audiobooks, or shows by using headphones, you make sure to get a specialized headphone that keeps the sound level below 85 dBA or about 75 dBA. Alternately, you can also use an app that can set the volume limit of a device.
Other methods that you can use is by keeping your device’s volume below 50% and then set it as your child’s maximum volume level. This way you can be confident that your child is using their headphones with the appropriate volume level.
How Can I Keep My Child’s Ears Safe?
There are several simple things that you can do to enable you to protect your child’s hearing capacity, without stripping them away from their rights to use headphones.
Here are seven simple things that you can do to protect your kids’ ears:
- Avoid using “bud” style earphones as they fit snuggly in your ear, which doesn’t allow any noise to escape from the ears. In addition to that, it also allows music to play without any deformity. Therefore, you should replace buds with headphones that sit outside the ear.
- Test the volume of the sounds. If you can hear your child’s music playing from their ear a meter away, it is an indication that it is way too loud for them to listen to. Make sure to turn down the volume so that it won’t hurt their ears.
- You could set the volume so that your child won’t be able to turn up the volume up to its maximum volume setting. There are a lot of personal music players that do not have volume control indicators. Therefore, the easiest way for you to set the volume is by cranking the listening level to its maximum and then wind back up to halfway.
- Set a listening time limit. Do not let your child use headphones for more than an hour.
- Preset the limit. Most iPod devices enable you to set its maximum volume limit and then assign a combination “secretly” which prevents your child from changing the settings. This way, rest is assured that even if your child cranks up the volume level up to high, you’ll know that it won’t hurt their eardrums.
- You should consider using a kid-safe headphone. There are tons of headphones like these in the market, which have a lower maximum volume level compared to usual headphones. This makes it a suitable item for smaller kids.
- Teach your child about the usage of headphones. Aside from doing some of the methods above, you can just teach your child to be aware of the possible dangers of listening to loud music from headphones. Also, tell them to not listen for long periods of time. You can also set limits like how you would limit them from watching too much TV, using gadgets like phone, tablets, or computers, or by playing electronic games.
As a parent, it is always our duty to make sure that our child gets the best things in life, but with enough discipline and responsibility. If your child wants to use a headphone for listening to music or video, then you should make sure that your child knows their limits when using this kind of items. Not only would it teach your child to be responsible enough, but you can also make sure that your child’s health is always properly maintained.