Summer is the perfect opportunity for families to spend time together enjoying festivals, sporting events, air shows, and even firework displays. As you pack your bags with snacks, sunglasses, and sunscreen, consider adding ear defenders to your list of “must-haves” for those fun summer activities. Protecting your ears in noisy environments is certainly important, but it’s especially true for babies and children.
Experts agree that safeguarding young ears is critical to ensuring their health and wellness in the long run. A child’s ear canal is much smaller than that of an adult, creating greater pressure as sound enters the ear. As a result, an infant may perceive the same sounds at higher decibel levels than an older child or adult.
A decibel (dB) is a unit of measurement that indicates the volume of sound. According to UK legislation, adults are obliged to wear hearing protection if working in an environment with 80 decibels of sound or higher on a daily basis. Here are some typical noise levels measured in decibels:
- Soft whisper: 30dB
- Normal conversation: 60-65dB
- Alarm clock: 65-80dB
- Coffee grinder: 70-80dB
- Lawn mower: 85-90dB
- Motorbikes: 100dB
- Disco or car horn: 110dB
- Rock concert or ambulance siren: 120dB
- Peak stadium crowd noise: 130dB
- Firecracker: 145dB
- Jet engine takeoff: 150dB
Noise-induced hearing loss, which is a result from damage to structures and/or nerve fibers in the inner ear that respond to sound, cannot be medically or surgically corrected. Permanent damage can occur from a single incident (e.g. an extremely loud blast) or from prolonged exposure to loud sounds over time. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), enduring noise levels above 105dB for 15 minutes a week can damage your hearing permanently. Even prolonged exposure to lower levels, such as 80dB to 90dB, can cause irreversible damage.
Given this information, how do you then determine whether your child will need hearing protection? If an environment is too noisy for an adult, chances are that it will be too loud for a child. Ear defenders are the best equipment for ensuring the protection of your little one’s hearing. Not only can they be used to avoid disturbances from loud festivals or fireworks, they provide respite from domestic noise such as lawn mowers, vacuum cleaners, or power tools. Ear defenders can reduce noise-related stress and help calm uneasy babies and toddlers in an otherwise stressful environment. Thus, children with autism or sensory disorders can also benefit greatly from the use of ear defenders.
You may be thinking that ear plugs could be a more cost-efficient option when considering hearing protection for your child. However, ear plugs can be a choking hazard for young kids, and they can be difficult to insert properly while creating an airtight seal. Thus, ear defenders are the best option for babies and children to ensure proper hearing protection. So lets get into our reviews of the best baby ear defenders in the uk of 2016 – 2017.
2016 – 2017’s Best Baby Ear Defenders – Top 5 Table
|Image||Model||Suitable Ages||SNR Value||Weight||Avg Rating||Price|
|3M PELTOR Kids Ear Muffs||0-7 Years||27dB||175g||4.8/5||Check On Amazon|
|Ear Lugz||6 months+||25.8dB||180g||4.8/5||Check On Amazon|
|Banz Mini Earmuffs||3 months+||26dB||142g||4.7/5||Check On Amazon|
|Snug Safe n Sound Kids Ear Defenders||6 months+||25dB||180g||4.7/5||Check On Amazon|
|Edz Kidz||6 months+||26dB||190g||4.5/5||Check On Amazon|
Our Best Baby Ear Defender Reviews in the uk of 2016 – 2017
3M PELTOR Kids Ear Muffs
3M is a global leader in providing professional hearing protection for adults, and their expertise certainly shines in their ear defenders for kids. Buyers especially love how comfortable their children seem to be while wearing them for long periods of time. The ear defenders have wide sealing rings filled with a unique combination of fluid and foam for improved comfort, and an adjustable headband that grows with your child. They are durable and well-made with low profile ear cups and no protruding parts. Although some parents have found the ear defenders too tight for their child, this product has the highest SNR value on our list with 27dB. The 3M PELTOR Kids ear muffs come in either neon green or pink on an adjustable black headband.
- Reputable brand
- High-quality material
- Good protection (27dB)
- Limited fit (only up to age 7)
- Relatively expensive
Ear Lugz are another great option and come in a wider variety of blue, pink, lime green, or red. With an SNR of 25.8dB, these ear defenders offer a good level of protection for your child’s ears. An added perk is that they are lightweight and can be folded for easy transportation (storage bag included). Although it is on the pricier side, these ear defenders can fit your child from 6 months well into the teenage years, eliminating the need to purchase another set as your toddler grows.
- Adjustable fit (6 months-16 yrs)
- Great for travel
- Comfortable material
- Most expensive option
- Relatively low SNR (25.8dB)
Banz Mini Earmuffs
Banz Mini Earmuffs are very popular partly due to the large variety of colors and designs available for this product. These ear defenders are recommended for use with children between the ages of 3 months and 2 years old. However, they may last longer depending on your child’s head size. The lightweight headband coupled with well-cushioned ear cups reduce the amount of pressure on ears while maintaining effectiveness at blocking sound. Although Banz Mini Earmuffs are adjustable, they lack individual pivoting on the ear cups, which some buyers may find less comfortable than some other options on the market.
- Very lightweight
- Comfortable padding
- Wide variety of colours/designs
- Relatively expensive
- Limited fit (3 months-2 years)
Snug Safe n Sound Kids
Snug Safe n Sound Kids Ear Defenders come with a five year warranty and fold into a compact size that works well for storing and travel. They are adjustable and can be worn by infants all the way up to adulthood. Available in black, green, blue, pink, purple, red, and yellow, you won’t run out of options to choose from when it comes to selecting the right colour for your child. Some buyers complain that they are too large for babies; however, these ear defenders still have an SNR value of 25dB and are priced on the lower end, making them a good value option for your little one.
- Adjustable fit (6 months+)
- Variety of colours
- Low price
- Relatively low SNR (25dB)
- Breaks easily
Edz Kidz Ear Defenders are one of the most popular choices available because they come in the widest variety of colours and designs on the market today. You can even purchase carry bags, replacement pads, and mix and match end caps for a truly customizable set. They fold easily to fit in your hand, making them easy to carry along to concerts and sporting events. Suitable for children ages 6 months and older, these ear defenders are truly designed to be both comfortable and stylish. However, some buyers have complained that the material is a bit stiff and tight for their child.
- Great for travel
- Wide variety of colours/designs
- Low price
- Breaks easily (headband)
- Limited fit
Finding the Best Option
With a variety of choices currently on the market, finding the right ear defenders for babies and young children can be a daunting task. Here are some key factors to consider in your search for the best option:
- High SNR rating. SNR is a single number rating system as per the International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 4869 certification. The higher the SNR value, the higher the level of noise attenuation provided by the ear protection. For example, if the ear defenders have an SNR of 25dB, an environment with a noise level of 100dB would be perceived as 75dB while wearing the gear. Simply stated, a higher SNR means less noise for your little one and better protection.
- Comfort/Fit. Look for ear defenders with adjustable headbands and ear cups designed to fit smaller ears. The fit should be snug, but not too tight, creating a protective seal from noise. Make sure your child can move his/her head around without the ear defenders slipping or falling off. Extra padding and lightweight material are also great features to consider so your child is comfortable with wearing the gear for an extended period.
- Colour/Style. If your child is old enough, have him/her pick the colour or design as you shop for the product. This not only helps ensure they’ll enjoy wearing it, but saves you money and time from having to return and purchase another set of ear defenders simply because your toddler refuses to wear green and prefers pink. Bright colours are also convenient for spotting your child in a crowd at a festival or fireworks show.
- Overall value. Children grow so quickly that it’s best to invest in ear defenders that they can wear for as long as possible. Consider price, quality, and age suitability when looking at overall value. How often do you plan on using the ear defenders? Are they made of durable material? Some ear defenders on the market can be adjusted and worn by both toddlers and adults, depending on head size. Only a few are specifically designed for newborns and young children up to age 2; this may be the best option for you, however, if you cannot find a product designed for babies and older children that fit your child well.
No matter what type of ear defenders you choose, remember to make your purchase well before you plan on using them to give your child a chance to get accustomed to wearing the gear. Have them wear the ear defenders for short periods of time at home until they’re comfortable enough to venture out in public with them on.
As children get older, they are less inclined to want to wear hearing protection. To help them develop and maintain good habits, set a good example by wearing ear defenders or ear plugs yourself while engaging in noisy activities. Let older children choose the style of hearing protection they want to use. Most importantly, teach them the value of hearing, and help them to understand how loud noises can be harmful in the long run
Final Thoughts On Our Best Ear Defenders For Babies Reviews
Although our world is full of noise, there are many options for finding the right gear to protect your child’s hearing. Start good habits now with your children – just as you require them to wear sunscreen outside or a helmet when riding a bike, teach them to wear hearing protection around loud noises. Let us know if our reviews of the best uk models in 2016 – 2017 helped you purchase the right hearing protection for your child.