Hearing Protection for Babies, Toddlers and Children
February 22, 2011 Leave a comment
With a musician husband and as an indie label owner with a significant penchant for live music myself (on longterm hiatus, family first), baby “noise cancellation” headphones were one of the first things on our registry. No, we haven’t yet toted our son along to concerts (in fact we haven’t been to many ourselves in the past year since he was born); but I knew full well that in all practicality, an occasional sound-check would be unavoidable in our lines of work. Finding the right-sized headphones was no easy chore. I think I read over a hundred customer reviews and endless specs before deciding on the Junior Earmuff by Peltor. They aren’t noise cancellation headphones in the sense that they provide white noise to cancel outside sounds. They are technically barriers that muffle dangerous loud noise–much better for baby.
The muffs are very flexible and not too tight for new, still-soft heads–although I wouldn’t recommend wearing them for too long in the first few months. They are not exactly Boise quality; but I was able to wear them myself and see how good a job they do. I was impressed that although I could still hear plenty of noise, the dangerous levels were cut out. They are not only handy for live music, but any kind of continuous potentially hair cell-damaging environments. During our visits to NYC, my son wears the muffs on the subway and in heavy street traffic areas to drown out the commotion. They were a life saver in Grand Central Terminal, a cavernous echo chamber of a building that frightened my son when he was just four months old. My never-cry boy was weeping and I wasn’t sure why. I tried the earmuffs and BINGO! His inner peace was immediately restored. Ah, and fireworks… He was able to join us, at just one week old, to witness the rockets glare on his first New Years eve.
These headphones are appropriate for children and small adults, as well. They come in a variety of colors and aren’t particularly hard on the wallet. Its very good to have a pair around, especially for city dwellers. Hearing damage is caused by both one time intense exposure to loud sounds and continuous exposure over an extended period of time to lesser loudness. Putting noise cancelation phones on young ears in a bustling metropolis is a wise measure of protection, while traveling and especially for full-time city living.
Photo on Left: Don’t worry. No babies were on stage in the middle of a rock show. This was shortly after one of Future Dad’s sound checks, as they were putting gear away. That guitar wasn’t even plugged in. He was, however, wearing his muffs backstage and slept like an angel throughout the soundcheck. Here he remains still completely unaware afterwards. We just left the muffs on and placed him on the stage for a brief moment for the father/son photo op.