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Earplugs for Kids: Options For Childrens Ear Protection

Is your child having issues with their hearing?

Protecting your children's hearing is one of the best ways to help them become better communicators, so that they can have a successful adult life.

If your child can hear things that you can't, the first thing you should do is protect their hearing. Ear muffs can provide protection against loud noises and prevent damage to your child's hearing. And ear muffs that are customized to your child's age will help them become better communicators.

Read this article to find out more!

Kid earmuffs - why they are useful?

As we grow older, our hearing is constantly being damaged, and this damage can never be repaired. Your toddler still has new hearing, and the chances are that it is still in excellent working order.

Whether they have perfect hearing or they have some hearing problems, they are going to have hearing that is more sensitive than yours, so it needs protecting. (When I was a child I had issues with my ears – in fact I still do)

You may need to protect your toddler’s ears from water, sound, pressure when flying, and of course, from loud noises. This article explains when these things can be uncomfortable or dangerous to your child. Then give recommendations on what you should do to keep them happy and safe.

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Even The Most Careful Parents Often Forget To Protect Their Children’s Ears.

This article will look at the ins and outs of children’s ear protection, not only for hearing protection but also as an awareness tool to help protect children from hearing damage because of loud sounds.

Children’s Ear Protection.

Children’s ear muffs and plugs are considered the most practical means of offering hearing protection. Unlike earplugs, they can be worn comfortably for long periods of time without becoming too warm or causing discomfort.

Many children’s styles look like a small pair of headphones and are not noticeable when worn. It is important to note that many children’s styles/colours available are bright, cute and attractive, making it difficult for children to resist wearing them.

I’ll Show You The Most Effective Ways To Protect Children’s Ears And Prevent Pain.

Health Canada has designated sounds over 85 decibels as harmful to hearing. These noises are caused by stadium horns, car alarms, car stereos and concerts.

Obviously, the sound of a screeching train will not be heard by a child, but the vibrations it generates can be felt and cause permanent damage.

If you have ever rescued a child from an amusement park ride that was too loud for their ears, you can easily see that unprotected ears are at risk.

Ear Protection Effectiveness.

When you are looking to buy ear protection to stop loud noises, the effectiveness of ear plugs and muffs is expressed in terms of NRR (The Noise Reduction Rating). The higher these values, the better, and ear protectors typically have an NRR between 5 to 30 dB.

One point on the NRR scale reduces the sound that is heard by one decibel (dB). So if you are in a place where the background noise was around 85dB and wearing muffs with an NRR of 20. Then the ears are exposed to noise of about 65dB.

Should you be wondering what does 85dB in volume actually sound like? Well below is an infographic that shows familiar sound you will know on the decibel scale.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends that in your place of work, hearing protection should be worn if you are regularly exposed to sounds of 85dB or higher. This would be true for your toddler as well (There are free smartphone apps that can give you approximate readings should you still be unsure!).

Ear Plugs For Toddlers In The Water.

The human body has grown to live in our environment and can easily cope with most things in it. This includes water, and getting water in the ears. Our bodies are covered in skin, including in our ears. The skin acts as a barrier to foreign objects and does an outstanding job doing this.

Most people, most of the time, will not need to wear plugs when going in the water, as the skin and earwax will keep our ears safe. The shape of the ear is also designed to allow water to drain easily.

(Yes, ear wax is not something to be got rid of as soon as it appears. We have developed so that ear wax will move down the ear, actually cleaning it, removing dust, fungus, and bacteria as it goes. It is your ears natural cleaner).

There will be some occasions; however, when stopping water going into the ears is a good idea. For example:

  • Dirty water. Dirty water has a lot more bacteria than clean water.
  • Ear infections. Pre-existing ear infections will worsen if wet.
  • History of infections. If you have a history of infections, it makes sense to prevent more.
  • Difficulty drying the ears. Ears naturally empty, but if you have small ears or blockages, they are harder to drain.

Children have ear canals that are narrower than adults (they are smaller!), this means that the water will not drain as readily. So when in the water or swimming, they may need plugs.

You need to use your common sense here. If your child is perfectly healthy, has no history of ear infections, and is in clean bathwater, then there will be little need for plugs.

If they are swimming in a river, or had an ear infection last week, then there may be a need for plugs.

Kid girl swimming with Ear Protection0

Ear Plugs For Toddlers When Flying.

When flying, many people experience some mild discomfort or pain, when the plane is changing altitudes – when taking off and landing. This is perfectly natural and is caused by the eardrum stretching because the pressure on the outside of the ear adjusts faster than the pressure on the inside.

This can make toddlers and babies very uneasy as they do not understand what is happening as you will. They do not understand it is temporary. It is harder to get them to do things to relieve the pressure, like yawning, swallowing and sucking.

The other thing that can bother toddlers, and indeed almost everyone on a flight, is the noise from the engines and the general cabin noise generated when there are many people in a small place. It can cause stress to babies and toddlers, leading to irritability and crying.

A good pair of flight earplugs for children could be a great help. When they are worn, and the child is used to them, they will reduce the noise considerably, and if you have plugs that were designed for flying, they will help the pressure equalize on both sides of the ear at a more consistent rate. This means the discomfort or pain is reduced significantly.

An excellent tip for toddler earplugs is to get the kids to wear the earplugs at home for a few days before the first time they fly. This will allow them to get used to the plugs, as the first few times you put them in, they will get pulled out again within a few minutes. If the child has worn them a few times before flying, they will stay in for a few hours.

Ear Plugs For Toddlers When It’s Cold.

As most of us know, cold weather can cause your ears to hurt. But once they warm up again, then they are fine, and there is no lasting damage. But this is not always the case. Sometimes the cold can cause ear problems, which could have been easily avoided by wearing a hooded top, or better still, ear muffs.

Cold weather can cause a problem called Exostosis, more commonly known as “surfer’s ear.” (Surfers get this a lot as they spend a lot of time in cold water, hence the name.)

Exostosis is the body trying to provide a barrier to the cold. With this condition, the ear canal has abnormal bone growths. In the ear canal, bone grows on top of the bone that is already present. It thickens around the ear canal, causing the opening to become narrower.

With a narrower canal, it becomes more difficult to hear, and wax builds up as it is harder for it to move through the ear canal. The wax and water can get trapped in the ear, and if this happens, bacteria will grow, causing ear infections.

People with Exostosis are far more likely to get pain, tinnitus, and hearing problems. These difficulties can be avoided by wearing earmuffs or a hat on wintry days.

child sleeping snore0

Ear Plugs For Toddlers When It Is Loud.

Hearing protection in noisy places can be really useful when you have toddlers, for the following reasons

  • Protecting their hearing.
  • Allowing them to sleep.
  • Preventing over excitement.
  • Preventing them being frightened by sudden noises.

The ears of a toddler are more sensitive than yours as an adult. This means that they are more vulnerable to prolonged sounds and loud noises. At a young age, permanent hearing damage can occur quickly, and hearing damage is permanent.

Research shows that one in eight babies and toddlers has suffered some mild degree of hearing damage. This is permanent and can be easily avoided. Keep children from noisy environments, and if this is not possible, use hearing protection.

I have a more detailed article on Infant Hearing Protection Here 

Conclusions - Best Earplugs For Toddlers.

When we are born, usually we have great hearing (This may not be true if you have a family history of hearing problems like me!). Your toddler’s hearing needs to be looked after until they are old enough to make their own decisions on this type of thing.

Children’s hearing differs from adults, and is more sensitive, and ear infections are far more common. Ear protection does not have to be expensive, and can be a worthwhile investment in your child’s health. It is far better to use protection to prevent a problem than to have to suffer through it. Then pay for the treatment (which can be far more expensive!)

Please Note: Just because an ear defender is marked, for example, "Gunshot" - it will still cover other things, like "explosions"

Recommended Products – Best Earplugs For Toddlers

Below are the recommended ear protectors for your toddler. A set has been chosen from each category of water, air pressure, temperature, and sound. These have been selected as the price that they are sold at is very reasonable, and also because they have a lot of positive independent reviews from other parents who have purchased and used the products.

Should you have any doubts, click the link and read some of these reviews. You will not be disappointed with the products recommended here!

Best Ear Plugs

The following are the best earplugs  (They go from low price to high price.)

Kids Girls Winter Warm Faux Fur Plush Sequins Earwarmer Earmuffs Pink
  • This kids earmuffs made of a soft quality material, outside is knit design. Inside is lovely faux fur. It's very soft and comfortable
  • Winter ear warmers have many style for your choose: snowflake, deer, heart, solid color or sequin. It is very fashion and cute
  • Lightweight, breathable, comfortable flexible fit for all day wear, soft and thick padded faux fur ear warmer keep your ear from winter outdoor cold
  • Winter accessory gift idea for both your family and friends, protect your ears during the harsh winter with this elegant fashionable ear warmer
  • Winter accessory for every day casual wear, ice skating, sledding, snowtubing, camping, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, and more
Surblue Unisex Warm Knit Cashmere Winter Pure Color Earmuffs with Fur Earwarmer, Adjustable...
  • High-Quality Material - Outer material is knitted mink cashmere, good quality, the inner material is made from high-quality faux fur, and plush ear pieces can protect your ears.
  • Adjustable Band - The band of the ear warmer could be slightly stretched, it can be adjusted according to your head circumference in a small range, and the earmuffs can be folded and easily stored in a handbag or coat without deformation.
  • Wear Methods - Behind the head wearing design keeps your ears warm, suitable for leisure in the cold winter, hiking, biking, skiing, hunting, traveling, morning jog, or outdoor.
  • One Size Fits Most - Suitable for most men, women, and teenagers, no need to wear any accessories, simply wear it on the back of your head.
  • Great Gifts for Your Family - It is a perfect gift for family and friends or to dress up yourself at Christmas or New Year. These earmuffs are classic and comfortable ideal for cold weather and various outdoor activities.
PUTTY BUDDIES Ear Plugs 10-Pair Pack - Soft Silicone Ear Plugs for Swimming & Bathing - Invented by...
  • SOFT SILICONE EARPLUGS. Easy to use and mold to the ear! MUCH MORE soft & comfortable than other ear plugs.
  • RECOMMENDED BY DOCTORS WORLDWIDE. Invented by an Ear, Nose, Throat Physician. HELPS PREVENT SWIMMER’S EAR. Perfect for ear tubes, perforated eardrums, myringotomy, myringotomy tubes, otitis media, and otitis externa.
  • GUARANTEED EAR PROTECTION. Block water from the ear canal! Great for swimming, bathing, surfing, water skiing, canoeing, and kayaking. Perfect for traveling to the pool, lake or beach.
  • TACKY TEXTURE keeps earplugs in place. ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL design. Great for kids and adults! Reusable and last longer than other earplugs.
  • Bright colors are appealing to kids. Kids love them! THE BEST SWIMMING EARPLUGS & EAR PROTECTION. Use with the EAR BAND-IT or EAR BAND-IT ULTRA SWIMMING HEADBAND for best protection.
EarPlanes Ear Plugs Kid's Small Size 1 Pair (Pack of 5)
  • EarPlanes Relieve Ear Discomfort, Clogging, And Popping By Naturally Filtering and Regulating Air Pressure.
  • EarPlanes Are A Must Have For Your Next Trip: They Are Essential For Your Carry-On Bag!
  • EarPlanes Are Safe, Soft, And Disposable - Made From Soft Hypoallergenic Silicone.
  • EarPlanes Are Doctor Recommended, Tested By U.S Navy Pilots, And Backed By The Good Housekeeping Seal!
EarPeace Concert Ear Plugs - Reusable High Fidelity Earplugs - Hearing Protection for Music...
  • Perfect Fit: Select Standard or Small Size Plugs depending on your ear canal size. Standard Size Plugs fit 80% of men, women and teens. Please select Small Size Plugs if you’ve had previous issues keeping ear plugs or ear buds in your ear, or if you’ve had previous discomfort with these products.
  • True to Life Audio: EarPeace professional grade hearing protection ear plugs deliver crisp, clear sound at a safe volume. Medium, High and Max filters provide in-ear protection for noise reduction making them true music essentials.
  • Invisible EarPlugs: These musician ear plugs provide in-ear hearing protection that seems to disappear in your ear, just like custom molded ear plugs. The professional ear plugs are small and low profile, making them discreet noise reducers. The small tab makes your concert earplugs easy to remove.
  • Premium and Portable: The high quality noise cancelling earplugs come with a milled aluminum case that contains two chambers and a keychain clip so you can easily transport your musician grade earplugs while keeping them safe and clean. Precision engineered, you also get 3 filter sets that deliver 17-26dB noise reduction for all your music event and sound reduction needs.
  • Industry Leading: Metallica, RedBull and Lollapalooza carry EarPeace as their concert ear protection as they know we make the best ear plugs for concerts and are the most trusted musicians ear plugs. Our sound reducing ear plugs are serious music equipment for every drummer, guitar case and DJ kit.

Last update on 2023-11-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

People Also Ask.


How Can I Soothe My Toddler’s Earache?

Ear infections can be excruciating for toddlers, and they can get them often. Below are five things that you can try to help relieve that pain:

  • Stay hydrated. Dehydration will not help with an earache. Swallowing can also help mucus drain from the back of the nose/ears. Sucking a hard candy can also help if the child is old enough.
  • Tylenol or child’s pain relief. If your toddler is old enough, you can give them child pain relief medication. Always read the label and consult a doctor if you are going to provide medicines for any period.
  • Warm compress. Put a warm damp compress on your toddler’s ear for 10-20 minutes.
  • Warm oil. Warn olive oil (at room temperature) can help if a few drops are placed in the affected ear. This must not be done with a ruptured eardrum.
  • Elevate the head. Raise the child’s head slightly. This can help the draining of the sinuses.


Symptoms Of An Ear Infection In A Toddler.

If your child is very young and has a painful earache, they cannot tell you. Below are some common signs of earache in a toddler.

  • Fluid draining from ear.
  • Pulling at the ear.
  • Irritability.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Fever.
  • Loss of appetite.


Is Loud Music Bad For Toddlers?

Yes! Loud music is awful for everyone, and kids can be stupid and play music or games much too loud.

When buying earphones for any kids, it is always a good idea to get buds that stop the volume being turned up to dangerously high levels. This type of plug will not go over approximately 82dB in volume. This level is safe for many hours at a time.


If you require more information, please check these references

onlinelibrary.wiley.com , article, “Hearing Conservation Education Programs for Children”, retrieved on, Tue 05-November-2019

lshss.pubs.asha.org , article, “The Effectiveness of an Educational Hearing Conservation Program for Elementary School Children”, retrieved on, Tue 05-November-2019

www.tandfonline.com , article, “Randomized trial of four noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus prevention interventions for children”, retrieved on, Tue 05-November-2019


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Nick Le Page

Experience : Hi, I am Nick, and I have suffered with ear problems my whole life, mainly tinnitus. I have tried a lot of products to help protect my ears over this period, and several devices to block out the constant ringing

“Are you having problems hearing? If so, those around you already know it. Hearing loss is no laughing matter, so don’t be a punchline.”

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