EarsToday.com - Earplanes Kids! Best Ear-Plugs For Children Flying

In A Hurry?

If require the Best Hearing Protection for this item, and do not want to read the entire article, below are my recommended ear protection.

Going on vacation with your kids can be a fantastic experience for both you and your children. However traveling to your destination can be a nightmare, if the kids or baby, start playing up, no more so than on an airplane.

The main problems that they may experience, that you can find solutions for here are

  • Child ear pain on take-off and landing
  • Excessive noise hurting their ears.

In this article, we will

  • Explain why kids ears hurt more
  • Suggest ways to reduce these pains
  • Give advice on traveling with ear infections
  • Recommend the best ear plugs for kids when flying

When flying with a baby or child, child earplanes or other pressure reducing ear plugs can reduce both noise and ear pain

Why Kids Need Ear Plugs When Flying?

“Studies have shown that – just over half of children experience some ear discomfort when flying “


What Causes Children Pain When Flying?

The ears are made up of many sections. When flying, ear pain is generally caused by the pressure on one side of the eardrum, being different to the pressure on the other side. The difference in pressure causes the eardrum to stretch slightly, causing pain.

The “outside” of the eardrum is open to the environment through your ear canal (ear hole). Any pressure changes are immediate on this side of the ear drum.

The “inside” of the ear is not directly connected to the outside world and takes longer to adapt to any pressure changes. The changes in pressure need to go through the Eustachian tube. (This is the tube the from middle ear to the back of the nose and throat).

Any problems with this tube (blockages, swollen glands or coughs & colds) will cause any pressure changes to be slower. This may increase the time it takes for any discomfort to go.

Using children’s earplanes or other children’s / baby airplane ear protection, slows down the pressure change on the outer ear. The inner part of the ear now has more time to adjust. This reduces the discomfort.

Is The Pain Worse In Children?

Babies and children do experience more ear pains on flights than adults in general, and they are not making a fuss on the plane. Studies have shown that a quarter to over half of children flying experience some form of discomfort. (1 in 3 adult passengers say they get some trouble). There are several reasons for this.

Why Kids Experience More Ear Pain

There are four main reasons that children may experience more pain when flying than you, as an adult will.

Kids Experience More Illnesses

Children have weaker immune systems to adults, and this means that they are more likely to have blocked noses, or ears. This results in the pressure taking much longer to equalize in the inner ears. Try to keep the noses unblocked for the duration of the flight.

Bigger Adenoids

The adenoids are soft tissue behind the nasal cavity. In babies and children, these are bigger relative to the size of the nasal/ear cavities. This means that there is less space, and air, making pressure reduction slower.

Using pressure reducing ear plugs for children, gives the inner ear more time to adjust to the pressure changes. This reduces the discomfort

Small Children Are Unable To Take Preventative Measures

There are some things that you can do to reduce the discomfort, by helping pressure changes. Yawning, and chewing gum both help with this problem. Very young children and babies cannot do this on-demand.

Different Shaped Eustachian Tube

The Eustachian tube (This is the tube from the middle ear to the back of the nose and throat – remember?) is not the same in children. They are narrower, so become blocked easier. They are also a different shape, again making pressure equalization more difficult

How To Stop A Child’s Ears Popping On A Plane

How To Stop Children’s Ears Popping On A Plane is not difficult in most cases. Below are some airplane ear pain remedies

Wear Child Airplane Earplug Protection

This has been mentioned a couple of times. Wearing something that stops the outer ears pressure reducing so quickly may help. There are three types of plug. These have varying effectiveness, and some will annoy the children more than others. Details in the next section

Drink Plenty Of Fluids

Keeping well hydrated and drinking lots of liquids – especially water. (Not caffeinated drinks)  Will mean that your nasal passages are less likely to dry out and become blocked.

Even if you, or your kids have no blockages now, the air in planes is recycled and a lot drier than fresh air. This will cause your nasal passages to dry out .

Drinking water is easy and cheap!

Take Children’s Pain Killers

If your child has a blocked nose, has sensitive ears, or has experienced this type of pain before, then you could give them a pain killer. This should be the child’s variety, and given before flying. There are safe over the counter pills you can get for children like Ibuprofen.

Always read the label and consult a doctor if you are unsure

Yawn Frequently

Yawning helps to equalize the pressure in the ears. Make it a game and see who can yawn the most on the way down.

Chew Gum Or Suck On Hard Candy

This again helps with the pressure difference on the various parts of the ears. Ask a stewardess when you are going to start descending, then give your kids some candy to suck

Stay Awake For Take-Off And Landing

Being awake will reduce discomfort as well. I know it seems like a good idea to let the children sleep through it all. But when your children are awake, they breathe differently, they can yawn, and chew to help with the ear discomfort

Flying With A Baby – Stop Ear Pain

Many babies never show the slightest signs of discomfort; but some will. Most of the things that help children will also help babies, but there are some differences. For example, you cannot give a baby candy to suck, or get them to yawn on demand.

Baby Airplane Ear Protection

Again as with children, use of ear protection may help when flying with a baby. The in-ear type may be a problem for the very young, so over the ear protectors will be more comfortable. (See further down the page)

Take A Bottle Or Pacifier Or Breastfeed

The sucking action, like sucking a sweet, will help reduce the babies ear pain. So give them a bottle, a pacifier, or breastfeed them. So they are sucking. It will help with the ear pressures, and may take their mind off what is going on around them

Drink Plenty Of Fluids

Same as with adults, this is the easiest and cheapest thing to do to help with the ears when flying with a baby.

Take Children’s Pain Killers

Always read the instructions, and talk to a doctor if you are unsure. But pain killers can help when flying with a baby.

Paracetamol can be given to children over two months, which weigh more than 9 pounds (4.4kg)

Ibuprofen can be given to kids over three months if they weigh more than 11 pounds (5kg)


If your baby does start to cry, it will actually help them. Crying opens the Eustachian tubes, clearing the ears and reducing discomfort. (I am not suggesting that you deliberately make the baby cry!)

Distract The Child On Takeoff/Landing

Distracting the baby when landing and taking off may make them not think about any slight discomfort that they are experiencing. Playing games and looking out of the window are good ideas

Flying With An Ear Infection – Child Or Baby

If your child has an infection that affects the ears in any way, then this can lead to more problems.

Flying With A Baby With A Cold

If your child or baby has a cold when flying, everything should be fine. You need to try to keep the nose as clear as possible. It is better to try not to use a decongestant as they are not recommended for children

It is better to use saline nose drops before take-off and landing. Full instructions are given on the bottle. Use these with a suction bulb to remove all the mucus.

Flying With A Child On Antibiotics

You or your child will have no problem when taking medicines on to a flight. If they are tablets then they can be carried on and taken as usual.

If they are liquids and higher than the 100ml limit, then you will need to take them in a clear zip-locked bag. Medications are exempt from the 100ml limit. Be sure to take the prescription in case you need to show it.

If the antibiotic is liquid form, and needs to be refrigerated, take what you need onto the flight. Put the rest in your checked baggage. It is cold in the baggage area in the plane, this will keep your medication in good condition

Flying With Swimmers Ear/Ear Infections Or Flying With Blocked Ears

It is advisable not to fly with swimmers ear, or an ear infection. Evidence suggests that there will be no serious harm. However, ear pain could be worse and may take longer to stop.

Decongestants may help, but these are not suited to children under 6. If the child is from 6 to 12, only with the advice of a pharmacist. Pain killers suited to the person’s age will also help to reduce pain

If you need to fly with a child with ear problems, then you should check with a medical professional, before the flight.

Ear Pain After Flying – Child Or Baby

Once you have landed, your ears may be still experiencing some distress. The methods used to stop suffering in-flight (yawning, chewing, etc), should be continued until that pain has gone.

The pain can last for a long time, depending on the person that has it. But in general, if the ache lasts for several hours or more, or the pain is severe, then you should seek medical advice.

Please don’t worry about this too much, this is not a common occurrence. Most people get no ear problems or very mild discomfort when flying.

Types Of Earplugs For Children On A Plane

Earplugs help children and babies on planes in two ways.

Protect the ears from excessive noise. The volume of the noise inside a plane can range from 60 to 100 decibels. This may be even higher for take-off. Ear protectors should be worn if the volume in a location exceeds 80-85 decibels, for any length of time.

As the rest of this article has mentioned, plugs can also help reduce the pain or discomfort that may be experienced when flying. Generally, the earplugs available when flying with children come in three types:

Earplanes Kids -In-Ear Earplugs

These are the best earplugs for children when flying. But, they are also more intrusive. They consist of a soft silicon plug with “fins” that are inserted into the ear. The small size will fit children. Hypoallergenic and reusable. (see recommended plugs below)

Over-Ear – Ear Muffs

Kids and babies will wear these more naturally than the in-ear plugs. They go over the top of the ears like big headphones. They will protect your child’s ears from excessive noise and will relieve some of the pain. But not as effectively as the Earplane plugs.

Reusable, and can be used for many situations, e.g. Sleeping, Festivals, Concerts, Theatres, Fireworks, etc. (see recommended plugs below)

Eargasm Aviation Earplugs - Ear Pain Relief for Air Travel - Small...
  • INSTANTLY REDUCE EAR PAIN from pressure changes during take off and landing. Our innovative membrane embedded inside the earplug slows the process of pressure change inside the ear canal and helps to prevent ear aches.
  • HELPS MINIMIZE noises associated with air travel such as engine, wind noise, and loud passengers by up to 20 dBs.
  • SMALLER SIZE to fit women, children, and those with smaller ear canals. Transparent color makes it nearly imperceptible to others.
  • 100% RESUABLE many times over! HYPOALLERGENIC SOFT SILICONE is non-toxic and comfortable for prolonged wear. Won’t cause itching or pressure pain. Ideal for domestic and international flights.
  • ERGONOMIC ALUMINUM CASE is over 35% shorter than competing brands for easy storage on your keychain. An anti-stick interior guarantees earplugs will always be easily removable. Waterproof rubber seal ensures their protection from moisture, dust and debris. Threading is uniquely placed on exterior of canister to prevent damage to earplugs when opening and closing.
Mpow 068 Kids Ear Protection, NRR 25dB Noise Reduction Ear Muffs,...
  • Unparalleled Noise Reduction Effect: CE-approved (European Standard) and ANSI-certified (American National Standards Institute) to 25dB NNR. Completely cover the ear and surroundings, keep out the harmful noises of the world, provide the most reliable safety.
  • Super Comfortable and Extremely Durable: Comfy and trustworthy material, safe for kids, ensures that your kids are comfortable while wearing it for a longer duration.
  • Fully Wrapped Headband: Encased headband is for greatest security, stability and durability, which strengthens internal construction and makes sure kids’s heads all wrapped in safe and comfortable condition.
  • Unique Adjustable Pin: Position earcups over ears. Adjust height through telescopic rod. Mpow adjustable kids earmuffs can be used for different aged kids.
  • Easy to Store and Widely Application: Foldable design for carry around. Applicable in monster jam/ monster trucks, hunting, sports events, concerts, Disneyland, airplane flights, studying, fireworks and sleeping. A great gift for autism kids.
Original Adult EarPlanes by Cirrus Healthcare Earplugs Airplane Travel...
  • 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!
  • Adult 1-Pair - One Pair Is Good For A Round Trip (2 Flights)

Last update on 2020-08-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


If you require more information, please check these references

Baby On Board , article, ” www.southwest.com”, retrieved on, Thu 05-September-2019 

Flying With Baby , article, “www.healthychildren.org”, retrieved on, Thu 05-September-2019 

Ear Pain , article, “en.wikipedia.org”, retrieved on, Thu 05-September-2019 

Pressure Pain On Fligh , article, “twww.mayoclinic.org”, retrieved on, Thu 05-September-2019 

Flying Ears , article, “kidshealth.org”, retrieved on, Thu 05-September-2019

Author: Nick

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.”

Amazon Affiliate

EarsToday.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.

Read our Privacy & Cookie Policy


95 Sunrising, East Looe. Cornwall
PL13 1NG, United Kingdom

Tel: 07593 076598