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Best Ear Protection For Fireworks

Fireworks and Hearing

It’s the Fourth of July. If you live in an area with fireworks displays, you may already be dreading the coming days, as it’s just a matter of time until your ears start ringing like crazy.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help protect your hearing from the noise of fireworks.

If you’re sensitive to loud noises, a simple solution is using earplugs. If not, wearing earmuff headphones may work just as well and they have the added benefit of blocking out other ambient noise in addition to fireworks sounds.

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Why do fireworks hurt my ears?

If you’re wondering why fireworks hurt your ears, it’s probably because of how loud they are. This is a result of the different sounds they produce as well as the fact that their sounds travel to your eardrum at different strengths.

Fireworks make a noise because of the combustion process, which is how fireworks work. Combustion involves three phases: ignition, burning, and spent firework. The most recent phase of the process results in the bulk of the sound produced by fireworks—a loud crackling noise that can hurt your ears.

While it’s no surprise to hear that fireworks can cause damage to your ears, you might not have been aware of exactly how loud they are.

What is the decibel level of fireworks?

150dB, which is LOUD Fireworks, on average, are between 130 and 170 decibels—which is equivalent to a plane taking off, or the sound of a jackhammer at full throttle. This decibel level causes a loud ringing in your ears called the Tinnitus effect.

How do fireworks cause my hearing damage?

When you expose your ear to excessive noise, the hearing cells are damaged by the excessive noise. When this occurs, they become damaged beyond repair—resulting in a permanent damage to your ears. This damages are known as Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL).

Part of this process is not only due to how loud fireworks are, but also how quickly they’re being produced. The amount of time it takes for each firework to reach you and sound off is referred to as the “sound pressure level or SPL.

How can I protect my kids ears from fireworks?

Hearing protection is a must if you’re going to be around fireworks. A useful option is earmuffs, which are made specifically to protect hearing from loud noises. Other options include electronic earmuff headphones, which also include a lower volume limiter for added protection. Basically, earmuffs protect your ears from the noise of fireworks while headphone protection helps avoid noise in general.

Are fireworks too loud for toddlers?

No, but use toddler sized earmuffs, If they do not wear these then do not go. The loud noises can cause tinnitus for them growing up, and can possibly become a condition later in life. It causes permanent hearing damage and is often mistaken for a ringing sound coming from the ears.

Why are some fireworks louder than others?

The bigger the explosion, the more noise it makes. Bigger explosions produce larger shockwaves resulting in a loud sound.

What is the duration of fireworks?

A typical fireworks show lasts from 15 to 30 minutes. What you hear will vary depending on how different areas of your city are decorated and what time it is in your location.

What should I do if I feel my ears ringing?

If you feel ringing coming in, stop what you are doing and head for a quiet place away from loud noises as soon as possible. It is usually best to continue with your holiday activities if you can, but simply avoid loud noises at all costs (like fireworks).

Things NOT to do when watching fireworks

There are several thing not to do with your ears when you attend a fireworks display:

Drinking

The effects of alcohol can make you feel dizzy, which may affect your balance and make you fall. It can also cause ringing in the ears, along with nausea.

Fooling Around

Even if you may feel invincible, it is not safe to drink and play with fireworks. You may lose your hearing and/or get hurt.

Highly excited kids

Kids who are overly excited and have little self-control may not be able to control their reactions while watching fireworks. If they watch them in person, they may start crying, throw items, or get into fights with someone else.

Don't stand to close 

If you are standing close to the fireworks it can cause some damage.

Remember to always use common sense and look out for your friends and family, as well as the safety of your kids.

Getting The Right Ear Protectors When watching/using fireworks

If you are planning on using fireworks or going to watch fireworks at a location you don’t know, here are some tips to make sure your hearing is safe with earmuffs

Comfort

Comfort is one of the top priorities when you are looking for earmuffs to wear while shooting fireworks. When looking for a pair of muffs, make sure it is not too tight or loose. You should be able to move your head around without feeling that the earmuff is going to fall off. It also needs to fit your head comfortably with no pressure points felt after wearing them for a period of time.

Earbuds are great for blocking out external noise because they come with cushions on the ears. However, it is not the best solution since they won’t protect your ears from noises such as firework explosions and might even cause more damage in the process.

Durability

Durability is also a big deal when it comes to earmuffs. You want to be able to wear the muffs for a long time without any issues occurring. Also, make sure that the earmuffs are made of durable materials such as metal and are not made of foam. No matter how good an earmuff is for blocking out external noises with its cushions, if it is not made from a durable material, it might break or tear after being used many times over the years.

Safety

Safety is a major concern while using earmuffs. Make sure that the earmuffs are able to fit well around your ears and they also shouldn’t cause any pain in your ears when worn for long periods of time.

Size

Size is also a key factor when looking for the right earmuffs. You should make sure that the muffs you are going to buy fit your head well and they will cover both of your ears completely. They should cover your entire ear so they can protect them from any harm caused by explosions.

Cost

Cost is also something that should be taken into account when looking for the best earmuffs to wear while shooting fireworks. Make sure that you are able to find a pair of muffs that will not break the bank, but provide you with the same level of quality and comfort.

Firework Hearing Loss Caused By 3 Things

The common reasons why firework users get hearing loss are:

Decibel Level * Distance * Time

1) Decibel Level

Decibel Level : The noise level of a firework is measured in Decibel and the number refers to how loud the sound is. People are usually exposed to loud fireworks noise for short period of time, while gun shots last for a longer period of time, but not as long as fireworks.

2) Distance

Distance (in feet) refers to how far you are from the source of the sound. The further you are from the firework, the quieter it sounds. People tend to use only a few fireworks outdoors. So, if you are not too close to the fireworks, then there isn't much harm done. However, people tend to have closer view of fireworks in parks and other big public areas which can cause damage to hearing.

3) Time

The time span during which noise is being heard makes a huge impact towards hearing loss. Longer sound exposure causes more damage than short exposure times when it comes to loud noises.

Noises 

The following infographic shows a list of the various noises when you are out and about. Any noise over 70-80db over a long period of time may cause damage to your hearing. A noise of over 120dB may cause immediate harm to your ears

hearing infographic16

Conclusion

Purchasing ear protection for barbecues and fireworks is something that is not very well understood to the public. The majority of people do not realize the dangers of using unsafe practices if they believe that ear protection is only used for concerts or in loud environments such as at construction sites. To avoid hearing loss from listening to music, you should never exceed the safe noise levels. Also, when listening to music with good quality headphones, you should turn your volume down low enough so that you can not hear the sound of a pin drop.

By following the advice given in this article you can now protect your ears as well as ensuring a great view of the fireworks!

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

Kids Ear Muffs Champs Earmuff Noise Protection Reduction Headphones...
  • DESIGNED FOR EAR PROTECTION:This child earmuff is specially designed to reduce noise and protect children's ears. It has passed CE and ANSI certification to reach 25dB NNR. It can effectively eliminate harmful sounds, protect the ears, provide excellent noise reduction effects, and protect the ears from harm.
  • PREMIUM & COMFORTABLE: The noise cancelling ear muffs is made of high-quality ABS and sound-absorbing sponge material, so you can use it with confidence. Ultra-soft ear cushion and padded design give your child a super comfortable wearing experience and enjoy the happy hours of long outdoor activities.
  • ADJUSTABLE & PORTABLE: The Champs ear muffs for kids are equipped with an adjustable headband to meet the needs of children of different ages, which is very user-friendly. These earmuffs are foldable and come with a travel bag for easy carrying and storage. It is the first choice for children when traveling or playing.
  • OCCASIONS: The earmuffs for kids adopt bright blue design, which can increase visibility and improve safety. It is very suitable for children who with sensitive ears. It is idea for watching large truck shows, sports events, concerts, fireworks, autistic children, airplanes, etc.
  • SAFE & STABLE: Our baby ear muffs noise protection are packaged to provide maximum stability, safety and durability, which can better strengthen the internal structure and ensure that the child's head is fully wrapped in a safe and comfortable state.
ClearArmor 141001 Shooters Hearing Protection Safety Ear Muffs...
  • SonicSeal - ClearArmor's exclusive sound technology provides better protection to save your hearing.
  • Comfortable, premium quality, lightweight, super soft ear ring foam for maximum long wear comfort.
  • Padded head band adjusts to fit most head sizes . . . Industrial grade. . . Engineered to last
  • Compact folding design for efficient storage. . . Snug reliable fit to keep our muffs on your head.
  • ANSI S3.19 & CE 352-1 Tested Certified. . . Over head ear muff, perfect fit swivel cup design
Sale
Peltor Sport Tri-Flange Corded Reusable Earplugs, 3-Pair Per Pack
  • NRR 26 dB
  • Triple-flange design for snug, comfortable fit
  • Washable and corded
  • Cord helps reduce the chance of loss when not in use
  • 3-pair pack includes storage container to help keep plugs clean when not being worn
High Fidelity Concert Earplugs, Reusable Musicians Ear Plugs, 24dB...
  • ADVANCED FILTER TECHNOLOGY reduces noise (up to 24dB,NRR)evenly to maintain the full spectrum of sound while protecting hearing. Mumba concert earplugs deliver crisp, clear sound at a safe volume. Won’t muffle music or voices as foam plugs do. Suitable for Concerts, Musicians, Drummer, Percussion, DJs
  • DESIGNED FOR COMFORT: The soft, hypoallergenic reusable earplugs for concerts keep you comfortable whether you’re making music or dancing to it. These are absolutely safe for your ears and health. Hearing protection ear plugs are incredibly lightweight, soft and comfortable to wear.
  • INVISIBLE: Mumba high fidelity ear plugs seems to disappear in your ear when using, just like custom molded ear plugs. The professional ear plugs are small and low profile, making them discreet noise reducers
  • GET THE PERFECT FIT with a pair of standard-sized earplugs(with filters inside) and a pair of small-sized shells. Fits most normal to large ear sizes. Easy removal with a tug on the elongated pull tab. "
  • ALWAYS HAVE THE EARPLUGS WITH YOU: The musicians ear plugs come with an aluminum container and a carabiner that you can hang it on your keychain and carry it around with you wherever you go. You never know when a pair of protective ear plugs may come in handy!

Last update on 2021-09-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Other Questions

What are the dos and don'ts for fireworks?

Always read the instructions on each firework. Follow these instructions carefully and never alter the amount of gunpowder in a firework.

  • Always light them at arm's length and wear protective glasses when lighting them or when they are about to go off.
  • Always light them in a clear plastic bucket of water (this will stop any debris flying if there is an explosion).
  • Never let children light fireworks unsupervised or even assist with lighting them – this should be done by an adult only.
  • Do not put fireworks in your pocket or throw them.

What if someone is injured?

Call the emergency services immediately or ask someone to do so (dial 911 in the USA). Stay with the patient until help arrives. Try to find out what caused the injury and say if you think more than one person may be injured or if there is large-scale damage to vehicles and property.

 

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