Best Earplugs For Toddlers

by | Nov 5, 2019

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 goes on to explain 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

Best Earplugs For Toddlers 1

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 NNR (The Noise Reduction Rating). The higher these values the better, and ear protectors typically have an NNR in the range of 5 to 30.

One point on the NNR 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 NNR 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 that 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!)

Best Earplugs For Toddlers 2

Ear Plugs for Toddlers in The Water

The human body has evolved to live in our environment and can quite 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 a great 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 evolved 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 then 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 at times.

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

Kids' Health & Pediatrics : Ear Protection for Children

Ear Plugs for Toddlers When Flying

When flying, a lot of 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 of the ear.

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 a lot of 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 considerable, 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 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 there is a good chance they will stay in for a few hours

Best Earplugs For Toddlers 3

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. All of these difficulties can be avoided by wearing earmuffs or a hat on cold days

Hearing Protection for Children

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 

Best Earplugs For Toddlers 4

People Also Ask

How can I soothe my toddler’s earache?

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

  • Stay hydrated. Dehydration will not help 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 of time
  • 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 will not be able to 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 bad 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

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 is different from adults, and tends to be 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!)

Ear Plugs for Children to allow Swimming, Yardwork, Concerts, Fireworks

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!

Kids Girls Winter Warm Faux Fur Plush Sequins Earwarmer...
291 Reviews
Kids Girls Winter Warm Faux Fur Plush Sequins Earwarmer...
  • This kids earmuffs made of a soft high 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
  • Great winter accessory gift idea for both your family and friends, protect your ears during the harsh winter with this elegant fashionable ear warmer
  • Perfect 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...
227 Reviews
Surblue Unisex Warm Knit Cashmere Winter Pure Color Earmuffs...
  • High Quality Material—Outer material is knit mink cashmere with good texture,inner material is high quality faux furry, plush ear pieces can protect your ears
  • Adjustable Band- Easily with a slight stretch, can be put in your pocket convenient to carry
  • Multi Wear Method- Doesnt get all messed up your hair.Perfect for cold winter casual,hiking,biking,skiing,hunting,travel,morning running,outdoor
  • Fashion to Wear-Knitted surface and plush lining make earmuffs both warm and stylish
  • One Size Fits Most-The band wraps around the back of your head.Combines plenty of stretch and suitable for most heads perfectly, not easy to slip off
Putty Buddies Ear Plugs 10-Pair Pack - Soft Silicone Ear...
108 Reviews
Putty Buddies Ear Plugs 10-Pair Pack - Soft Silicone Ear...
  • 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.
EarPeace HD Concert Ear Plugs - High Fidelity Hearing...
1,579 Reviews
EarPeace HD Concert Ear Plugs - High Fidelity Hearing...
  • HIGH FIDELITY EAR PLUGS: 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 concert noise reduction making them festival essentials.
  • ALL NIGHT COMFORT: Our premium silicone ear plugs have a dual flange design that gently seals the ear with no hard edges. The soft, hypoallergenic reusable ear plugs for concerts keep you comfortable whether you’re making music or dancing to it.
  • INVISIBLE EAR PLUGS: EarPeace musicians’ 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.
  • PREMIUM VALUE: The high quality noise cancelling earplugs are supplied in a milled aluminum case with two chambers to keep your music ear plugs safe and clean. Precision engineered, the audio ear plugs are tough, durable music festival accessories.
  • INDUSTRY LEADING: Metallica, RedBull and Lollapallooza carry EarPeace as their concert ear protection as they know we make the best ear plugs for concerts. Our sound reducing ear plugs are serious music equipment for every guitar case and DJ kit.
Mpow 068 Kids Ear Protection, NRR 25dB Noise Reduction Ear...
1,699 Reviews
Mpow 068 Kids Ear Protection, NRR 25dB Noise Reduction Ear...
  • 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.


If you require more information, please check these references , article, “Hearing Conservation Education Programs for Children”, retrieved on, Tue 05-November-2019 , article, “The Effectiveness of an Educational Hearing Conservation Program for Elementary School Children”, retrieved on, Tue 05-November-2019 , article, “Randomized trial of four noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus prevention interventions for children”, retrieved on, Tue 05-November-2019

Nick Le Page Profile

About the author

Nick is a Computer programmer with 25 years experience working in the Industry. Past clients include The BBC, Natwest, British Rail.and Torbay Council.

Nick has suffered with Tinnitus for over 25 years

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