Hearing damage can occur at sustained volumes of about 85dB – be it a rock concert, small plane, gun range, NASCAR, or being in section 303 at Nashville Predators games, you’re looking at unrecoverable hearing loss to a child if you’re not taking some precautions.
You can read all about hearing loss and damage here, although chances are if you’re reading this review you probably came looking knowing the damage that can be done to the ears of your kiddo.
Noise reducing 3M Peltor Junior Earmuff observations
These ear protectors feel a bit cheaply made, which is probably because they’re pretty inexpensive for what they do.
They’re not adjustable. The black strap on top makes you think they’re those type that can adjust out to meet the length of the head and ears for comfort, they’re not. Edit: have been told in comments they are, I don’t have them with me today so I can’t test them. These rely on larger than average over-the-ear holes that allow for a range of approximately two inches of head growth. The wire top is also not adjustable for tightness. You’re going to need to put it on an adult’s head for a bit to stretch it out if it’s too tight on your child. When they showed up here, they were tight enough to squish an ant’s head. Make sure to stretch them right before you need them.
The earmuff parts appear to detach if given enough force, so in the future if you wanted you could probably get a better wire frame, or take the wire frame off altogether and just hook them into a hat if you’re crafty.
Although the rotating bolt thingies (I went to tech school!) on the thing are plastic and pretty well shielded, it appears you might be able to get hair stuck in there, but only during putting them on. It looks like they thought of this, so just make sure your child’s hair isn’t everywhere when you put these on and you’re probably not going to scalp them taking them off.
I don’t think these will be with you the life of your child. You’re going to need some larger ones at some point, and I don’t have the feeling these will hold up to playing with too much, but if you’re just taking your kid to the occasional loud event, these are pretty decent.
Something to also note and this is pretty important, these only reduce the volume by 22dB. Things such as NASCAR, firearms, Section 303 of the Nashville Predators, etc can produce noise in excess of 107dB, meaning your child would be receiving 85+dB, which is above the damaging threshold according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. However, 85dB in itself is not damaging, just sustained exposure to 85+dB.
Another thing to note is, and this should be evident, it’s going to be hard for your child to hear anything at normal volumes. While this doesn’t affect me too much at the moment with a non-mobile infant, a toddler may not hear anything if they’re walking with these on. As such, don’t let them play with them or something terrible will probably happen and haunt you the rest of your days. Or not.
The noise-reducing 3M Peltor Junior Earmuff is available from Amazon for $14.82