The ears of babies and toddlers are vulnerable. They develop substantially in the first few years after birth. Parents often expose their children to loud noises, without being aware of this. This can result in permanent hearing damage at a young age. German research shows that one in eight children suffers permanent hearing damage! ENT specialists also worry about the increasing number of very young children with hearing damage in their waiting rooms. Of course, avoiding loud noise is the most sensible course of action. But this is not always possible. It is very important to protect the hearing of small children if this is the case. Their ears need to last a lifetime, after all. But when is hearing protection for babies and toddlers necessary? And what hearing protection is suitable for the little ones? We will give you the answer in this blog.
What is too loud?
Sound of 80 decibels is harmful if you are exposed to it for more than eight hours. This is similar to the sound produced by a busy road. Every 3 additional decibels cuts the time you can ‘safely’ stay there in half, since the noise becomes twice as loud. You can only remain in an environment with 83 decibels for four hours without risking hearing damage. This becomes 2 hours at 86 decibels, etcetera. Sounds above 110 decibels are so loud that they are immediately harmful. Electric tools can easily exceed this limit. Noise from fireworks can even reach 150 decibels.
Causes of hearing loss in babies and toddlers
The main reasons of hearing loss in young children are ambient sounds and toys. We are exposed to a great deal of sound every day. For example, on the street by honking of cars, crowds, sirens, etc. But there is also a lot of noise in your home, such as the radio and television, the vacuum cleaner, kitchen equipment and the lawnmower.
Research also shows that toys that produce sounds are a well-known cause of hearing loss in small children. The researchers found toys that reached noise levels of well over 100 decibels. Of course, kids really like toys that make sounds. This is why they move them close to their ears. Particularly noise from this close can result in permanent damage. Always check the volume of toys you give to your child.
There are also more and more festivals for families. Of course, it is fun to take your child with you. For example, to King’s Day, Liberation Day, Carnival or a fun local food festival. There is often (loud) music at these events. And your ears are exposed to this for a long period of time. You should seriously consider hearing protection for you and your kids.
When is hearing protection for babies and toddlers needed?
In situations like:
- When you take your kid to an event with a lot of noise. Such as a festival, parade, carnival, (wedding) party, sports events or motor races.
- When you take your kid outside on New Year’s Eve.
- When you do DIY chores in your house or garden which produce a lot of noise, such as drilling, grinding or cutting grass.
- When a brother or sister plays music, puts on a show or has a sports event. Also think about the ears of this brother or sister and the rest of the family.
Overstimulation by noise
A lot of babies and toddlers are startled easily by loud noises. Hard noises can also hurt the ears of your kids, since their hearing is more sensitive. There are also babies who are noticeably prone to becoming overstimulated. Hearing protection can be pleasant for these kids and provide some peace. Of course, you don’t want to cut off your kids from all noise completely. But you can gradually let them get used to it using special hearing protection.
Hearing protection for the littlest ones
To prevent hearing loss in babies, there is the Alpine Muffy Baby; the only safe CE-label baby earmuff in Europe! These earmuffs protect against harmful noise using multiple layers of sound reducing foam. They mute to 23 decibels.
The Muffy Baby also ensures that a child can sleep undisturbed in noisy situations. For example, when you take your baby travelling. Children who suffer from overstimulation may also benefit from wearing the earmuff. The Alpine Muffy Baby does not contain any metal parts. Which means that it can also be used for MRI scans.
How do you use the earmuffs?
The Alpine Muffy Baby earmuff is easy to adjust and fits all babies or toddlers. The soft, elastic head strap has a Velcro strap. It has been developed to sit firmly on the head without restricting it. The earmuffs can be removed from the strap. You easily slide the earmuffs on the strap and secure them at the right place with a click. You then simply place the earmuffs over the ears. The Alpine Muffy Baby is suitable for children to 5 years old. For older children, there is the Alpine Muffy Kids and the Alpine Pluggies.
The Alpine Muffy Baby has been designed and developed in the Netherlands, just like the other Alpine products. The earmuff has a CE label. This means that it meets all EU requirements for products. The Muffy Baby is one hundred percent safe for young children!
Muffy Baby earmuffs also look super cute and trendy. The white with light grey earmuffs are made of sturdy plastic. Which means they can take a beating. The top layer of sound-reducing foam is hygienic and easy to clean. Just like the separate strap, which can be machine-washed if necessary.