Nowadays, it is a common thing to notice a child plugging in a pair of headphones and listening to a variety of music, playing games, etc. The comfort of being able to listen to something by not disturbing anyone around is the reason why headphones came into prominence.
The first hand-made headphones were invented by Nathaniel Baldwin in his kitchen back in the year 1910. Nowadays, they come in all sizes and features, but not all of them are suitable for kids for many reasons. The main concern is a high volume that is known to damage hearing or even causes deafness. If you are searching specifically for children’s headphones, make sure to check out some online reviews, such as crunchreviews.com or others, to get a perfect pair for your kid.
Let’s take a look at why kids require specially designed headphones:
(1) Underdeveloped auditory canals that are unfit for stretched hours of loud sound:
Children have a small external auditory canal, which is yet to be fully developed. A scientific study shows that an adult can listen to a sound of around 85 decibels without any difficulty, whereas a kid should restrict that to only an hour. The World Health Organization recommends that exposure to sound below 85dB is harmless. Children have an undeveloped auditory canal, and the nerves and other cells and tissues are still growing. When exposed to loud noise (more than 85dB), for a prolonged period, the child may face difficulty in hearing or even complete loss of hearing ability.
Even if the music is played at a level of 85dB, he/she shouldn’t be allowed to wear those headphones for more than an hour or two. Workers at milling machines, diesel trains, and factories are exposed to a sound of 85dB. Thus, a delicate ear shouldn’t be exposed to such loud sound for long hours, or else it may result in permanent hearing loss.
The best tactic to avoid this is to invest in a pair of headphones, which has an inbuilt volume limiter so that it restricts the amount of noise that a child hears. Another essential thing to be noted is that you must always prefer headphones over earphones. They are more effective in blocking external noise and do not seal your auditory canal, unlike earphones. Thus, it should be a better choice for children.
Talking about volume limiters- they act as a safety lock in the pair of headphones so that the volume cannot be turned very high. This prevents prolonged exposure of the ears to loud sounds. Certain volume limiter apps can also be used, but it is better to invest in one which has an inbuilt one in it. Children may expose themselves to hours of gaming, music, etc. with their headphones on, unaware of the looming damage that their ears are going to sustain. It is to be noted here that those with inbuilt volume –limiters can exceed 85 dB, too, unless they are connected to a strong amplifier.
(2) Size difference:
There is a clear difference in the size and dimensions of the headphones manufactured for children and adults. The size must be compatible with the children so that it fits him/her perfectly. You don’t want to buy one who keeps falling off their heads, and they have to adjust it every second.
Also, large headphones have different customizations that are suitable for adults, but not children. The quality and performance of them are dropped. The degree of comfort also gets reduced. Hence, a toddlers’ headphone must be of a proper size that goes with his/her head size.
(3) Durability and toughness:
When it comes to headphones for kids, they need to be more tough and durable than the general ones. Kids are more likely to damage their first headphone if it is not durable enough. It is very unlikely for a general one to last for more than three years in good condition if it is not tough. So, it is better to invest in one which is going to survive the rough treatment of children.
With time, the costs of the headphones are going to rise along with better, advanced models in the market. When you are purchasing, keep in mind, this is a short-term investment that is going to last for three years or so. Hence, think twice before shelling out a huge amount of cash.
(5) Engaging body-color, design, and texture:
For a kid, the thing which is more attractive appeals to him/her more. So, it is better to pick one with an attractive, shiny body color so that it engages the kid. Adults often tend to pick simple, monochrome bodies like black, white, and grey. For kids, it is the other way round.
The cord-length of the headphone must be kept in mind at the time of purchasing. If the cord-length is long, the kid runs a high risk of getting himself strangled. Again, if the length of the cord is too long, the kid may trip over it. A short-cord restricts the degree of movement and makes the kid uncomfortable. To stay on the safer side, just pick one which is neither too short nor too long. One way of dealing with this problem is by purchasing wireless headphones. But be careful. It can be a toll on your wallet too.
Effects of prolonged exposure to loud sound:
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that one in five kids have hearing issues. Children in the age group of 8-12 years who are using headphones are having this issue. Some may even develop NIHL (Noise-Induced Hearing Loss), which prevents them from hearing high-frequency sounds. This type of damage is often permanent. Exposure to loud sounds can cause increased blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases. So, specially designed headphones must be used by children.
You can see for yourself that there are several reasons why special care must be taken while designing a headphone for a kid. Finding the correct fit is very vital as it ensures the protection of the child’s delicate ears else; the consequences will be permanent. Take into account all the above factors and see for yourself which one you should pick.