Can headphones damage your child's hearing?

By Mike Atherton 22 May 2018
Can headphones damage your child's hearing?

Whether you're looking for something to entertain the children on those long journeys, or you're just sick of having to endure the Peppa Pig theme song, a pair of headphones might just save the day.

But how safe are they for kids?


A standard pair of headphones can reach as high as 115 decibels, which can cause serious long term damage to little ears. But headphones designed specifically for kids are usually limited to no more than 85 decibels.

There have been a number of studies on the use of headphones, and how they affect hearing. The World Health Organisation says that almost 50% of teenagers and young adults are exposed to unsafe levels of sound from the use of headphones. 'Unsafe', according to the WHO means listening to music in excess of 85 decibels for 8 hours, or 100 decibels for 15 minutes.

To put this into context, 85 decibels is roughly the amount of noise you'd hear from a passing diesel truck. But even kids headphones would have to be set at their highest to hit that level of noise.

This is why kids headphones have an 85db limit.

How can I monitor the noise level?


This can be a tricky one because you can't actually hear what your child is listening to when they're wearing headphones, but there are a few things you can do:

  • For younger children, it's always best to check for yourself. Put the headphones on and set the volume at a comfortable level.
  • If they're listening to headphones and can't hear you talking to them from about six feet away, it's probably too loud.
  • Another important thing to remember is to make sure they take regular breaks. It's not only the volume you need to consider, it's also the length of time they're listening for.

So the short answer is yes, headphones are safe for kids, as long as you get the ones that are limited to 85db or less, and you follow our steps on monitoring their use.

Take a look at some of our headphones for kids here.

Hopefully, that's answered some of your questions when it comes to kids and headphones. If you'd like help with anything else, you can contact one of our Team Knowhow experts here.

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