One of the things you can expect if you have kids is that at some point they will ask you to get them some headphones to use with their music players, computers, and gaming systems. There are valid reasons for this, because headphones can enhance the experience with these multimedia, but at the same time there are certain features you should look for when you buy.

An important criteria that many buyers wouldn’t come up with is making sure that the headphones fit properly. Children’s heads are smaller, so headphones made for grownups will likely not fit them correctly, and may not offer the full range of sound to them. You should not rationalize buying a larger size by thinking that the kids will grow into them. In reality, the continuous repositioning and adjusting will most likely lead to a shorter useful life due to breakage. To help with this, many headphones made for kids come with adjustable head straps, which makes it easier to get a proper first fitting, and to adjust that fit as they grow.

The second characteristic you need to look for – and the most important – is some form of Sound Limiting Technology. Kids are kids, and are going to want to play games and music at the highest volume possible; the fact is that, this behavior could cause ear damage and loss of hearing. The selection of headphones should be limited to those headphones which do not permit this, and that include preset limits so that they cannot go beyond a volume of 80 to 85 decibels. This advice is more important if you are buying ear buds that aren’t worn over the ears but rather inserted into the ears.

One additional factors that parents should look for is sturdiness, because some headphones can be too fragile for use by young children. You can find information about headphones which have an established reputation for durability by consulting parents’ magazines or consumer guides. It is best to balance this need for durability with a preference for light weight, because you don’t want your children to be wearing headphones which are too heavy for their body and head.

No matter which model headphones you ultimately pick, make an effort to limit your kids’ use of them to a few hours daily. Remember that noise-induced hearing loss is caused by both the volume level and length of the contact. Even with the Sound Limiting Technology, too many hours using headphones can cause ear damage.

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