Miners, construction workers, and explosion specialists certainly need ear muffs to protect their hearing. But why would anyone need ear muffs for their toddler?

The fact is, for many couples going to NHL or football games, aviation shows, and music festivals is a family affair. They love their kids, but they do not want to turn their lives inside out and sacrifice all the fun. Also, yard work and home improvement are not going to stop and wait for your baby to grow up.

More and more families are finding themselves in a dilemma. They do not want to sacrifice the life they enjoy, but they also do not want to put their baby's hearing in danger.

Indeed, protecting your toddlers from excessive noise is critical for their development. Small children at 4 months of age are already starting to discriminate sounds and putting the pieces of language together. They also tend to hear a much wider frequency range (20 to 20000 Hz) than adults. For comparison, middle-aged adults only hear high sounds up to 14000 Hz on average, so they might already miss the chirping of some birds.

You want to do your best to protect your children from noise induced hearing loss (NIHL)?

Here are three ear muff suggestions to keep your toddler safe whenyou are taking him / her to loud events or outside while you are mowing the lawn or blowing leaves:

Peltor Kids: Peltor is a very well-known name in hearing protection for professionals. Peltor Kids have a noise reduction rating (NRR) of 22, and are fully adjustable for babies (starting at about 6 months), young children, and teenagers.

Pro-Ears REVO: The REVOs have the highest noise reduction rating (NRR) of 26 of any ear muffs designed specifically for children. They can be adjusted to fit well for most toddlers starting from 6 months, children, and smaller adults.

Em's 4 Bubs: Em's 4 Bubs earmuffs are specifically designed for babies (newborn up to 18 months). They come with a patented headband design, which reduces the pressure put on a baby's head. Their noise reduction rating (NRR) is 22.

Can you rely on your baby's crying to know when something is too loud? Unfortunately, some sounds, including gun shots, fire crackers, and dragsters can cause immediate damage to your baby's hearing (and to your hearing as well). But even music concerts and motor boats can endanger a person's hearing in less than 2 minutes.

It is important to know that both, the intensity and the duration of a sound are important when assessing its potential danger. The louder a noise, the sooner it will cause damage.

Loudness is commonly measured in decibel (dB), with 0 dB being the softest sound a person can hear. A modern dish washer typically produces about 50 decibels, a person speaking with a normal voice about 60 dB and a vacuum cleaner around 70 dB. Note that an increase by 10 decibels actually means a 10 fold increase in energy. Sound below 80 decibels is commonly considered safe. Power tools at about 100 dB can however become dangerous after less than 15 minutes, and a rock concert at 110 dB in less than two minutes if your baby does not wear good hearing protection.