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When you have kids, at some point they will ask you to purchase them headphones that they can use with their gaming systems, music players and computers. Headphones can markedly enhance children’s experience with these learning and entertainment multimedia, but there are a handful of characteristics you should look for when researching these headphones.

Proper fit is the first thing to look for.Kid’s heads are smaller, so headphones intended for grownups will not fit them properly, and may not offer the full range of sound. In cases where headphones are too big, children may also end up constantly adjusting them, which can cause damage. Many children’s headphones come with flexible headbands which make the initial fitting easier, and that permit refitting as the youngster grows.

A second characteristic you should look for – and the most vital – is some type of Sound Limiting Technology. Naturally, children will want to use the highest volume settings to completely immerse themselves in the experience. As adults, we know that this is a really bad idea that could be a catalyst for future loss of hearing. The selection of headphones really should be limited to those headphones that do not permit excessive volumes, and which have predetermined boundaries so that they can’t surpass a volume of 80 to 85 decibels. This recommendation is equally true for “ear buds” or similar devices that one inserts into the ears as it is for headphones which fit over the ears.

Durability is the next criteria in buying headphones for children. Children, particularly those on the younger side, can be tough on fragile products, so you should not buy something that won’t be able to take some unintended abuse. Consumer guides or parenting magazines which contain product ratings are a good place to learn more about the durability of different headphone options. Sometimes you will need to give up a little durability to get a lighter weight option. Some headphones are too heavy for kids’ heads regardless of how many other good features they have.

Whichever model headphones you go with, try to restrict your children’s use of them to a few hours daily. Being deluged by sound all day, even if the headphones or earbuds restrict the volume level, can nevertheless subtly damage kid’s sensitive ears.