If you love the Apple AirPods and are not sure if you should allow your kids to use them, we’ve got you covered. Almost every week, we get at least 10-15 queries on whether AirPods are safe for kids.
AirPods aren’t just a trend for parents anymore. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, kids as young as six years old are using Apple’s wireless earbuds, or AirPods. Therefore, the kids’ constant nagging for these expensive wireless earbuds is becoming a critical concern for parents. After all, AirPods are the best wireless earbuds for the iPhone. Therefore, they’re expensive and prone to theft.
While some parents are concerned about these wireless Apple earbuds damaging their kids’ ears, others see them as a threat to their kids’ safety. According to CBS News, in 2019, the cost of replacing lost or stolen AirPods accounted for almost 5% to 7% of AirPods’ sale. Also, lost AirPods are so common that you can spot several pairs in the New York subways. Therefore, the question remains, “Airpods for kids; are they safe?” Read further to know more.
AirPods Are Safe for Kids
Yes, that’s right. AirPods are safe for kids, but here’s the catch. As parents, you need to ensure the combination of the volume, duration of usage, and the comfort and fit provided by the AirPods, is suitable for your kids.
Prolonged listening at high volumes can damage your kids’ hearing ability. There’s no research describing the right age for kids to use headphones or earbuds. Also, there’s no age recommendation for AirPods. Therefore, you are the best judge here.
Kids Need Earbuds and Headphones for Online Learning
The current COVID-19 pandemic scenario has forced schools to move to online learning and teaching. Therefore, there is a rise in the need for the best earbuds for kids. While some parents feel earbuds like the AirPods are better for their kids, others prefer using the best headphones for online learning and teaching. No matter which device you choose, you need to ensure your kids are using it the right way.
How to Make AirPods Safe for Kids – Quick Guide
As mentioned above, AirPods are not bad for your kids’ ears. However, you need to ensure your kids are using the AirPods properly. Also, keep the following things in mind before you allow your kids to use AirPods.
1. Ensure the Volume Is Not Too High
Earbuds at high volume can cause hearing impairment just like the annoying noise of chainsaws and motorbikes can. Chainsaws and motorbikes create about 100 dB of sound (enough to damage an adults hearing ability after half an hour).
Similarly, earbuds at 80% of their volume can damage your child’s hearing ability. Turning up the volume and using the AirPods continuously can lead to hearing impairment.
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) occurs when highly sensitive structures in the ears are damaged by loud sound. Nevertheless, the condition is totally preventable if your kids are using AirPods the right way. Doctors recommend the 60:60 rule.
2. Follow the 60:60 Rule
The easiest and most efficient way to ensure your kids are using AirPods the right way is to teach them the 60:60 rule. According to this rule, firstly, kids should listen to music, watch movies, or play games at not more than 60% of the maximum volume. Secondly, kids should limit the duration of usage of the AirPods to 60 minutes per day.
3. Check for Sound Leakage
Another simple and interesting method to ensure the volume is not too high is to check for sound leakage from the AirPods. Turn the volume down until you can no longer hear it.
4. Set Volume Restrictions
The good thing about Apple devices is that you can set volume restrictions using the “Restrictions” feature. To set volume restrictions, all you need to do is open “Settings” on your Apple device and set the restriction using your password. Alternatively, you can also limit the volume using the Music settings without a password.
If you’re using the AirPods with an Android device, you can make the most of volume-limiting apps developed for Android. Simply open the “Google Play Store” and search for “volume-limit apps for kids.” There’s no dearth of such apps on the Play Store.
If you kids are using AirPods with Google Chrome, you can limit the volume of PC games, music, or videos they are watching. All you need to do is create a “Supervisor User.” Here’s how you can do it.
5. Evaluate the Fit
AirPods that don’t fit properly inside the ears keep falling out and can cause ear pain in kids. Thanks to Apple, the AirPods come with different sets of ear tips to ensure maximum comfort. Therefore, ensure you’re using the right ear tips for your kids.
Since earbuds are worn inside the ear canal, ill-fitting earbuds can cause discomfort. Moreover, if your child has ear sensitivity, the level of discomfort can be a lot higher.
6. Educate Your Kids About Choking Hazards
Last year, a seven-year-old child swallowed one of his AirPods. He was hospitalized and x-rays revealed the AirPod was sitting below his ribs. Scary, isn’t it? While everything was fine in the end and the child was discharged after treatment, you need to educate your kids about choking hazards. Young kids can put the AirPods in their mouth just like their toys.
In conclusion, there’s no specific answer to the question, “AirPods for kids; are they safe?” As you must’ve read in this post, in some scenarios such as online learning, you cannot help but provide your kids with earbuds or headphones to help them focus on their sessions. Nevertheless, you can always ensure your kids are using AirPods properly. We provided you with six easy and useful hacks to make the AirPods safe for your kids. Just follow them and you don’t need to worry about anything else.
Once again, you’re the best judge!