Can Toddlers Wear Headphones or Earbuds?

Headphones are safer for toddlers to wear than earbuds. But both of these can be worn as long as the volume isn’t too loud and they properly fit over the child’s ears. High volumes can cause permanent hearing damage with either option. 

This post will explore if toddlers can wear headphones or earbuds. I’ll explain how you can allow a toddler to wear headphones safely and why you should probably avoid having them wear earbuds. 

Let’s dive in. 

Key Takeaways 

  • Toddlers can wear headphones or earbuds but should only do so under adult supervision to keep their ears safe. 
  • Headphones are generally considered a safer option because they don’t get as loud and sit over the ear rather than inside it. 
  • High volume levels are the most significant risk when toddlers wear headphones or earbuds; you might not want to let them wear either because of this. 

Can Toddlers Wear Headphones or Earbuds

You can put headphones or earbuds on a child, and it is generally safe to do so as long as you pay attention to the volume. Toddlers should be supervised at all times if they are wearing headphones or earbuds. 

The main issue with toddlers wearing headphones or earbuds is that high volumes can cause hearing damage. You don’t want to blast a child with high volume at a young age because they could very possibly have issues down the road. 

Small children might not understand the risks involved with high volumes or be sensitive to them, and if they use headphones unsupervised, they could get exposed to damaging levels. That’s why kids need to be watched if using headphones or earbuds. 

Headphones are a safer choice for toddlers to wear compared to earbuds. Earbuds can cause more problems because of how they sit in the ear canal. This can lead to higher levels of volume exposure and general discomfort. 

Over-the-ear style headphones typically don’t get as loud as earbuds and don’t pose a choking hazard. If you let your toddler use something to listen to movies or shows, choose headphones rather than earbuds.

Some parents don’t want to risk allowing toddlers to wear headphones or earbuds. Even under direct supervision, there is still a chance that a toddler might be exposed to high volumes that could potentially damage their ears while wearing them. 

Not allowing your toddler to wear headphones or earbuds is a good idea if you want to play things safe. They really don’t need to wear them, and you can take preventative measures against any potential damage.  

At What Age Can Toddlers Wear Headphones? 

There isn’t an official age at which toddlers are okay to wear headphones. But if they are comfortable with wearing them and old enough to control the volume, those are good indicators. Toddlers should always only wear headphones at low volume. 

General advice would be that young toddlers shouldn’t wear headphones, and kids a little older can. Two years old is probably a good benchmark for when it’s safer for a toddler to wear headphones. 

You don’t want to put headphones on a toddler when they are really young because they can be more sensitive to sounds and potential damage. It’s better to play it safe and not risk any long-term hearing loss. 

If you want to allow your child to wear headphones when they are young, check with your doctor first. They should be able to provide you with more insight into when it’s ok to do so, what you should know, and the risks involved. 

And regardless of age, toddlers should always be supervised when wearing headphones. You don’t want them to turn up the volume really loud without you knowing.

How to Choose Headphones for Toddlers

Taking the following factors into account, your decision-making will be much easier.

Volume Levels

When it comes to headphones for toddlers, parents have to consider headphones that have volume limits or get devices that will help limit the volume.

Ideally, you should opt for headphones that produce less than 85dB—and ensure that your toddler’s device is at a lower volume.

Battery life

Choose headphones that have a long battery life—so that your toddler can use them for an extended period before charging.

Ideally, you should consider headphones with at least 9 hours of battery life.

Size, Adjustability, and Folding

A toddler’s headphones should be smaller than adult ones. For a perfect fit, the band should be small enough for your toddler—and as they grow, you can adjust it to fit them. The ear cups should be smaller as well.

If you often travel wireless headphones that can fold up are a great option—because it’s easier to store.

Noise-cancelling Feature

Noise-canceling technology is a feature that cuts down the outside sound—and allows your toddler to listen to their videos or music better at a lower volume—so their ears are safe.

But, you can only find this feature in high-end headphones. If you’re willing to spend extra bucks for your kid’s ear safety, it’s a good investment.


Here are a few quick answers to some frequently asked questions relating to if toddlers can wear headphones or earbuds. 

Are headphones safe for a 2-year-old? 

Headphones can be safe for a two-year-old if they are only worn for short periods and are under adult supervision while wearing them. Over-the-ear style headphones are safer than earbuds. 

Can a 6 month old wear headphones? 

A child only six months old is probably too young to wear headphones. There are no exact rules as to when a child can wear these, but a kid this young is still developing and shouldn’t listen to really loud volumes for extended periods. 

Do headphones damage children’s ears?

Headphones can damage children’s ears, so they should only wear them under adult supervision. If you allow a child to wear headphones, the volume should be low to avoid any potential long-term hearing damage. 

Are wireless headphones safe for toddlers? 

Toddlers should not use wireless headphones because they pose more of a choking hazard than wired headphones. You don’t want a child to take an earbud out and put it in their mouth, and larger headphones are safer with this in mind. 

Final Thoughts

Toddlers can wear headphones or earbuds, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should allow them to do so. Exposure to high volumes can lead to hearing loss as the child develops, and it’s always good to play things safe. 

If you do let a child wear headphones or earbuds, always supervise them. And wearing headphones is a better idea because they don’t get as loud and can’t be put into the child’s mouth. 

Do you let your toddler wear headphones or earbuds? Let me know in the comments below.   

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