Do kids need ear defenders at festivals?

Kids ear defenders
Ear Defenders – festival essential for kids


I wish I could say, “Nah, they’ll be fine – it’s all just a marketing ploy to make us poor parents spend more money!” but sadly I don’t believe that’s true.

Noise-induced Hearing Loss is clearly the major concern here.  But apart from the permanent damage loud environments can do to hearing, I have also noticed that being around loud music and lots of background noise for prolonged periods makes my children quite irritable!  However, when they wear their ear defenders they find watching bands at festivals really enjoyable because it reduces the sound to a comfortable level for them.

My eldest had a lot of problems with her hearing (mainly due to glue ear, not being at festivals) so I have learned a lot about how ears work and how children’s ears in particular develop and I have to say, I think protecting them from the raised noise levels that are inevitable at a festival is really important.  And the earlier you start the easier it will be.

The more kids at festivals who are wearing Ear Defenders the better because children won’t feel like they stick out, and they will want to wear them too so they can be like everyone else!  Make it a habit that as soon as the music starts up at the main stage, the ear defenders go on.  Keep them accessible – hang them on the wagon or buggy, or hang them in their bag off your rucksack.

Ear Defenders are also useful for attaching EL Wire to at night so you can see them (glue the wire on in funky swirls and pop the battery pack in a coat pocket – looks awesome!)  😉

If you want to read up on all the research surrounding child’s hearing and noise levels then do have a browse of the information in the RNID’s Don’t Lose The Music full report.

Where to buy:

For the best prices buy them from

But what about older children (or even us adults)?

OK… so it may be relatively easy to get younger children to wear ear defenders… Not so once they become socially aware and ‘looking cool’ is the most important thing in the world.  At this age they may be old enough to move on to more grown-up and fashionable ear protection such as musician’s ear plugs.  There’s some great advice on hearing protection options for tweens from the NIDCD/NIH* including things they can say to friends if they ask why they are wearing protection.  See the article here.

FACT: Noise-Induced Hearing Loss can affect anyone – so set a good example for your family and protect yourself too!

A good range of musician’s earplugs can be found on Amazon, if you want to get better quality non disposable ones.

From around 10 and above these ones are great as they fit in small ears. My children particularly like wearing these at night at loud festivals.

* National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
* National Institutes of Health (NIH)

9 thoughts on “Do kids need ear defenders at festivals?

  1. Hi there,
    I’m a final year student in product design and I’m looking into ear defenders for young children, I want to make them something more desirable and comfortable to wear. Was wondering if anyone had any experience with them or just general things perhaps when using them that could be of help?
    Would appreciate any feedback 🙂 thank you for your time.

  2. Hi there

    Is there an minimum age that kids can wear these please?

    I think I have read a minimum age of three months and we are taking our one month old to a local festival in a couple of weeks…


  3. Are there such things as children’s ear defenders that also act as headphones? I’ve searched, can’t find anything, I want my son to be able to put the ear defenders on at night when we are listening to live music and be able to listen to a story to help him sleep. Any tips on this welcome!!

    1. Kate – there are noise cancelling over ear headphones – I think you could look at those? I think they’re meant for noisy places like the tube. However I’m not sure anything could cancel out the sound of a live band playing! I found with our kids that they just stayed up and watched everything until they crashed out in the wagon – I’m not sure anyone could concentrate on a story with the whole festival going on around them… Let us know how you get on!

    2. Hi Kate,
      I don’t know of any kids ones, but I know you can get them for adults and they would probably work fine for a small child while they are lying down. The only problem would be getting the headband snug enough that they wouldn’t fall off the back if your son was walking around… Romany x

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