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Parents, did your kids get a pair of child-size headphones for Christmas, that the box promised were “safe for young ears”? Don’t believe it. Because the consumer-product review site, Wirecutter, did a little investigating. They analyzed 50 different children’s headphone brands and found that half of them did NOT restrict decibel levels as advertised. And the worst ones allowed volume so loud it could permanently damage a child’s hearing – or even an adult’s – within minutes! For reference, the noise of a lawnmower is 100 decibels – and can damage hearing after 15 minutes. And the government-mandated safe limit in the workplace for adults is 85 decibels, which is about as noisy as an idling bulldozer.

Well, these child-friendly headphones allow the volume to reach 114 decibels – WAY over the safe limit. If you want to see if your child’s headphones are safe – go to The Wirecutter dot com for their list. And to further protect their hearing, make sure kids never listen to anything higher than 60% of the max volume – and have them take a break at least every hour.

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