When you have children, at some point they will ask you to buy them headphones that they can use with their computers, games and music players. Headphones can greatly increase children’s use of these learning and entertainment media, but there are some features you should look for when researching these headphones.

The first consideration, although it may not automatically register as important, is the right fit. Children’s heads are smaller, so headphones suitable for grownups will not fit them the right way, and may not offer the complete range of sound to them. If headphones are too large, children may also end up constantly adjusting them, which may result in breakage. Many kid’s headphones come with adjustable headbands that make the first fit better, and that allow for refitting as the youngster grows.

The most important characteristic you need to look for, however, is that the headphones include some form of Sound Limiting Technology. Kids will be kids, and will likely want to play music and games at the highest volume levels possible; the fact is that, this behavior could cause ear damage and hearing loss. Looking for headphones which have a built-in volume limit – around 80 to 85 decibels – is the best way to counteract this tendency. This suggestion is equally true for “ear buds” which are inserted into the ears as it is for headphones which fit over the ears.

One additional factors that parents should look for is durability, because some headphones may be too delicate for use by young ones. Refer to parents’ magazines or consumer guides to find out which brands of headphones have a good reputation for durability and for lasting a long time. You should balance this desire for durability with a preference for light weight, however because you don’t want your children to be running around wearing headphones that are overweight for their body size.

No matter which brand of children’s headphones you choose, do them a favor and establish limits as to how often they can use them. Keep in mind noise-induced hearing loss is caused by both the decibel level and duration of the contact. Even with the Sound Limiting Technology, too many hours using headphones can cause damage.