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aviation headsets
active noise reduction
aviation headset
snug fit
knee pads
hearing protection
Youth Aviation Headsets
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Youth Aviation Headsets

General Aviation and Kids

Taking the family for a weekend adventure in the plane? Have young children? Does your daughter want a pink headset? Kids have ears too, and they need protecting. Unfortunately, most aviation headsets are sized for adults. However, with a little research, and/or creativity one can surely find a way to protect your child’s ears and make the flight enjoyable for the kids an get the peace of mind knowing their hearing is protected.

What to look for in a Youth Aviation Headset?

Children’s heads are actually relatively big compared to their bodies. Thus, some adult headsets may fit your pre-teen or teenager just fine. Many adult aviation headsets have adjustable headbands and mics. Under 50 pound kids may need a “youth headset”. There are a few companies out there manufacturing “youth aviation headsets”. Sigtronics, AvComm, and David Clark are a few of the more popular headset manufacturers. You want a snug fit as most of the youth headsets rely on passive noise reduction. It may be tough to find an active noise reduction youth aviation headset. Often your child will fall asleep to the drone of the airplane. Their head will hang down and it’s possible a loose headset will fall off spontaneously. On the other hand, the headset may actually aid in keeping their head upright when it lies against the carseat.

Infants are a special case. It is safe to fly with infants. Similar to restraint laws in cars, infants need to be in a carseat in the back seat of the plane. Most headsets, including youth headsets will be too awkward or large to fit on the infants head. Therefore, hearing protection can be achieved with a tight skull cap over the ears. For extra protection it is safe to use a cotton ball in the outer ear canal. I have seen some folks configure elbow or knee pads with a strap to protect their dog’s ears in the plane. I suppose it would not be too far fetched to do something similar for a small child.

Preparing Your Child for Flight

Most children get a kick out wearing headphones like the pilot / parent. It makes them feel important and they feel more engaged in the whole flying process. Be sure to brief them about when it is appropriate and not appropriate to talk. This may be easier said than done. Getting a 3 or 4 year old to listen is a difficult task, especially while you are trying to fly the plane in busy airspace. Certainly, having an audio panel that separates the pilot from the passenger talk would be ideal. A bonus feature would be to look for an audio device input option so your child can listen to music, play video games, or watch a movie on the old iPad as you focus on flying the plane in relative peace. There are several aviation headset adapters available out there that can achieve this as well.

Summary

Flying with the family can be one the most rewarding experiences for the private pilot. Getting your children used to the whole process at a young age will improve the success of your famly flying adventures for years to come. Being prepared with the right equipment is essential not only for their enjoyment, but for the safety of the flight itself and insurance of protecting the youth’s hearing.

Be sure to research the available youth aviation headsets online so you can make an informed decision.


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