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SPaikmos 02-29-2012 8:53 PM

Eyes and Ears for the little ones...
I have 3 little ones that I would like to take shooting. They are 2, 4, and 6. The 2 year old is probably too young to actually shoot, but he'll be in the area with the others.

My question is, what would you recommend to protect their eyes and ears? I tried cutting some of the Walmart Winchester orange earplugs in half, and ended up with bits of foam that didn't fit well in my kids' ears.

Do they make mini ear muffs? Or should I use regular ones? Would ear muffs interfere with using a rifle? How about eyes? What kind of glasses are there?

I'm planning to take my kids out on BLM land, and introduce them to a Marlin 795 .22 rifle. I want them to see what a rifle can do and get a small taste of it.


Ron-Solo 03-02-2012 5:20 PM

I found a set made by Smith & Wesson for kids. I can't remember if I got them from Midway or Cheaper than dirt. The foam plugs were smaller and the glasses fit the 6 & 8 year olds just fine.

The plugs at Walmart are a little firm. Try some softer ones that compress a little bit. If you check with your local ambulance crew the might have some that will work better. Most companies provide foam ear plugs to their crews by the handfull. The problem I ran into with kids and ear muffs is it almost always caused issues with the eye protection.

convolushun 03-06-2012 7:46 AM

I take my 5 year old out to the desert a couple times a year for shooting...although he only shoots his Daisy. These are the eyes and ears that he uses.

The Peltors are just the right size for him right now so they might be a bit small for your 6 year old. He's also used my Howard Leight R-01523 earmuffs before which were just a little too big for him.

sd_shooter 03-06-2012 8:07 AM

I got these glasses for my kids:

They are a good fit. However, the frames are very thick where they go above the ear, making earmuffs very painful to wear. I always go with earplugs and smash them tight for the kids.

whatmeworry 03-06-2012 8:14 AM

I had custom earplugs made for my kids which they wear in addition to ear muffs. When I was younger I sometimes shot without protection and I am now paying the price dearly. :eek:

Protect then overprotect.

SPaikmos 03-08-2012 9:51 PM

Thanks guys! This is exactly what I was looking for.

I'm really psyched to get my kids started in shooting ASAP. I wish my dad would have taken me out when I was a kid, and I know it'll be fun for these guys.

Sounds like good advice to use plugs + muffs. I remember when I was a kid, my senses were much more sensitive than the adults', so what may be tolerable for me (just muffs) may not be enough for the kids. Good advice!

G-Solutions 03-13-2012 8:19 PM

My kids (4, 7, and 9) use these:

The online shop where I bought them also has Remington Glasses and Kid's sized work gloves and hearing protectors.

SPaikmos 03-13-2012 9:29 PM

I purchased the Pyramex Mini Ztek glasses that convolushon suggested and got them this week. I found a decent site with good prices and shipping ($1.50/ea and $5 shipping for a few of them):

They fit my kids, but I'm afraid they may grow out of them soon. Unfortunately, my kids have HUGE heads (the littlest one can't fit his head through most shirts!) and the glasses were stretching a bit on my oldest son. I tried them on and they didn't snap, so I guess they're flexible enough to grow with the kids.

Good link on the ear muffs; I will look into those. I was reading reviews on Amazon, and it seems that some of the Peltor muffs work for 6 mo old kids... so I let my oldest try on my ear muffs and they fit a little large on him but not ridiculous.

Any idea how old the kiddie muffs can be used until? Some of them seem marketed to women as well, and I'm guessing my sons' heads will quickly get to the size of a small woman's in a couple years. I'm considering the Peltor Junior, if it works for small adults.

G-Solutions 03-20-2012 10:52 AM

Not sure on the use you'll get out of the peltors... My daughter is far from outgrowing hers and the boys are using adult's muffs. If your kids have large heads they will most likely be able to use adult's sizes. What it comes down to is whether or not the band provides enough tension to seal and if they feel comfortable with them.

rb765 03-21-2012 3:42 PM

+1 on the Remington Youth. I bought a pair for my son at Walmart one day when we were heading to the range and realized he forgot his. We ended making those his main and the ones he had a backups. For the hearing protectors, the Winchester brand foldables will be tight enough (a little too tight for an adult IMHO), but when shooting prone, they get in the way. Radians makes a moldable earplug that will shape to the ear canal or I know they make youth sized foam ear plugs that I saw in the pharmacy at Target the last time I was there.

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