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We all agree that quality hearing protection is a critical component to our health and safety when shooting at the range. When shooting, always wear hearing protection to protect yourself from the possibility of permanent damage.

Good hearing protection is especially important with young shooters as their ears must last them a lifetime. Because of this we should take extra care to see that the protective devices fit the smaller stature of the young shooters. Manufacturers make most external devices for adults and sized to an adult standard. This can cause a degradation of their effectiveness in reducing the noise level of shooting. The first step is to see if the device being used fits the young shooter's head. Adjust the band on the earmuffs to the smallest setting and see if the cups of the earmuffs are positioned properly over the ear. Next see if the cushion around the cup is fully sealed on the side of the head. The best protection is useless if a proper seal is not maintained on the ear cup. If a good seal cannot be maintained, do not shoot until the proper equipment is obtained. In the case of hearing protection designed to be worn inside the ear, many adult ear plugs are to large to be properly fitted into the smaller ear canal of the young shooter. Be sure to obtain ear plugs that are sized for children. Whenever at the shooting range make sure you protect the ears of the young shooter.