New summer gear for kids can bring a big exhale for parents. Moms and dads looking for new ways that do well at entertaining and getting little ones ready for travel. Innovations making a difference caught my eye and after some research and testing, I’m ready to share the winners.

RUGGED DEVICE CASES

Upgrading Summer Travel with New Technology: Gumdrop Cases

I’m a lot more inclined to give little ones my expensive iPad, laptop and smartphone now that super rugged Gumdrop cases cases are coming into my life. These durable cases fit nearly every popular phone, tablet and laptop made. The droptech protection makes them kid-proof with their snug fit and thoughtful Gumdrop case designs at prices ranging from $34.95 to $69.95. Gumdrop Cases

BACKPACKS FOR KIDS

Upgrading Summer Travel with New Technology: Bixbee Backpacks

Bixbee Backpacks are lightweight, fashionable and fun. More impressive is the patented horizontal design to keep the backpack above the waistline. Why do that? It’s better for backs of small children by distributing the weight higher. With every Bixbee purchase, they donate another backpack with school supplies to kids in need. Made with PVC, BPA and are lead-free. Comes in three different sizes. $29.99 to $44.99

1 IN 5 TEENS HAVE HEARING DAMAGE

A CDC study finds that hearing damage starting early in life can be more harmful as people age. A similar JAMA report has found that 1 in 5 teens are now facing noise-induced hearing loss. The experts agree that the sweet spot for safe listening is about 85 decibels or under for an hour at a time. More than that, and you are asking for permanent hearing damage.

HEADPHONES FOR KIDS

Upgrading Summer Travel with New Technology: Bixbee Backpacks: Puro BT2200 Bluetooth Headsets

That’s why the Puro BT2200 Bluetooth headsets for kids 2 1/2 to 11 years made my list. They focus on protecting your kids hearing with healthy listening at safe levels. I found that kids love wearing these headphones from toddlers to big kids. While they are Bluetooth wireless, you can also plug in a provided audio cable. Aside from the fit and ear protection, another winner is the 18-hour battery life between charges. Safe. Durable. Desirable. Purosound.com $99.99 Puro BT2200 Bluetooth headsets

KEEP CHEAP EARPLUGS ON HAND

Aside from listening to devices, everyday noises are damaging to your kids’ ears too. Damaging sounds come from a lawn mower, motorcycle, leaf blower, hair dryer and music concerts. Invest in cheap ear plugs for hearing protection when not using headphones and train your kids to keep them with them and use.

HOW TO SET VOLUME LIMITS ON YOUR KIDS DEVICES

A great simple setting on your kids’ devices can make an important difference in hearing loss.

To protect your kid’s hearing on iOS device:

Tap Settings > Music > Volume Limit > Slide to about 60 percent for 60 min of listening

Now set a kid-proof password:

Settings > General > Restrictions > Enable Restrictions > Choose Passcode > scroll to Volume Limit > select Don’t Allow Changes

 

More Summer Technology to check out: