Did you know that one in six children, by the end of their teenage years, have hearing damage due to exposure of loud and repeated sounds? We are surrounded by dangerously loud sounds every day, from personal devices like music players, power tools and machinery, to concerts, sporting events, and even lawn maintenance. It’s very important to protect yourself from these unwanted sounds, especially children who are still developing. Here are some helpful tips to help preserve your child’s hearing health.
Teaching children to respect their hearing is a crucial step. They will be more likely to take action towards protecting their ears if they understand why they need to. One way to achieve this is to have a child recognize their favorite sounds, and then have them share how they would feel if they could no longer hear that particular sound.
Knowing when a sound is dangerously loud can help protect a child’s hearing. There are many helpful applications on mobile devices that can monitor safe sound levels. Parents can also monitor the sound levels of media that a child may be listening to through headphones. Many of these apps allow parents to set a password protected volume limit, ensuring their child’s ears aren’t overexposed to loud noises.
Setting time limits can also prove to be useful. Reducing how long a child spends listening to loud music will help reduce the risk of developing hearing damage. Just as too much sun can cause a sun burn, too much noise can create the potential for damage without proper time limits set.
Certain types of headphones can be very beneficial when protecting our younger generation’s hearing. There are noise-isolating earphones that reduce background noise. Another option are electric noise-cancelling headphones that can make listening more comfortable in loud settings. And there are output limiting headphones that can regulate the maximum sound level, a useful device for children who can’t self-regulate.
As parents, monitoring a child’s food, medication and media are all part of the job. Taking sound exposure into account, can set in motion a lifetime of good choices that will protect their hearing, keep them safe, improve communication and listening abilities, and reduce the need for hearing amplification devices in their future. For more information on tips to protect your child’s hearing, ask one of our hearing healthcare professionals today.