Protecting Your Child’s Hearing

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With headphones in the ears of our kids more and more these days, here's a look at some of the things parents can do to help maintain good hearing in our children. First off, here are some signs of hearing loss according to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
  1. Increased fatigue during a busy school day or in noisy settings.
  2. Distracted behavior that may resemble attention problems.
  3. Muffled hearing or “ringing in the ears” — explained a bit differently.
  4. Avoidance or sensitivity to loud sounds and settings.
  5. Vague reports of pain or annoyance with ears or head.
So, how can listening to headphones remain safe for your kids? According to many websites on the matter, remember that every earphone and device has different loudness levels with the same volume settings, and most earphones can get loud enough to damage your hearing in only a few minutes of exposure at full volume.
Here are some steps for safe listening:
  1. 80/90 rule: A volume setting of 80 percent can only be safely enjoyed for a maximum of 90 minutes. Louder volume settings are only safe for more brief periods of time.
  2. Arm’s length rule: If you can’t hear someone speaking to you from an arm’s length away, your music is probably too loud.

It’s advised that parents model good behavior by turning down the volume when it becomes too loud, walking away from loud sounds, and protecting their ears from loud sounds and settings. Earplugs can also be used in recreational settings such as concerts and races. Specially filtered earplugs allow for lower listening levels while still hearing all the details of music and communication.

According to the Hearing and Speech Center, almost 36 million Americans have hearing loss and one in three developed their hearing loss because of exposure to noise and loud sounds. Noise-induced hearing loss is caused by damage to the delicate hair cells of your inner ear. Once the hair cells are destroyed by exposure to harmful sounds, they cannot grow back, resulting in permanent hearing loss.