There is a lot of information out there about preventing hearing loss in adults. But what about protecting children’s hearing?
Children are just as susceptible as adults to the damaging effects of noise exposure. There are many things you can do to set hearing guidelines and help safeguard your children’s hearing.
- Read labels on toys for warnings about sound levels and always try any toy in the store before bringing it home. Keep in mind that children have shorter arms and often hold things close to their ears.
- Remove batteries in toys or place tape over the microphone port to dampen the noise level.
- Encourage children to take breaks from playing with noisy toys.
- Monitor their use of iPods, MP3 players and other devices with ear buds or headphones. If you can hear their music standing next to them, it is too loud.
- Encourage them to keep audio levels at 50 percent or less. Purchase headphones that limit the output, so that younger children cannot accidentally turn up the volume too loud.
- Bring hearing protection for you and your children when attending a concert, car race, sporting event or other events that typically have lots of noise.
- For older children, providing education and setting a good example can help prevent noise exposure and permanent hearing loss.
Amanda L. Samoluk is the lead audiologist at the Warren Center for Communication and Learning in Bangor.