How to Protect Your Child’s Hearing This Summer
Your child’s hearing is an integral part of their vocal and emotional development, so you want to protect it at all costs. You might be surprised to learn that while 84 percent of parents fear that headphones and other audio technology may damage their children’s hearing, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association says only 50 percent have discussed safe use with their kids. That’s staggering when you know what’s at stake. Your children have delicate ears. Protect them this summer by following these three easy tips and take them to a hearing specialist at the first sign of trouble.
Put Limits on Listening Time
It’s not just volume that contributes to hearing loss, it’s also how long a child is exposed to the sound. By setting time limits on the use of personal listening devices such as phones and iPods, you can help keep your kids’ hearing intact. Also be aware of contact with loud sounds from other sources such as concerts or construction sites and limit the amount of time you and your family are exposed. Listening breaks are necessary for noisy situations to avoid a trip to an ear specialist.
Set Devices at a Reasonable Volume
Children use video and music devices more often during summer months when they’re not in school, so you should be aware of the dangers of amplified sound. Setting a personal listening device on a high volume has been shown to increase the risk of hearing loss. It can be prudent not to give personal devices to young children. Many are happy without a device if it is not introduced by a parent. If avoidance isn’t possible, try using an app that sets volume limits. Sometimes devices or earphones have limiting volume options built in.
Besides personal music and video devices, your child may be at risk of losing their hearing if you bring them to a summer concert. Music events can raise the volume to as high as 110 decibels, but there are ways to protect your kids. Choose an outdoor venue so the sound will be less intense or find a location where it’s not as noisy to give your children’s ears a break.
You may also choose to use hearing protection. This works great at other events as well such as auto racing or fireworks, or simply around lawn equipment in the backyard. Older kids can use foam earplugs which are effective and inexpensive. Simply roll the earplug, place in the ear, and allow it to expand. You can pull up and back on the ear to get better leverage. If you’d rather have something custom made, try hearing protection that uses a mold of the ear created by a hearing specialist. These molded pieces come in several styles and colors and may have sound filters that protect from high-intensity sounds while allowing music to sound more natural.
When you’re getting ready for a summer of fun with your kids, don’t forget about hearing safety. Loud devices and venues can cause permanent damage, putting a damper on the season. If you think your child may have a hearing issue, call an ear specialist at Oklahoma Hearing Center to help you find a solution.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our expert audiologists!