When you think about hearing protection, you likely think about construction workers with jack hammers, DJ's in deafening nightclubs and race car drivers. But, have you considered protecting the hearing of your family? Protecting your children's ears from loud noise is the best way to protect their long term hearing and is entirely within your control.
How Does Noise Damage a Child's Hearing?
When we hear sound, delicate hair cells in our inner ears vibrate and create nerve signals, which are interpreted by our brain as sound. When the tiny hairs are overwhelmed with loud noises, especially over time, they become damaged. The hairs that vibrate most quickly and deliver higher frequency sounds are typically the first ones to become damaged. Hearing loss is rarely reversible.
Everyday noises such as sirens, train horns, planes, TVs, loud music, construction tools, lawn mowers, hair dryers, musical instruments, and even loud toys are examples of noise sources that may be most damaging to the hearing of children. Young children and babies have thinner, underdeveloped bones in their heads, allowing their hearing to be more acute. If the noise is loud to you, it is exceptionally loud and damaging to your young child.
Instill the Value of Hearing Protection in Your Child
Here are a few proactive ways to protect your child's hearing and teach them to protect it themselves:
- Teach the importance of hearing. Make you child aware, from an early age, of harmful noises that may affect their hearing. Helping your child to understand appropriate volumes for headphones and earbuds is important to their hearing health. When loud sirens pass by, be a good role model and demonstrate how to quickly plug your ears with your fingers.
- Provide hearing protection. Festivals, air shows, and race tracks are exciting family events, but they also expose young ears to loud and sudden noises. The sights may be amazing, but the sounds may be startling and damaging to underdeveloped ears. Providing quality ear protection for your children at events provides them with comfort and protection from loud noises.
- Check Your Child's Hearing Regularly. Identifying and addressing hearing loss early on is the best way to prevent additional loss. Checking your child's hearing routinely ensures that issues will be identified early and that quality of life may be maintained.
10 million Americans experience irreversible hearing damage caused by prolonged noise and it is estimated that 30 to 50 million more are exposed to dangerous noise levels each day. Mowing the lawn with Mom or Dad and playing a musical instrument are both typical childhood activities, but they can result in permanent hearing loss if proper hearing protection is not utilized.
Visit Earplug Station today for more information on childhood hearing loss and additional ways to protect the hearing of your baby or young child.