Our ears are cleverly designed to scoop up the sound around us and deliver it to our brains without us having to lift a finger- even as we sleep! They work tirelessly and effortlessly to interpret our world through their delicate and beautifully complex design. So it’s ironic that the very thing they are designed to welcome in (sound) can also inflict irreversible damage.

Too much of a good thing
Although they are designed to last a lifetime, our increasingly noisy world puts us all, and especially children, at risk for “noise-induced hearing loss,” or NIHL. Noise-induced hearing loss is irreversible. It is also totally preventable

Now Hear This!

  • Noise-induced hearing loss is permanent (this bears repeating)

  • Noise-induced hearing loss is totally preventable (this definitely bears repeating)

  • Infants are more susceptible to NIHL because their skulls are thinner

  • Faced with long-term exposure to loud noise, the only ways to prevent NIHL are to

Walk away, (distance from loud noise decreases danger)
Reduce the volume ( The American Academy of Audiology made this cool rap video as part of their
“turn it to the left” campaign to try to reach teens damaging their ears with devices like I-pods.
Cover Your Ears Sound protection ear muffs are made for all ages, including babies, and once the risk of choking is past, ear plugs can be used- for you too!

Babies and young children are dependent on us to protect their hearing. They can’t walk away when the noise at a
professional sports game, loud music, or ear-splitting sound from a movie assaults and threatens their hearing,
Babies and young children are dependent on us to protect their hearing. So educate yourself and take action!

How loud is TOO LOUD?
The technical answer is, anything over 85 decibels (the way we measure volume) can do permanent damage
Here’s a link with a good list of common sounds and the risk they present.
A good rule of thumb is that if you can’t hold a conversation over the noise/music, it’s probably too loud.

Remember these “three D’s

  • Decibels (volume): anything over 85 (for example, a garbage disposal).

  • Duration: how long you’re exposed to loud sound

  • Distance: How close you are to the sound

  • NIHL is accumulative over a lifetime. So preventing hearing loss in children is especially critical.


Everyday Sounds that Can Lead to NIHL , and What You Can Do to Prevent it

  • Sports games at public stadiums- Make sure children are wearing ear protection. Ear muffs are made to fit
    infants and children

  • Toys: Many toys are over 85 decibels: A squeeze toy is 90 decibels. If a toy seems too loud to you, it probably is. An easy fix it to place apiece of scotch tape over the speaker. You’ll be amazed at how much this cuts down the volume.

  • White noise machines for babies: these can be alarmingly high decibel, so move them away from baby out of the crib or on the other side of the room

  • Movie and television sound- keep volumes below 85 decibels

  • Parties with loud music- try to stay as far away form the source as you can
    Children are drawn to audio speakers! So when you’re at a concert, or at home, make sure they don’t crawl or walk up to a speaker and place their ear next to it.

 

 

 

 

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