Just like you teach your children to brush their teeth, how to wash their hair, and use the toilet – you should teach them how to protect their hearing. It helps if you are already invested in keeping track of what they are listening to and how loud anyway. But, here are some tips that can help you protect your child’s hearing in the longer term.
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Hearing Loss In Children
There are children born with congenital hearing loss, which simply means that they are born with hearing loss. Others, however, are caused by a range of things. Typically this will include infectious diseases, ototoxic medication (medication toxic to the ear), untreated ear infections, and noise exposure. Of all of those, noise exposure is the most common reason for hearing loss and hearing damage.
It is estimated that 1 in 6 teenagers who present with hearing loss have suffered via noise exposure. Auto trade shows live music concerts, job-related, and headphones all contribute. You can learn more about the different types of hearing loss online.
When it comes to prevention, there are a few things that you can do. Most children use headphones from time to time, and as they grow, they are more likely to have headphones in than not. So you can implement a couple of rules to help them learn their limits, and you prevent hearing loss.
- Stick to times headphone sessions. No longer than 60 minutes at a time, with a 60-minute break in between.
- 60% volume at the maximum, and the lower, the better.
- If they can’t hear you when you talk to them from an arm’s length, check the volume.
- Child safety headphones have inbuilt controls to ensure the volume cannot be too high.
It is important to note that just because you can hear the music of noise from their headphones, doesn’t actually mean it is too loud. Often headphones leak sound out. Others are noise canceling, and they won’t be able to hear you no matter how loud or quiet the volume is. So work with your child to get the right settings.
You can also use an SPL measuring smartphone app. A sound pressure level measuring application will be able to give you more in-depth details to make the right call.
Unfortunately, when noise-induced hearing loss occurs, there are no cures. While you can have a hearing aid fitted, which will help you to hear again, it will not restore your hearing. Tinnitus is often linked with hearing loss, and there is a range of things that can help.
One of the best things you can do for your children is to show them that you are taking care of your own hearing. By turning the TV or music down. Using earplugs when you go swimming, and noise-canceling ear muffs when you are at louder events. And making sure that if you feel like you have a hearing issue, you go straight to the doctors. And get your child’s hearing checked regularly too.