How to Prevent Hearing Loss in Children?

In Education

Hearing loss is something most people believe happens exclusively to older adults. However, reports have shown that it could affect anyone. The Hearing Health Foundation stated that almost 50 million Americans have hearing loss in at least one of their ears. This figure included about 20% of teenagers.

Children’s toys can cause hearing loss

A common cause of hearing loss for young children is noisy toys. Many children’s toys produce noise levels of about 90 decibels, comparable to that of a lawn mower. This noise level requires hearing protection. However, most caregivers are unaware of this danger and don’t provide it. Sometimes the volume can reach 120 decibels, almost like an airplane taking off as children have these toys near their faces.

Experts advise parents to test the sound of a toy before purchasing it. They should do the test with the toy close to their faces instead of having them at a distance. If they find the toy too loud, it will likely be the same for the child. 

An easier way to decide if a toy is safe is by checking the Sight and Hearing Association’s Noisy Toy list. This list would help you disqualify any dangerous toys, thus narrowing your search for appropriate toys.

How to reduce noise

If your child has a toy that you think might be too loud for them, there are ways to protect them from hearing loss. One way is to cover the speaker with tape. Studies have shown that this method is effective in lowering volume.

Parents should also ensure their children’s headphones aren’t too loud, as they could damage their hearing. They should stand close to the child when they wear headphones. The volume is too high if they can hear through the devices. They could also invest in output-limiting headphones, which restrict volume to about 85 decibels. Sometimes there is no need to purchase the headphones, as some phones have an output-limiting setting that parents can use to control volume.

If the children play any instruments, parents could purchase musician earbuds to reduce the sound transmission to their ears, thus preventing hearing loss.

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