Teaching Kids About Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
You teach your children how to drive safely, how to correctly cross the street and how to take care of their mental and physical health. But what about instilling healthy hearing habits? Below is a look at the importance of teaching your children about what can cause noise-induced hearing loss and what they can do to keep their ears safe.
What Is Noise-Induced Hearing Loss?
The world is full of sounds, and each one of them has a decibel rating that indicates how loud it is. Any sound that measures more the 85 decibels (dB) can cause damage to the delicate hair cells within the inner ear. These hair cells are responsible for converting sound vibrations into electrical impulses, which are sent via the auditory nerve to the brain to be interpreted as sound.
Understanding which sounds are dangerous is the key to keeping your ears safe. The University of Rochester Medical Center put together a handy list of common sounds broken up into their level of safety.
- Whispering: 30 dB
- Normal conversation: 60 dB
- Kitchen appliances: 80-90 dB
Gradual Hearing Loss May Happen Over Time
- Subway/motorcycle: 90 dB
Permanent Hearing Loss May Happen
- Music from smartphone or personal music player set at loudest level: 110 dB
- Siren: 120-130 dB
- Fireworks within three feet: 140-150 dB
How Children Can Protect Their Hearing
There are three simple tips you can teach your children that can provide them with the tools to keep their hearing safe.
- Lower the volume
- Move away from the source of the noise
- Wear hearing protection
How to Spread Awareness
For children in the San Diego School District, there is plenty you can do as a parent to help raise awareness about noise-induced hearing loss.
- Encourage students to measure noise levels with a decibel meter in various parts of their school.
- Suggest a science fair project focused on how loud sounds can damage your hearing.
- Review the anatomy of the ear and how hearing works.
- Advocate for available hearing protection for students in band and other loud activities.
To learn more about hearing loss caused by exposure to loud sounds or to schedule an appointment with a hearing professional, contact San Diego Hearing Center today.