Magazine article Work & Family Life

'I Want to Protect My Child's Hearing'

Magazine article Work & Family Life

'I Want to Protect My Child's Hearing'

Article excerpt

Q Hearing loss among U.S. kids is rising, and often the damage isn't detected until it's too late. I want to protect my child's hearing. Any suggestions for parents raising children in such a noisy world?

-N.B., Tampa, FL

A You're right to be concerned. Early hearing loss from a single loud noise or consistent moderate noise can interfere with children's learning.

Although we can't control the environmental noise around us from sirens, alarms, leaf blowers, power mowers, motorcycles and loudspeakers, there's a lot that we can do. The League for the Hard of Hearing urges parents to:

Listen to noisemaking toys before buying. If a toy comes with volume control, monitor its use to make sure it's kept at a low level.

Consider returning gifts that make too much noise or disable the noise-making function.

Restrict the use of noisy toys to outside play areas.

Insist that kids keep the volume down when they play computer games and stereo equipment.

Strictly limit the time your child may spend in a video arcade, where noise levels can exceed 110 decibels. (Over time, noise levels above 85 decibels will harm hearing.)

Avoid taking kids to loud action movies. If you do go and the sound seems deafening, ask the management to turn down the volume or insist on your money back. …

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