You might be surprised at how many kids have hearing loss and that it is caused by prolonged exposure to loud noises. This is called noise induced hearing loss. Unfortunately, it is permanent and it is 100% preventable!! It is estimated that 12% of kids between 6-19 have this type of loss.

Even minor hearing loss can significantly impact a child’s development, academic success, and social interactions, among other things. It’s important that you act early if you have concern.

Hearing Loss, Headphones and Prevention

Noise-induced hearing loss is caused by damage to the hair cells that are found in the inner ear. Hair cells are small sensory cells that convert the sounds we hear (sound energy) into electrical signals that travel to the brain. Once damaged, our hair cells cannot grow back, causing permanent hearing loss. Noise-induced hearing loss can be immediate, or it can take a long time to be noticeable.

Headphones are a big culprit of hearing loss and should be monitored by parents. Just because a Headphone is marked as “kid safe” most are still at a limit on the volume at 85, 90 or even higher decibels. On top of that, if you really test the decibels, most are even louder. Remember, headphone manufacturers aren’t interested in your child’s hearing; they are interested in selling products. There is no mandatory standard that restricts the maximum sound output for listening devices or headphones sold in the United States.

Prevention includes understanding the hazards of noise and practicing good hearing health.

 It is recommended by WHO that in order to prevent hearing loss, kids hould not listen to noise or sounds that are higher than 765 decibels and they definitely should limit any loud noises or decibel levels close to 75 to not more than 40 hours in any given week.

The following are risks for childhood Noise Induced Hearing loss:

  • Noisy toys
  • Band class
  • Farm Equipment
  • Motor bicycles
  • MP3 Players
  • Power tools
  • Arcades
  • Movie Theatres
  • Concerts
  • Firecrackers
  • Fireworks