A family vacation is synonymous with summer break. The chances that your children will be packing numerous portable devices is high. Mobile devices like cell phones, pads, and music players are great for keeping children occupied on long journeys. They can, however, do irreversible damage to children’s hearing.
Noise-induced hearing loss happens when the sensitive hair cells in the inner ear receive prolonged exposure to loud noises. The cells, which are responsible for converting sound energy into electrical impulses to be sent to the brain, can’t grow back once they endure damage. Reports state that 17 of every 1,000 children have a noise-induced hearing loss before age 18. iPods and other portable players are increasing this hearing loss trend. To complicate matters further, the louder the noise is, the less time your child’s ears will be able to tolerate it.
New research supports the risks associated with prolonged listening to music players. A recently published study confirms that children who listen to loud music through headphones could be at high risk of noise-induced hearing loss. The testing included over 3,000 children who use music players, smartphones, and tablets. 14% of the children tested experience difficulty hearing high frequencies which suggest the possibility of noise-induced hearing loss.
As parents, we often warn our children about the dangers of staring at the sun for extended periods of time yet often fail in warning children about the harm extended noise does to their hearing. Your role in preventing your child from hearing loss is significant. Here are a few steps you can take to protect your child’s hearing: