It’s a very noisy world, and children are at risk for developing hearing damage due to loud and repeated sound exposure. Dr. Frank Wartinger, Audiologist at Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia, outlines several tips in his article (link below) for parents to help protect their children’s hearing:
- Teach children to respect their hearing: Talk to your kids about how important hearing is to everyday life. They will be more likely to protect their hearing if they understand and appreciate it. Dr. Wartinger suggested having your child identify his or her favorite sound and share how they would feel if they could no longer hear it.
- Know when a sound is dangerously loud: When your child is listening to music or books through earphones, set the maximum volume to a safe level (80% of max capacity) In addition, you could discuss and label sound levels (e.g., too soft, just right, too loud) to help your child recognize when sounds are extremely loud.
- Set time limits: Prolonged exposure to loud sounds damages hearing over time. Decreasing the length of time listening could decrease risks for hearing damage. Generally, it’s a great idea to limit a child’s daily listening time to 90 minutes or less.
- Make safe headphone choices: Certain headphones are designed to support healthy listening habits, such as noise isolating earphones, electronic noise-cancelling headphones, and output limiting earphones. Find more information here: https://www.consumerreports.org/hearing-ear-care/headphone-types-to-help-prevent-hearing-loss/
For more specifics about safe listening practices, check out the article: https://journals.lww.com/thehearingjournal/Fulltext/2017/12000/Tips_to_Protect_Your_Child_s_Hearing.7.aspx