The Impact of Exposure to Noise on Children’s Hearing

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is warning parents to pay more attention to
noise in their everyday activities. Not only can environmental noise, such as traffic
noise, or a television playing in the background, affect learning, sleep, and quality of life,
chronic noise exposure can harm hearing in infants, children and teens. Common
sources of indoor noise include appliances, infant sleep (white noise) machines, video
games, toys, and televisions. Personal listening devices are being used more
frequently, even by young children. The concern is not only with the volume of the
noise, but also how long and how often children are exposed to noise. Children are
more susceptible to harm because their hearing system is still developing. Additionally,
the external ear anatomy in young children differs from adult anatomy; their smaller ear
canals intensify higher frequency sounds.
In the Journal, Pediatrics, the AAP published an article on ways to prevent excessive
noise exposure:
If you have any concerns about your child’s hearing, seek a comprehensive hearing
evaluation by a licensed audiologist.

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