It’s a normal occurrence these days to see young people-children, teens, and young adults-walking around with headphones or ear buds.  You’ve probably purchased an expensive pair or replaced a few sets because they are so popular and necessary with this generation.   But could something seemingly so innocent be potentially harmful to our kids?  Well….

According to the CDC, 12.5% of children ages 6-19 have permanent, noise-induced hearing loss.  The damage to their hearing can occur from a one-time loud exposure or from listening to loud sounds for long periods of time.  The most common culprits are music played at high volumes and noisy equipment.

I bet you never thought your child’s enjoying music or quietly playing a video game so as not to disturb anyone could be detrimental to her health.  Or that your new summer gig, that just so happens to be using loud equipment, would have others saying, “Can You Hear me Now?”

Loosing hearing this way is preventable.  Protect your hearing by:

-Avoiding/Limiting exposure

Parents are telling me that their teens are constantly wearing their headphones even while sleeping.  TTM(team too much)!  Listening time should be less than one hour and then your ears need a break.

-Turning down the volume

Signs that the volume is tooooo loud: If you can hear what he hears and if he can’t hear you talking.  Don’t allow your child to listen at more than 60% volume.  Check in and make the adjustment.

-Wearing hearing protection devices when exposure is unavoidable.  Ear plugs or ear muffs will do.

-Evaluating hearing

If you’re child never seems to hear you, is experiencing ear pain or ringing of the ears, or reports decreased hearing, seek medical attention for audiology testing.

The other reasons why your child should ditch the headphones:

-Safety

Isolation

Supervision

My advice, enjoy these jewels of tech minimally, safely, and responsibly!

The information expressed in this article is for educational purposes only and not intended to replace personal, medical attention.  For any concerns, see your child’s medical provider. 

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