HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -- It’s a noisy world we live in, and the Centers for Disease Control estimates 12 percent of children have suffered hearing loss because of excessive exposure to noise.
If a child or adult always has earphones on, they could be at risk too.
“We see kids all the time with concerns about their hearing,” said Dr. Christopher Grindle, of Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.
So parents, listen up.
“Sound is measured in what is called decibels and it’s a measure of sound intensity. Normal conversational speech is around 60 to 70 decibels, whispers are 30 decibels. Sound can start to get dangerous actually causing a problem with hearing at levels greater than 85 decibels,” Grindle said.
There are a few things parents need to know to protect their child’s hearing.
First, turn the volume down.
“Turn that down to about 60 percent max volume and only be exposed to it for 60 minutes. So, by doing that, you are both reducing the intensity of the sound so turning the volume down and reducing the tie you are you exposed to the sound,” Grindle said.
He adds that listening to a device at its max can damage hearing in just two minutes.
Parents can also go into the settings on a device and set the noise max at 60 percent. Therefore, they may think their blasting the music, but they are still at a safe level.
“So, you are doing things to help them without them even knowing,” Grindle said.
Parents should also get the right headphones that fit properly.
“Probably the best combination are those isolating headphones, or the headphones that block out ambient sound at a lower volume, that way you get to enjoy the music you don’t have to hear the background noise and you’re not putting yourself at any risk,” Grindle said.
Also, be a good role model, because even if it doesn’t seem like they’re listening, they’re watching.
“Modeling those behaviors for your kids so if you model good ear health for your kids they’ll model that and continue to pass that on,” Grindle said.
He goes on to say “Noise induced hearing loss unfortunately is often permanent so there is no way to go back and reverse that it is however very preventable.”
For those concerned about a child’s hearing, be sure to schedule a hearing test with a doctor.