Do you have children or teenagers in school? You might not think of your neighborhood school as being a dangerous place, but when it comes to your child’s hearing health, their school could actually be doing a lot of damage.
How Schools can Affect Hearing
Schools are notorious for being extremely loud. Crowded hallways and cafeterias, band practices, and sports events can all be excessively loud. Children and teens especially have sensitive hearing, since their ears are still developing and are more susceptible to damage.
When your child is repeatedly exposed to extremely loud noises, they risk noise-induced hearing loss. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that more than 5 million children have noise-induced hearing loss. This is shocking, since noise-induced hearing loss is preventable.
Noises that cause hearing loss are those that are above 85 decibels (dB), about the volume of a food blender. At this volume, it will take several hours for hearing to be affected. However, the louder the sound, the less time it takes to do some serious damage, and very loud noises can cause permanent hearing loss in a matter of seconds.
Protecting Your Child’s Hearing at School
There are a few ways you can protect your child’s hearing at school. The first thing to do is have a discussion with your child or teenager, and explain the dangers of loud noise. Explain how the ear works, and how hearing can be damaged by extremely loud sounds. Help them understand how loud it too loud, and when they’ll be risking their hearing. A good rule of thumb is that if your child has to yell for their friends to hear them, it’s too loud, and they are all damaging their hearing.
Pack earplugs in your child’s school bag, and teach them how to insert them properly. Foam earplugs are a great choice. They’re cost effective, so it won’t matter if they get lost, and they’re easy to insert. You can even get them in many different colors so your child can have fun with their earplugs.
Raising Awareness of Noise in Schools
If you’ve noticed that your child’s school is very noisy, take the time to chat with your child’s teachers, and with other parents, about noise-induced hearing loss, and the potential risks involved. Talk about the importance of hearing protection, and get more parents and kids protecting their hearing during band practice or on the bus heading home.
Have you wondered exactly how loud it gets at your child’s school? You can download a free sound-meter app to your smartphone, or your child’s phone, to check sound levels for safety. Your child or teenager can see for themselves how loud is too loud, and protecting their hearing can be fun!
Schedule a Hearing Test
If your child has been struggling to hear, or you’re worried they might have been exposed to far too much noise at school, call us at Preferred Hearing Centers to schedule a hearing test. Hearing is vital for learning and development, for hearing the teacher, and for interacting with friends and family. Hearing also keeps your kids safe, like hearing cars when they’re crossing the street. If your child has hearing loss it’s important that you find out as soon as possible, and explore treatment options.
Treating Hearing Loss
Just like hearing loss in adults, children’s hearing loss is also treated with a pair of quality hearing devices. We recommend behind the ear devices since they’re easy to wear and adjust. Not only that, but you won’t need new hearing aids as often as you need new shoes. As your child grows, all we’ll need to do is make new ear molds, but the hearing device will help your child hear for many years.
At Preferred Hearing Centers, we have a wide selection of hearing devices just for kids! They come in bright colors so your kids can have fun with their hearing aids, and get excited about their hearing health. Hearing aids for children are designed with the classroom in mind, and will help your child grow and learn along with their hearing peers. With directionality mics to help them focus on the teacher, and connectivity features that will allow audio to be streamed directly to their ears, your child will have no problem hearing at school. Visit us today and check out all your hearing options.