Baby’s and toddler’s ears are vulnerable. They develop significantly after the first few years of birth. Most parents expose their kids to loud noises, without even being aware of it.
This behaviour can easily result in a permanent hearing damage for the kids at such a young age.
Many audiologists worry about the increasing number children with hearing damage. Avoiding loud noises is the most sensible course of action; however, this is not always possible.
When parents provide hearing protections for their kids, especially at a young age, it helps to ensure the best hearing condition as they grow older.
For Kids, Loud Sounds are Even Louder
Kids are more sensitive to loud sounds. The ear canal in children is smaller; therefore, the sound pressure that is generated in the ears is even greater than that of adults.
This makes loud sounds even louder for babies.
What is too Loud?
Sounds of 80 decibels can prove harmful for kids if they are exposed to it for up to 8 hours or more. 80 decibels is similar to the sound produced by a very busy road.
Hearing damage caused by long exposure to loud sounds can be permanent and cumulative.
Therefore, it is crucial to monitor your kids’ surroundings for noise exposure that tends to exceed the appropriate levels.
Do not hesitate to invest in one.
Hearing Hazards for Kids
Some hearing hazards for kids include: Loud toys, Television volume, Events (such as festivals, sports events, and concerts), Firework displays, Household appliances (vacuum, hair dryer, blender), etc.
Some children toys can produce really loud sounds, in excess of 120 decibel. And kids tend to play with their toys closer to their faces and ears.
Before you invest in any noise-making toy for your kid, listen to check if the sounds are too loud.
If you use sleep machines to put your kid to bed, test the sound output before leaving the room with a sleeping child, and be sure to use the lowest sound possible.
Also, ensure that the machine is placed as far from the baby’s bed as possible.
If you think your baby has been exposed for too long, it is advisable that you take your kid to see an audiologist immediately.
Ways to Protect Baby’s Hearing
Keep them away from noisy sources
Keep your kids away from speakers or other noise emitting devices.
Wear your baby an earmuff or a noise cancelling headphone
A baby noise cancelling head earmuff or headphone is a must-have for every baby whether it is outdoor or indoor.
High volume sounds can affect a baby mentally, and can even mess with mental growth, if exposed for too long.
If live close to the road or an area where there is high noise levels, make your baby wear noise cancelling headphones.
Avoid using earplugs, as they not recommended for infants or young children.
Leave the environment if noise is enough to cause discomfort
If you observe the sound is too loud – enough to cause discomfort consider an early exit.
When Hearing Protection for Babies and Toddlers is Needed
In situations like:
- Event centres with a lot of noise (Such as a festival, parade, carnival, wedding, party, sports events or motor races)
- When you take your kid outside on New Year’s Eve.
- When you do your chores at home or garden which produce a lot of noise, such as drilling, grinding or cutting grass.
- When a brother or sister plays music, puts on a show or has a sports event.
We shouldn’t be afraid of sound but it is something we should be aware of.
With a few steps (and a little education), we can help our babies and children protect their hearing for a lifetime.