When it’s hot outside, you no doubt make sure your child stays hydrated. If they are heading out on their bicycle, you’ll remind them to put on their helmet. But what about when they plug in their headphones to listen to some music?
Hearing loss doesn’t just affect the elderly. Far from it. Losing the ability to hear high frequencies happens in children and is often caused by noise exposure.
New research suggests that the use of portable music players could cause hearing loss in children.
The study tested the hearing of over 3000 children aged 9 to 11. Their parents were asked about how often their children listened to portable music players, how high they tended to set the volume and whether their children complained of any hearing issues.
So what did the researchers find out?
Here are the facts and figures:
14 percent of children had some difficulty hearing high frequencies.
Over a quarter of children used portable music players at least once a week. Regardless of how long children spent plugged into their portable music players or how high they set the volume, those that used them at least once a week were over 2 times more likely to have hearing loss than children who never used portable music players.
What does this mean for your child?
The researchers behind this Dutch study point out that they can’t be certain that using portable music players causes hearing loss in children, but that “music exposure might influence hearing at a young age”.
Hearing loss is irreversible so it’s worth taking steps to protect your child’s hearing by restricting how much they use their portable music player.
There is more you can do to protect your child’s hearing:
When they do use a portable music player, keep the volume down. Here’s a simple rule: if you can hear it, then it is too loud
Make sure they use hearing protection, such as ear plugs or ear muffs, when exposed to loud noise
Consider investing in ear plugs designed for musicians if your child is frequently exposed to loud noise.
Loud noise doesn’t just mean blaring music at a live concert but also hunting, band practice, dirt bikes and mopeds. Even lawn mowers and motorised tools for DIY can do their damage.
If you are at all worried about your child’s hearing, visit us at Allison Audiology for a hearing tes