What Are The Dangers of iPod Use in Youth?

4278457135_9658776c39_qListening to music at unsafe volumes for extensive lengths of times can cause hearing damage. Here are some answers to questions you may have about the risks your child or teenager might be exposed to. We found an article from Hearing Health that had a lot of great information about the risks involved.

These devices are used by kids for socializing, videos, games, music, reading, studying and much more. Although each of these things is positive, there is one potential danger area for kids — unlimited Internet access through Wi-Fi or a carrier network.

Noise may not be an issue parents often consider as a threat in their children and adolescent’s life. Like anything else, in moderation it is fine, but overexposure can put your kids at serious risk.

A 2010 report in the Journal of the Medical Association shocked the nation when people learned that kids in the age groups of 12-19 had suffered hearing loss by over a third of what it had in the past decade.

Here are some common questions surrounding these findings:

How does hearing affect babies?

The surprising answer is that it’s likely they hear better than you or I. Just like skin and other body parts, exposure to nature will diminish the ability to hear.   When your grandfather leans in and asks you to repeat your story he may genuinely be struggling with natural hearing loss over years of different exposure. Things like vacuum’s and household appliances may seem to keep them captive, but they actually hurt your children’s ears. Keep them away from loud appliances when you can!

Is there a genetic connection that may make some kids more susceptible than others to hearing loss?

Some low weight fetus’ or pre-term babies have developed a correlation with hearing loss early on. More problems can develop and make them more at risk in the future with these problems.

How does loud noise actually affect hearing?

Some of the cells on the inner ear convert sound to wave energy to the brain. When the hair cells die, that results in permanent hearing loss to the brain.

When is sound too loud?

There are multiple apps (most costing only a dollar or so) that will tell you exactly what level is acceptable to be listening at.

When should your child be wearing ear protection?

Earmuffs are great for smaller children, but be careful when looking for sizes. It’s important to get the right size. With ear buds in older children, limit the time that is used daily, no more than a few hours.

When should ear protection be used?

A lot of this boils down to common sense. A concert, a race track, etc. Any situation where sound level measurement is a 90 dba level or higher.

Resource Article: Hearing Health: The Dangers of iPod Use

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How To Bottle The Whine

sulky angry childI am no good with whiners. I’m just not. It’s one of my down-falls. I am a teacher and a father. I have seen lying, cheating, bullying, and manipulation. I can handle these, but when a child whines, it’s like fingernails on a chalkboard to my ears. And, I know that it’s normal. Kids whine. Yet, it’s my achilles heel. If you are like me, what do you do to curb this annoying of all childhood acts?

The thing about whining is that it bugs the ears of full grown adults. So, in a kid’s mind, if they whine long enough they will get a response from us. And, if we give in to the whine because we just want it turned off, we have taught our children that they can get what they want from us by whining. We reinforce their irritating behavior, teaching them that whining is a way to get what they want.

So, what’s a parent to do? I do the same thing in my third grade classroom as I have done with both of my girls. First, I make sure they are aware that they are whining. Strangely, some kids don’t realize that they are making grating sounds as they elongate words in a disturbing manner. So, I compare their whine to a siren. “If you speak like an ambulance, you are whining. Instead of saying, ‘I’m so tiiiiiired,’ you can just say, ‘I’m tired’.”

For some, that’s all it takes. “Oh, I sounded like that? Didn’t realize.” And, it’s done. Some need reminders, “How long do I have to waaaiiiit?”

“Is that a siren I hear?”

“Sorry. How much longer until we’re done?”

“Much better.”

Then, of course there are those who will still sound like a fire truck on its way to a four-alarm fire. And, they will keep the siren going even after being reminded. When I encounter a child of this caliber, I just tell them, “I can’t hear the words you whine.” And, I ignore it and move on with my life.

Now, to be quite honest, it KILLS me, because the hair on my arm stands on end. My left eye starts to twitch, but I know if I give in and respond to the whine, I will have taught this young person that whining works. So, I repeat in my head, “It’s just a babbling brook. You’ll be fine.”

And, if you don’t give in, most kids get that the whine won’t work. Once they repeat whatever it is they are saying in normal human talk, be sure to praise their change, “Oh, much better. I can totally understand you. Yes, we can go in five minutes.”

And, if all else fails, that’s what earbuds are for. Turn on Pandora and slip away into your own musical, whine-free world.

Written by: Leon Scott Baxter, America’s Relationship Guru

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About the Author

Leon Scott Baxter is known as America’s Relationship Guru. He has been a public school teacher for seventeen years, and has two daughters (10 and 15). He’s the author of three books on relationships and his newest book on parenting happy and successful children is due out in 2015. Come join him on Face Book at https://www.facebook.com/SafetyNetParenting.

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