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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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