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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Summer Concert Healthy Hearing Tips

In addition to warmer weather, music concerts are some of the fun outdoor activities that make people look forward to summer. However, these enjoyable musical extravaganzas are not harmless. Their noise levels can range from 110 decibels (dB) to 140 dB which is way above the 85 dB cutoff level that experts agree damages hair cells in the ear and can lead to permanent deafness.

Use Ear Plugs

To prevent summer concert hearing damage one of the first things you can do is buy foam ear plugs and wear them during the concert. These disposable ear protection devices are relatively inexpensive and they can be purchased from drug stores without a prescription. The fact that they can reduce noise levels by 15 to 30 dB makes them very wise investments.

Choose Your Seats Wisely

Another summer concert healthy hearing tip is to choose seats that are not close to the speaker since they have the highest noise levels. If you cannot choose where to sit or stand, position your body so that you are at an angle from the speakers and not directly in front of them. If you cannot see where the speakers are placed, move to another part of the venue if you have to shout to speak to the person next to you because that suggests the sound is too loud and it is damaging your ears.

Take Breaks

A third thing you can do to protect your ears during summer concerts is to take 10 minute breaks in the concessions area or restrooms between performances. These breaks will give your ears time to recover from the loud noises bombarding them.

Leave If Needed

A fourth summer concert healthy hearing tip is to leave the concert immediately if you develop ringing or pain in your ears.

Written by: Marian Kim, FizzNiche Staff Writer

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Are Toys Too Noisy?

iphone-apps-hearing-testWhen children are young, noises that may appear tolerable to adults are not always suitable for children. Adults need to go extra lengths to protect their children’s ears, as exposure to loud noises can damage a child’s ears over time. Taking extra cautionary measures now will ensure your child’s hearing health for the future.

There are many toys out there that make noise and pose a threat to children. Examples of toys that pose a noise danger include:

  • Talking dolls
  • Vehicles with horns and sirens
  • Walkie-talkies
  • Musical instruments
  • Toy guns
  • Mp3 players

The Center for Hearing and Communication states that today’s noisy toys indicate on the packaging that they Conform to the Safety Requirements of ASTM F963 (American Society for Testing and Materials). The Safety Requirements states, “Toys shall not produce impulsive noises with an instantaneous sound pressure level exceeding 138dB when measured at any position 25cm from the surface of the toy. (This is louder than a jet taking off or the sound of a jack-hammer).”

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, “Some toys are so loud that they can cause hearing damage in children. Some toy sirens and squeaky rubber toys can emit sounds of 90dB, as loud as a lawn mower.” The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association also states that if a child holds a toy directly to their ear, the toy can expose the ear to as much as 120dB of sound.

So what can parents do?

Listen to Your Child’s Toys

Before giving your child a toy, make sure to listen to it while holding it no more than 12 inches from your head. It’s also important that parents should monitor its use to make sure it’s low.

Control the Volume

Look for toys which contain an on and off switch or volume control.

The Tape Trick

Cover a toy’s speaker with masking tape to muffle the sound or remove the batteries.

Use Headphones

Child friendly headphones should be included with mp3 players and handheld video games. These types of headphones limit volume and are much safer than earbuds.

Read Warning Labels

Parents should avoid buying toys that have a warning that they should not be used close to the ears.

Overall, as a rule of thumb, you should be careful when exposing your child to loud noises. As always, a good idea is to also limit the amount of time spent on the noisy activities listed above.

Written by: Sharan Kaur, FizzNiche Staff Writer

References:
“Noisy Toys.” American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Web.
“Noisy Toys.” Parents.com. Web.
“Noisy Toys.” Center for Hearing and Communication. Web.

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4 TIPS TO PREVENT KIDS’ HEARING DAMAGE FROM EARBUDS

Pixmac000080239011Ear buds are the latest fashion, inserted inside the ears. Today’s kids have grown up with them, but they’re really a new fad, and most kids don’t realize their dangers. These marvels don’t cancel out surrounding noise. The result is that they turn up the volume to hear the tunes. Danger, warning…..this is just the way to damage hearing, for a lifetime. Permanent hearing loss is no small deal. Not to worry though, there are simple ways to help prevent kids’ hearing damage from ear buds.

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