How to Protect Little Ears this Fourth of July and Beyond
On the Fourth of July, many get together and celebrate. Enjoying time with family and friends over a delicious barbeque and ending the day with a spectacular fireworks display. For many, the beautiful display is the cherry on top at the end of the day, but this explosive display of colors and lights can be harmful if the proper precautions are not followed. Everyone needs to watch their exposure to dangerous noise levels, but parents need to take extra steps to ensure that they protect their children’s ears. Noise-induced hearing loss does not discriminate when it comes to age, as it can affect anyone who is exposed to loud sounds. Unfortunately, during the summer, especially around Independence Day, there are multiple displays of fireworks. While this display is often eye-catching, fireworks are deafening, as they produce a sound that ranges from 150 to 175 decibels. Whereas adults should not be exposed to more than 140 decibels, and for kids, it’s even lower at 120 decibels. Luckily, following our helpful 4th of July safety tips for kids can help protect their little ears from the sounds of the holidays and beyond.
4th of July Safety Tips for Kids: How to Protect Little Ears
• If you have an infant, refrain from bringing them to your local fireworks display. Watching live fireworks is loud for everyone. However, since an infant’s ear canal is small, the sound becomes amplified. Due to the size of their ear canal, if you expose an infant to loud noises, you are putting them at higher risk for hearing loss. As an adult, if it sounds loud to you, it will sound even louder to your infant, so keep them home.
• If your child is not an infant, and you are bringing them to a fireworks display, make sure you bring ear protection for them to wear. While earplugs can work, they are not always recommended for small children due to the size of their ear canal. Their ears may be too small for earplugs to fit correctly, so invest in a good pair of earmuffs. Wearing ear protection will still allow your child to engage in conversations while protecting them from dangerously high decibel levels.
• It doesn’t matter if you come prepared with ear protection, it is crucial to sit away from the source of the sound. Avoid getting an “up-close” view, even if you are wearing earplugs, and stand back at least 500 feet from the main source of sound. Luckily, firework displays have far visibility, so you don’t need to be sitting up close and personal to get a good show. The further away you are, the less likely it becomes to cause damage to your child’s sensitive ears.
• Firework displays are loud, even when you are sitting a reasonable distance away, and for a child, especially a small one, this can be terrifying. If your child is not comfortable with watching fireworks in person, especially if it’s their first experience, do not push them. Instead, allow them to stay inside and watch a show on the internet or the television. Doing so can eliminate the chances of hearing loss and may even help alleviate their fears by giving them an understanding of what goes on at one.