Preventing Hearing Loss in Children
Typically a person thinks of an aging adult when they think of hearing loss since there is an association between hearing loss and aging. However, hearing loss in children happens and is more prevalent than you think. Children can be born with hearing loss in one or both ears, or it could stem from an ear infection, noise exposure, an infectious disease, or even exposure to ototoxic medicines. Even though there are various reasons behind hearing loss, noise-induced hearing loss is the most common way a child develops impaired hearing. Luckily, preventing hearing loss in children can be a fairly simple process.
Preventing hearing loss in children is possible with the correct know-how. However, it is also important to learn how to recognize the signs, which can be displayed differently for children. Here are the signs of hearing loss in children to look out for.
• Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
• Displays a sense of “annoyance” with their ears
• An increase in fatigue, especially after being in a noisy environment
• Noisy environments are avoided
• Noisy environments cause irritability
• Comes off as easily distracted, especially around excess noise
Preventing Hearing Loss in Children: How Can I Protect My Child From Hearing Loss?
1. Avoid excessively loud noises when possible.
2. When unavoidable, stand back at least 500 feet from the source of the sound. You want as much distance as possible away from the source.
3. When necessary, wearing earplugs or earmuffs to protect ears from loud noises. When used properly, hearing protection works.
4. Set the maximum volume level on a device to a reasonable level to help prevent your child from listening to music at dangerously high sound levels.
5. Following the 60/60 rule when listening with headphones on, meaning volume level is set to 60%, and listening time is only for 60 minutes at a time.
6. Set a positive example for your children and teach healthy listening habits to them early on in life. Understanding that hearing loss prevention is serious, and needs to be followed throughout life, can go a long way in protecting sensitive ears.