This is a growing concern as children of all ages increasingly use devices to listen to music, watch tv shows, play games, and otherwise entertain themselves often for hours each day. Noise-induced hearing loss is completely preventable by adhering to some very basic safe listening habits. However, once this hearing loss occurs, it is irreversible.
“We’re not saying don’t use this technology, as we know it is here to stay,” explains Blue Ear. However, we’re saying that a few simple actions like keeping the volume at half level and taking listening breaks can go a long way in protecting kids’ hearing. This is especially true when using devices with accompanying earbuds or headphones. It’s important to instill these habits early, when possible, but it’s worthwhile to have the conversation no matter the age of your child.”
A nationwide survey of audiologists ranked “repeated misuse of personal technology at loud volumes that can potentially damage your hearing” as their top tech related concern. This is supported by some disturbing data showing sharp increases in hearing loss among adolescents, as well as the World Health Organization labeling unsafe listening to devices an international health threat.
Parents play a key role in not only teaching these habits but modeling these behaviors. “As with just about everything else, it’s critical that parents practice what they preach for the children’s health as well as their own,” says Sapheara.
Hearing loss can affect everything from children’s speech/language development; academic and vocational success; and social skills and mental health. If you suspect your child may be having a hearing issue, seek a complete evaluation from a certified audiologist immediately to mitigate any potential negative consequences.