Hearing Info

 Why do my kids need ear muffs?

Recent reports indicate that teenagers of today are receiving NIHL (noise induced hearing loss) from the use of ipods and loud music.

Using ear muffs on your children NOW helps them to grow into teenages who have a healthy respect for their own personal health and safety including the protection of their own hearing.

As parents, we protect our kids with sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, clothing and shoes.....but what about their ears?? Hearing damage from noise works in the same way as sun damage from the sun. The harsher the sun and the longer exposed, the more damage occurs.
Its the same with loud noise, the louder the noice and the longer exposed the greater the risk of damage.

It is so easy to expose babies and small children to a noisy environment without thinking about the potential damage they may receive. The ear is a delicate organ and hearing can be easily damaged by loud noises.

A baby or young child will probably not protest when the environment is too loud and as their hearing is especially sensitive it can be easily damaged for the rest of their life.

Damaged hearing can cause problems with sleeping, behaviour and learning, and it is not always picked up until the child is older.

To learn more, check out the hearing facts below:

Dangerous levels:

  • 150 dB = rock music peak
  • 140 dB = firearms, jet engine
  • 130 dB = jackhammer
  • 120 dB = jet plane take-off, amplified rock music at 4-6 ft., car stereo, band practice
  • 120 dB = ambulance siren
  • 120 -140 dB = Motorcycles, firecrackers

Extremely loud:

  • 105 dB = helicopter
  • 100 – 115 dB = iPods used at maximum levels
  • 100 dB = snowmobile, chain saw, pneumatic drill, night clubs
  • 95 dB = motorcycle
  • 90 dB = lawnmower, shop tools, truck traffic, subway
  • 90 dB = noisy toys
  • 80-96 dB = restaurants

Very loud:

  • 80 dB = alarm clock, city street traffic
  • 70 dB = vacuum cleaner

Normal levels:

  • 60 dB = normal conversation
  • 35 dB = whispered voice

Unsafe Levels of Exposure:

  • 110 decibels or louder : regular exposure of more than one minute risks permanent hearing loss.
  • 100 decibels: No more than 15 minutes of unprotected exposure is recommended.
  • 85 decibels: Prolonged exposure to any noise above 85 decibels can cause gradual hearing loss.
  • Many recreational activities also involve dangerous levels of noise. Hunting, target shooting, motor boating, waterskiing, jet skiing, snowmobiling, woodworking, rock music, stereo headsets and iPods are sources of hazardous noise. Unsafe levels of noise can also be found in some movie theaters, dance clubs, bars, sporting events, and exercise centers.
  • Children can be exposed to hazardous levels of noise through a variety of toys, such as those with horns and sirens, musical instruments, squeeze toys, and battery-operated toys that emit sounds.
  • Various types of travel can also pose risks. Subways, airplanes, riding a motorcycle without protection and other transit noise are capable of causing damage to your hearing.

Ear plugs are generally better for low frequency noise and ear muffs for high frequency noise. Properly fitted earplugs or muffs reduce noise 15 to 30 dB. However, there must be a complete air seal between the hearing protector and the skin for these devices to be effective. Check with your audiologist to find out what best suits you.


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