Hearing is one of your child’s most valuable assets. We often take hearing for granted, but hearing is what gives our kids the ability to interact with the world around them, engage with family, play with friends, and pay attention in school. You already know that some places are full of dangerously loud sounds, and you worry about your child’s ears at a music festival or sports event. However, did you know that your child’s school might actually be damaging their hearing?
Noise in Schools
Our children spend all day surrounded by noise, in crowded school hallways, on loud bus rides, and in the music room at school. Being in noisy environments all day every day takes a real toll on their hearing health, and your child might start to complain about a pain in their ear, a ringing or buzzing feeling, or having difficulty hearing the teacher in class.
Your child is experiencing noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), and this hearing loss happens when you’ve been exposed to excessively loud noise. Sometimes NIHL can be sudden, from one extremely loud sound. It’s more common for NIHL to be a gradual process over a number of weeks or months, as daily exposure to dangerous noise levels chips away at your hearing and causes hearing loss.
Protecting Your Child’s Hearing
The best way to protect your child’s hearing is to talk to them about the risks of hearing loss, and what sounds could be damaging their ears. Getting them involved is the first step to protecting hearing. As a family, promote good hearing practices, like wearing hearing protection at concerts or sports events, and keeping the volume of the TV within safe listening levels.
Once your child understands the basics of hearing health, pack earplugs in their school bag, and teach them how to wear them correctly. Foam earplugs are a good choice, since they’re small, light-weight and cost effective. They often come in bright colors to make hearing protection more fun, and soon your child’s friends will be asking for a pair.
On the bus: If your child listens to music on the bus or in the car on the way to school, make sure the volume is set to a safe level. You can install parent locks on the volume controls so they can’t turn it up too loud, or give your child noise cancelling headphones so they won’t need to crank up the volume to drown out the sounds around them.
In the Classroom: If your child is in band, enjoy it! Music is a wonderful way to improve language development as well as memory and coordination. But be careful. Music classes are notoriously loud, and could do a lot of damage to your child’s hearing. Talk to the music teacher about hearing protection, and make sure your child is always wearing earplugs during concerts and rehearsals.
In the gym: During recess, in gym class, or on the sports team, sounds can be very loud and damaging to your child’s hearing. Ensure that the school is providing the correct hearing protection during practice as well as competitions.
Schedule a Hearing Test
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 5 million children have noise-induced hearing loss! If you’re worried that your child isn’t hearing as well as they used to, or if they’ve come home from school complaining about a ringing in their ears, call us at Lifestyle Hearing Solutions to book a hearing test. These hearing tests are completely non-invasive, and your child will have fun listening for sounds through our headphones. All they have to do is tell us if they can hear a sound or not, and we’ll find out all there is to know about your child’s hearing loss.
Lifestyle Hearing Solutions
At Lifestyle Hearing Solutions we’re dedicated to helping you find the perfect device, whether for yourself or for your child. We have a selection of hearing devices designed specifically for kids, and we’ll help you find a device you’ll both love. With quality hearing aids, your child will be able to learn and grow alongside their friends, hear the teacher clearly, and participate fully in the classroom. You can rest assured knowing that your child is hearing clearly.