Protect Children from Hearing Loss
Understand the Threat of Noise
Noise is one of the greatest threats to your child’s hearing – but it is preventable and is largely within our control. And with your coaching and support, your child can become hear smart and learn how to protect their hearing.
There is a wide range of noise in our everyday lives that may be damaging to a child’s hearing – TVs, MP3s, audio speaker systems, power tools, lawn mowers, hair dryers, kitchen appliances, and video games are examples of noise sources we need to monitor in an effort to protect children’s hearing.
Become hear smart.
Teach your child to become hear smart – they should value hearing and understand how loud noises can harm their ability to hear. Insist on the use of earplugs and other forms of ear protection when needed or to use their fingers or hands to quickly plug their ears whenever there is an unexpected, prolonged loud sound. Additionally, urge your child to keep the volume down when using earbuds or headphones and limit the amount of time they use them.
Most important, be a role model. Show your child that you value your hearing. Use ear protection when it is needed and insist that your child does the same.
Living with Hearing Loss
Here are tips you can use – alone or in combination with hearing aids – to help you understand and communicate more effectively:
- Whether they are aware of it or not, almost every person with a hearing loss can read lips and body language. To facilitate this, make eye contact with the person with whom you are speaking and make sure you can clearly see their face and mouth.
- Let people know that you have a hearing loss. As a result, they are more likely to look directly at you when talking, speak clearly and repeat themselves if asked. An added bonus – you’ll reduce your level of frustration … and theirs!
- Be aware of your listening environment – turn off or move away from competing noises such as music, and move close to the people whose voices you wish to hear.
- Anticipate how you will interact in social situations – choose quieter restaurants or venues; position yourself away from disruptive sounds; move closer to the presenter, if it’s a speaking event.
- Use assistive listening technology such as an amplified phone.
- Above all, be patient and don’t let it get to you.
Preventing hearing loss
The ability to hear is a gift – a sensory experience that must be valued and protected. The following everyday tips will help reduce your risk of noise-induced hearing loss:
- Keeping down the volume—on smartphones, MP3s, music listening systems, televisions, and other audio devices. This is particularly important if you have young children, because their ears are more delicate. If you have dull hearing or ringing in your ears after listening to music or watching television make sure you lower the volume next time.
- Limit the duration and volume when using earbuds and headphones.
- Use noise cancelling headphones that block out extreme noise from jet engines, lawn mowers, power tools, etc.
- Use ear protection equipment such as ear muffs or ear plugs if you work in a noisy environment, such as a nightclub, a garage workshop or a construction site.
- Use ear protection at loud concerts and sporting events, such hockey and motor sports
- Do not insert objects, such as cotton swabs, into your ears or your children’s ears.
- Be aware of the symptoms of common causes of hearing loss.
- Visit your Hearing Instrument Practitioner or your child’s family doctor if experiencing hearing problems.