Effective Ear Protection for Kids Could Save Their Hearing
The importance of effective ear protection for kids is something that is, all too frequently, overlooked both by their parents and their elders in general. The need, however, has become more widespread than at any time in the past as the levels of noise pollution become ever-more problematical.
We live in a society that is well acquainted with the adverse effects on employees of excessive noise in the workplace and one that is prone to become quite vociferous over the level of noise to which their suburban dwellings may be exposed by low-flying aircraft or highway traffic. It is not uncommon for employees to claim compensation for noise-induced deafness and its long term implications as an industrial injury. However, the only time we tend to get hot and bothered about loud music and TV sound is when they are produced by a neighbour and disturbs our sleep.
The need for ear protection for kids could be considerably reduced if, for instance, parents and older siblings were a little less incline to pump up their car stereos until the windows vibrate and the only way to communicate is with hand signals. While each adult may have the right to waive concerns regarding the risk of permanent damage to his or her own hearing, they are not free to expose children to this type of aural abuse.
Most are surprised to learn just how prevalent hearing disorders among younger people have become. They need to aware that acoustic trauma resulting from prolonged and repeated exposure to noise levels above 80 decibels is by far its most common cause. It is claimed that as many as one in eight teenagers in the United States now suffer from some degree of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) and there is little reason to suspect that South African statistics are likely to be any less alarming.
Ear protection for kids then is clearly a matter of urgency. While a little more constraint regarding noise levels in the home and the car would certainly be of help, it is not possible to control the external environment and so where noise abounds, a pair of well-designed and efficient ear defenders or some re-usable earplugs are likely to offer the best solution.
Today’s youngsters are happy to wear earphones when enjoying music from smartphones or iPods and it must be said that these are far preferable to those that are actually inserted into the ear canal and can be particularly damaging. Similar in appearance, well-designed earmuffs not only protect against loud noises without reducing sound quality, but this type of ear protection for kids can also serve as a desirable fashion accessory for those young people who are normally quite concerned about their appearance. For those seeking a less visible solution, the soft, naturally-shaped and comfortable plugs are barely detectable once inserted.
Though for different reasons, both adults and children can benefit from the use of earplugs that are specially designed for swimming. These are ideal for anyone prone to ear infections or who may have been fitted with grommets.
Noise remains a serious threat to hearing and one to which children are most vulnerable. The Ear Institute can test your child’s hearing and recommend the best ear protection for kids.