Many modern parents are becoming more and more lax in managing their children, especially in the use of electronic devices. Many people agree that looking at the screen of a phone or TV too early and for too long will adversely affect children. However, few people pay attention to another issue which is extremely serious. That is the overuse of earphones or earbuds too soon. Because hearing loss can occur slowly and delicately, it is difficult to monitor over time. And when you realize it’s a problem, it may be too late.
Consider the volume and duration
The first and most obvious thing to note is to determine if your child is using headphones in a way that can permanently damage his or her hearing. And the key is how loud the volume is being used. In general, 85 decibels is considered the maximum volume in a safe range, to listen for a limited time. For comparison, the 85 decibel level is described as the equivalent volume of city traffic or the operation of a pneumatic lawn mower.
But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), anything above 70 decibels, such as the noise level of a washing machine or dishwasher being heard for prolonged periods, can also be harmful. And at maximum volume, most smartphones, tablets and other personal listening devices can reach 105-110 decibels, which CDC says can cause hearing loss in less than 5. minute.
As a rule of thumb, when the volume or duration increases, the other (hearing) will decrease. And remember that the noise is accumulated, which is not only how children listen to music at a loud volume but also what they hear throughout the day.
Consider the type of headset used
Not all headsets are created with volume levels and safety for all ages. The best way is to buy your kids some types of headphones for children, usually limited to 85 decibels, compared to conventional headphones can be up to 110. However, they should not be used. headset for a long time.
Another (more expensive) option is a noise-canceling headset that eliminates background noise, making it easier for children to hear what they need to hear without having to turn the volume up too high. But since they are good at eliminating background noise, you must be careful when using them. For example, do not allow children to use when walking or cycling, or in places where people need to hear things like people screaming or honking.
How to know when the headset volume is too high
It is difficult to judge whether the volume level is 70 or 75 decibels, or 85 decibels is more dangerous. If you really want to make sure your child is listening at a safe volume, Dr. Sharon Sandridge, director of clinical clinical services in audiology at Cleveland Hospital, recommends using a sound level application. on smartphone. However, Sandridge warns that these applications are not verified, so they are sometimes not as accurate as expected.
So, a simpler way, is to check if the headset volume is too loud or not by talking to your child with a normal voice at a distance of an arm. If they can’t hear you, the volume level is too loud. And if you can hear the sound coming from their headphones at that distance, it’s probably too loud. And make sure you check back often to make sure everything changes right after a few seconds, when you’ve just left.
The early warning signs of hearing loss
Dr. Brian Fligor, a pediatric audiologist in Boston, says that you can see if your child has a hearing problem if your child says “What?” regular. In addition, some common symptoms are tinnitus, congestion in the ears, vibration, pounding, sensitive ears or pain, even if the symptoms are temporary and need to be noticed.
“Hearing can be removed quite easily and there is no cure,” said Dr. Fligor.
Fligor also says parents should have their child’s hearing checked at least every three years to catch any problems.