The school year has finally come to a close, and vacation time is upon us. Whether you are traveling, attending local events, or just laying out on the beach, try to keep your child’s hearing in mind. Some summer activities – while great for creating long-lasting memories – bring with them the potential to harm your child’s hearing health.
Here are some tips on how to protect your child’s hearing during the summer months:
The nosebleeds are the best seat in the house.
If you’re attending a summer concert or major league sporting event, try to position yourself as far away from the speakers as possible. The closer you are to the source of the noise, the greater the risk for immediate, sudden and potentially permanent hearing loss. Your ears will thank you.
If you are at an indoor venue, go outside to give your ears and your child’s a rest when possible. At indoor venues, sound has a smaller space to travel, making reverberation much more intense than if you were outside. When you are listening to your favorite band outdoors, the noise is not as highly concentrated, making it a lot easier on the ears.
No matter the type of venue, hearing protection is recommended both for moms and their children.
If an event is loud enough that you are uncomfortable, it’s safe to assume your child is uncomfortable as well.
The key to hearing protection is fit. If hearing protection is ill-fitted, it will not be effective. There are specific protective earmuffs and small headbands designed to fit children comfortably (and they’re quite fashionable, in my opinion!).
Evaluate your Fourth of July celebration venue.
Fireworks are a beautiful sight to see, but the potential hearing damage that could occur isn’t pretty. Fireworks can be substantially louder than recommended safe sound levels. While it’s tempting to remain front and center for the best view, it’s best to keep a safe distance. You’ll still have a great view while protecting your child’s hearing and your own.
Another suggestion would be to wear earplugs or protective earmuffs as they are an inexpensive and easy way to protect your hearing.
Teach your kids the value of hearing.
Educating your child on which noises can cause damage (lawnmowers, personal listening devices, etc.) and what the repercussions are is vital to their long-term hearing health. Encouraging them to turn down devices in general, cover their ears when an unexpected loud sound occurs, and use protective earmuffs when loud noises can be anticipated will help them to get into the habit of protecting themselves all year long.
If you hear ringing in your ears or notice a slight decrease in hearing after being exposed to loud sounds, those are warning signs that damage has occurred and precautions should be taken next time to avoid permanent hearing loss.