Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Hearing Protection for Children

      I attend many concerts. I enjoy everything from quiet folk singers with an acoustic guitar to loud hard rock, and everything in between. I never leave for the show without hearing protection.
      I am not proud of some of my loud noise exposures earlier in life. For a few months one of my jobs before med school was operating stone crushing equipment and decided to not wear hearing protection (ear muff style). Also, I attended quite a few a few rock concerts without hearing protection where I left with loud ringing in my ears. Although an audiologist and ENT told me recently that my hearing is a little better than average for my age, I wish I could take back these loud noise exposures. I want to have good hearing into my retirement years!
      Protecting your children and their hearing from loud noise is important. Although the ringing in the ears might quiet down after a few hours or days, permanent slight damage happens with these loud exposures that can add up over time to hearing loss. Those events where this can happen include music concerts, air shows, monster truck shows, fireworks, and many others. Many an adult jumps when the cannon goes off when the Columbus Blue Jackets games!
      Certainly, one way to avoid these loud noises is simply to not go to those events where the loud noises are present. I realize this is not always desired or practical. So what else to do? Wear hearing protection. Ear muff style hearing protection is available for younger and older children. These typically cost about $15-30 dollars. For older children, ear plugs are available -- for 3 years and above if the kids are supervised well and tolerate the ear plugs. They are readily found on Amazon. The Banz website here has information and products available for different ages. The Ear Plug Superstore is available here and has products for different ages.
     Keep those ears protected and the hearing at it's best!

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