Noise creates a public health hazard, doctors group says

Talk with your kids about their use of ear buds or headphones
Pediatricians are sounding the alarm on noise and its effects on children
Published: Oct. 23, 2023 at 6:33 AM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Our world is full of sounds, but some can be more harmful than others, especially to kids. Pediatricians are sounding the alarm on what could affect your child’s hearing long-term.

It’s a finding about the risk of permanent hearing loss, so this is a serious conversation. The American Academy of Pediatrics says noise -- not just sounds, but noise -- is a serious public health hazard that goes largely unrecognized. The academy just released a public service announcement about this.

Kids have smaller ear canals than adults, and experts say that intensifies those higher-frequency sounds.

Pediatricians say it’s important to prevent your child’s harmful exposure to noise as early as you can.

Also, talk to your kids about those ear buds they wear for music. A child should still be able to hear you speaking when they’re wearing ear buds or headphones.

Let them know high volumes can cause hearing loss or tinnitus, which can make everyday sounds unbearable. Doctors also suggest taking breaks from those devices.

AAP says 60% of kids and young adults are exposed to sounds that can be harmful.

AAP says even common, everyday noises like road traffic or television playing in the background can disrupt sleep, learning, and quality of life.

Parents are encouraged to advocate for reduced noise spaces in early child care settings or schools.

All of this will be published in next month’s issue of “Pediatrics.”