Monday, 19 November 2007

Pump down the volume to protect kids' ears

Filed under: ,

Mp3 players are sure to pop up on your child's holiday gift list at some point in time, and eventually, you may give in. Like any other electronic gadget, however, mp3 players may require some parental guidance to be used safely and appropriately.

Pediatric experts estimate that 12.5% of kids age 6 to 19 have already suffered some noise-related hearing loss. Since hearing damage is cumulative and irreversible, it makes sense to protect your kids' ears now.

Mp3 players can be used safely, with a few guidelines:
  • Buy a model with preset volume limits.
  • Ask your pediatrician or family doctor to show your child what an appropriate volume level is.
  • If you can hear the music your child is listening to, it's too loud.
  • Teach your child about the 60/60 rule. Limit music to 60 minutes per day at 60% of the maximum volume.
  • Replace earbuds (which send noise directly into the ear) with older-style headphones. Better yet, find a pair of noise-canceling earphones that will block out enough background noise to allow your child to turn down the volume.
  • Ringing in the ears is a sign that music is too loud.
  • Get regular hearing checks.
These rules apply to the music-loving adult as well, so keep them in mind when you're enjoying your own mp3s.

No comments: