The impact of noise on a happy and healthy childhood
Noise is a serious threat to our children's hearing, health, learning and behaviour. On the contrary, silence promotes a learning environment and gives parents and children the opportunity to enjoy each other's company. Parents should try to spend as many relaxing moments as possible with their children, reading, talking and especially listening to their children. All this has a positive effect on childhood. What effect does noise have on childhood?
Noise and the child's hearing
Noise-induced hearing loss in children is a serious problem and affects speech, language, cognitive, social and emotional development. Children are exposed to dangerous noise every day. Noise damages children's hearing, language acquisition, reading and learning, and social interactions. Health experts agree that continuous exposure to noise above 85 decibels will eventually damage hearing.
In a school environment, noise can reach up to 90 decibels, which is the level of city traffic. In a playground full of children, it can be up to an alarming 115 decibels! That's a value that can be measured at a rock concert.
Some rattles, toy phones and musical toys emit sounds at 110 decibels, which is comparable to power tools.
So how to protect children from hearing damage?
Parents should pay attention to noise during children's recreational activities. Consider the noise that toys make before you buy them. Encourage children to turn down their music, TV and computer games if you think they are playing too loud. If your child is in the school band, discuss the volume with the music teacher.
Headphones and earphones. MP3 players and smartphones are known to produce sound levels as high as 105-110 decibels. Children who listen to music this loud for several hours a day face inevitable hearing loss.
Pay attention to the warning signs of noise-induced hearing loss (ringing in the ears, slurred speech), and if you have any questions about your child's hearing, discuss it with your pediatrician or board certified audiologist. Remember that noise-induced hearing loss, even if permanent, is preventable. Take steps to protect your child's hearing today.
Soundproofing the household can also help.