A lot of kids today know how to swipe screens before they can even talk. The ever increasing use of smart devices has led to more sound exposure to children from an early age. Back in the days the use of loudspeakers was more common, and it was easier to manage the noise level as the entire household was aware of the loudness. Today however, kids are often using headphones and earphones and the adults can not hear the sound level and it‘s more difficult to monitor how loud the audio is.
This results in more children with hearing issues. This is a direct impact of technology on children‘s hearing. Any damage to hearing is permanent and it can impact kids social and educational skills. Children are running their hearing mileage clock much faster than we did before. This impact on hearing is a mix of both the amount of time kids are spending using technology, compared to years before, and the volume of the sound they are listening to. Adult headphones can generate very high SPL levels, in addition, exposure time in potentially much greater with things such as endless content playing on YouTube. It is all about cumulative sound exposure over time, the WHO recommends that children don‘t listen to volume higher than 85dB for long periods of time. According to them 85dB can be safe for listening up to 8 hours, while listening to 94dB volume can be safe for less than 2 hours.There is no age limit on when children can start using headphones. Overall the use of headphones is not an issue, it is all about choosing the right pair of headphones for your child. Children have the uncanny tendency to maximize the volume when listening, so controlling the volume to regulate the overall sound exposure is key to keep their hearing safe. BuddyPhones are designed to strictly limit the maximum loudness of the headphones over the whole exposure. It is important for us to produce a very even and balanced spectral response with low distortion. In order to protect their kids hearing, it is also important for parents to manage the cumulative exposure. General good practice around health and wellbeing is also an important factor in the hearing organs‘ recovery. That includes good nutrition and ample sleep. Lets all help raise awareness on Noise Induced Hearing Loss, educate our kids about safe listening habits and make sure our little one‘s ears are protected. If you want to know more about how to to prevent NIHL you can visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website (www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/hearingloss/noise.html) or visit Noisy Planet‘s guide for parents (www.noisyplanet.nidcd.nih.gov/parents/too-loud-too-long) kids (www.noisyplanet.nidcd.nih.gov/kids-preteens/where-is-the-noise) and educators (www.noisyplanet.nidcd.nih.gov/educators/tips-to-teach-kids ). You can also visit our website for tips and tricks on preventing NIHL (www.buddyphones.com/pages/protect-your-hearing)