In recognition of Better Speech and Hearing Month, a note from PSD’s Speech-Language Pathology Team.

Headphone/Earbud Safety

Did you know that the fastest rising incidence of hearing loss in our country is occurring in our 12-17 year olds? And exposure to noise is the cause of 1/3 of all hearing loss. With the increasing amount of time our children spend plugged into technology in some form or another, it is important that parents, children, and teens are aware of the dangers of listening to programming at too loud of levels!

If you want to measure the loudness level of your own or your child’s earbuds/headphones, you can download apps such as Audio Spectrum, which will evaluate the loudness level of any environment (this requires two devices; one playing, and one using the app to read the volume). Anything listened to over 85 dB for any length of time is potentially dangerous. You can also test loudness by asking your child to play their device at a typical level, and hold the earbuds out at arm’s length to see if you can hear what is playing. Another rule of thumb for volumes being too loud is if you ae able to hear your child’s/teen’s music when they are wearing earbuds. To experience what it would be like to have a hearing loss, (Click Here).

Parents of younger children can consider purchasing volume limiting head phones on sites such as Amazon to ensure their children are never increasing volumes to an unsafe level. And parents can also limit the volume level of a child’s phone (on iphone, select settings, -music, -volume limit). Now is the time to teach our children about the relationship of listening at loud levels and possible hearing loss in the future!

~PSD Speech-Language Pathology Department

Donna Boudreau, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Professional Practice Expert/Team Lead
Speech-Language Department
Poudre School District
Fort Collins, CO

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