Posted August 23, 2010
Parents want their kids to learn and succeed in school. While we frequently focus on the academics side of school, we forget to consider physical issues that may affect our kids’ ability to succeed, such as hearing impairment.
More than 1.8 million kids have hearing problems, according to research from the Better Hearing Institute. Frequently parents and teachers are not aware that kids are experiencing hearing difficulties.
School-age kids who cannot hear properly may be reticent to participate in classroom discussions or activities, especially if background noises cause the sounds to blend together. Hearing issues can also contribute to kids experiencing low self-esteem and attention deficit, and also may lead to behavioral problems.
To evaluate your kids’ hearing, schedule a hearing evaluation examination with a certified audiologist.
Little Ears are Sensitive to Adult Noises
Adults are usually accustomed to loud noises and forget their kids’ little ears are sensitive to noises. Their hearing should be protected so they don’t have ongoing hearing issues throughout life. Most parents would be surprised to learn that sounds associated with routine activities can produce high levels of sound that, over time, can damage kids’ hearing. Consider these examples of common family activities:
- Sporting events (95-105 decibels)
- Mowing the lawn (90 decibels)
- Driving (up to 88 decibels)
- Riding a subway or train (90+ decibels)
To protect kids’ hearing, parents may want to invest in noise-reduction earmuffs that can be put on easily in loud environments. Parents should also monitor the volume level of personal music devices to help minimize the potential for hearing damage.
When sound waves hit the eardrum in the middle ear, the eardrum starts to vibrate, and moves three tiny bones in your ear. These bones help sound move along into the inner ear. The vibrations travel to the cochlea, which is filled with liquid and lined with cells that have thousands of tiny hairs on the surfaces. The outer hair cells take the sound information, amplify it, and tune it. The inner hair cells send the sound information to your hearing nerves, which carry it to your brain and allow you to hear. (Source: Kids’ Hearing Health)
Have your kids exhibited any signs of hearing problems? Have you had their hearing tested by a hearing specialist? Share your experiences and I’ll include them in a future blog. – Ken
For more information on the impact of sound on your hearing, visit the Deafness Research Foundation, (http://www.drf.org/How+Loud+is+Too+Loud%3F).