Kids, deafness, and MP3 players

Filed under: Health & Safety: Babies, Development/Milestones: Babies

An article in Reuters recently reported that teenagers and young adults who listen to MP3 players too loudly and too often risk going deaf 30 years earlier than their parents' generation. Deafness Research UK said a national survey showed that 14 percent of people aged 16 to 34 years use their personal music players for 28 hours a week. More than a third of the 1,000 people questioned in the poll said they had ringing in the ear, a sign of damage to hearing, after listening to loud music.

Young people are exposed to loud noise from MP3 players, sophisticated sound systems in homes, clubs and cars but many are unaware of the damaging effect it can have on hearing. Nearly 40 percent of the people questioned in the poll said they did not know that listening to loud music on a personal music player or in clubs or cars could damage their hearing.

Deafness Research UK advised people to follow the 60-60 rule: Do not listen to your MP3 player at more than 60 percent of maximum volume and do not listen to it for more than 60 minutes at a time. It also added that if the music from a headset is loud enough for the people around to hear, then it is loud enough to cause hearing damage. Noise levels exceeding 105 decibels can damage hearing if endured for more than 15 minutes. Normal conversation is about 60 decibels. Heavy traffic is about 85 decibels, and loud personal music players are 112 decibels (and, according to a note in a sports magazine, the screams and sounds of Maria Sharpova when she serves were recorded at 103 db!).I welcomed this survey, however discouraging. My 13 year old listens to music all the time. I have not thought about any consequences on his hearing, but I do now. I think it is worth mentioning to my children. Do you?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.