Avoiding iPod ear

Filed under: Health & Safety: Babies, Gadgets, That's Entertainment

My iPod has a function where I can limit just how high the volume will go and lock in the maximum volume with a pass code. Unless Ellie figures out the code, she cannot turn the volume up any higher than what I have set for her. This works fine for Ellie. For me, I like to unlock the volume control and blast my favorite tunes way up loud.

This, my friends, causes iPod ear. I already have some hearing loss, no doubt as a result of too many hours spent listening to rock and roll at ear-splitting levels as a kid. This past weekend, I had the opportunity to listen to my music more than I usually do. I paid for my fun with an earache that lasted several days.

Since Ellie is six and the iPod is mine, I have complete control over what goes in and what comes out. For older kids (and adults who act like kids), playing tunes very loudly through ear buds can and does cause hearing loss.
According to James McCauley, a Tupelo neurotologist, ear damage is cumulative and hearing loss is not uncommon in older adults. But he is beginning to see more younger patients suffering from hearing loss and blames MP3 players. "An iPod can put out probably 120 decibels, which is past the pain threshold," he said. "You can do damage as quickly as 15 minutes with that much sound, and with continued use, you can have permanent hearing loss."

So, how do you avoid damaging your ears while enjoying your tunes? "I recommend the 60/60 rule'," McCauley said. "Listen at less than 60 percent of the maximum volume, for less than 60 minutes a day."

I broke all those rules this weekend and I am sorry for it.

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