The top priority for most parents is to ensure that their baby is safe and healthy, and while their hearing may not be the first thing a parent thinks of, it’s very important that your baby’s ears are protected from loud noises. Your baby’s growing ears are very susceptible to damage, especially in the first few years of life when their hearing is developing at a rapid rate. A baby’s auditory system is very fragile, and once damage is done to a child’s hearing it can’t be reversed. That’s why it’s so important that we provide hearing protection to babies and toddlers to ensure they have optimal hearing as they grow.
Protect Your Child’s Hearing
Hearing protection for babies not only prevents damage to their hearing, it also assists in keeping a baby content and calm in environments that are noisy and overwhelming to a small child. We must keep in mind that babies and toddlers are much more sensitive to loud noises then we, as adults, are. Their ear canal is smaller than ours which means that the sound pressure generated is much greater for a baby or toddler than it is for us. This basically means that a noise that might be loud and uncomfortable to an adult is much louder and more uncomfortable for a child.
Dangerous Environments for Babies and Toddlers
The hearing damage caused to babies and small children is cumulative, and permanent, which is why it’s very important that you monitor your baby’s surroundings to ensure that the noise they are exposed to does not exceed recommended levels. Consider all the loud noises that your baby or child is being subjected to; noises like the volume on your television set, fireworks displays, events like concerts, sporting events, festivals, and so on, and general household appliances, like your hairdryer, vacuum cleaner, and kitchen blender. Noise is measured in decibels (dB), and safe levels depend on the duration of exposure. It is generally agreed that noises less than 80 dB do not damage hearing, providing the exposure is not prolonged.
How Do I Know What Type of Ear Protection to Get for My Baby
To begin with, earplugs should not be used on infants or young children because they’re quite small and may present a choking hazard. Ear protection for babies must be protection that’s designed specifically for them. If you search the Internet you’ll find there are a number of ear defender options, but it can still be a daunting task trying to work out what type of protection is most appropriate for your child.
The most important aspect of buying ear protection for your baby or toddler is the fit. Make sure that not too much pressure is put on the child’s head. The product needs to fit snugly, but not too tight. Also, ensure that the child can move his/her head when using the ear protection, without it slipping or falling off. Read all instructions and recommendations pertaining to the ear protection you purchase, because some products should not be used for long periods of time.
Encourage Your Children to Protect Their Own Hearing
Teach your children that their hearing is very precious and must be protected. Once children understand this, they’ll be comfortable protecting their own hearing as they age. Did you know that one-third of all hearing loss is caused by loud workplaces, loud music, and loud recreational equipment? It’s because of these three factors that more people are losing their hearing at much younger ages than they were 30 years ago. Of course, it’s very important that families enjoy exciting lives without the concern that the environment could be causing damage to the children’s ears. By using ear defenders, the whole family can now safely enjoy family events – stress free!