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How can I teach my children about hearing safety?

"by " Albert Stein

Of all the discussions you'll have with your children or any young family member about health, one area that is often left uncovered is hearing. And this could expose them to unforeseen risk as they mature. 

Hearing loss is often associated with older generations, as a condition that accompanies the ageing process. However, hearing problems can affect society's youngest members just as easily. According to the World Health Organisation, some 1.1 billion young people who are at risk developing hearing loss due to overexposure to dangerously loud noise*. 

It's recreational noise from sporting events, nightclubs or concerts that is thought to be the source of this worldwide issue, which is why it is vital caregivers teach children how to protect their ears.

There are plenty of ways that you can help younger family members to be hearing safe. Firstly, you can lead by example, making a conscious effort to keep the TV and radio at a safe volume – the National Acoustic Laboratory describes this as below 75 decibels*. To monitor how loud your speakers are, you can use a free sound meter app available for smartphones. 

If you and your kids are attending a sports match or some kind of concert, take along earplugs – passive foam ones can reduce volume by up to 20 decibels*, but they won't impact your ability to enjoy the roar of the crowd and the blasting of the sound system. 

Do your children use personal music devices such as iPods or tablets? Walk them through setting up a volume limit on their device, and explain why it's important to listen at a safe volume – generally no higher than 70 per cent of the maximum. 

Once your kids reach the age of 26, they are eligible for hearing check with Audika. Click here or call 1800 340 631 to request an appointment today.

*WHO, 1.1 billion people at risk of hearing loss. Accessed September 21, 2015. 

*NAL, Hearing Loss Prevention (Protection). Accessed September 21, 2015. 

*Hearnet, Are you at risk? Accessed September 21, 2015.