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Hearing loss in children

Protect your child's hearing by avoiding loud noises

Approximately 12 percent of children ages 6-19, a third of people over age 60 and half of people over 85 have hearing loss.

Noise-induced hearing loss is permanent but is almost always preventable. According to the American Academy of Audiology, a growing number of children and teens are damaging their hearing by prolonged exposure to loud noise.

Noise-induced hearing loss is caused by damage to the hair cells that are found in the inner ear. Hair cells are small sensory cells that convert the sounds we hear into electrical signals that travel to the brain. Once damaged, our hair cells cannot grow back, causing permanent hearing loss.

Protecting children's hearing

Wearing proper hearing protection, such as earmuffs or earplugs, when in noisy situations, such as concerts, sporting events, fireworks displays or car races can protect hearing. Also, teaching children to keep the volume low on their devices can protect hearing. Finally, telling children it's OK to walk away from loud noises can help.

Common risks to children's hearing include:

  • Noisy toys
  • Sporting events
  • Band class
  • Motorbikes
  • Farm equipment
  • Movie theaters
  • Shop class
  • Arcades
  • Concerts
  • Firearms
  • Fireworks
  • Power tools
  • MP3 players and other devices.