5 Recommendations to Take Care of Children's Hearing Health
As parents, we’re obliged to protect our children’s well-being through love and prevention. This not only includes ensuring that they have a good diet and frequent pediatric check-ups, but also employing strategies to promote their proper development. Today, we’ll present some tips to take care of children’s hearing health.
The ability to hear and understand sounds is crucial for human learning, communication, and socialization. However, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 32 million children in the world have hearing problems, being one of the most common disorders in childhood. Taking preventive measures is necessary to avoid possible problems in the future
Take care of children’s hearing health with these tips
The Spanish Association of Pediatrics (AEP) reports that three out of every 1,000 newborns have some type of deafness or total or partial hearing loss when it comes to hearing sounds in one or both of their ears. Early detection of these hearing problems, accompanied by basic care, can make a big difference in improving the quality of life of their children.
Here are some recommendations to take care of children’s hearing health.
1. Perform regular hearing checkups
Detecting deafness in newborns is crucial to ensure their proper development. In many cases, hearing loss in infants isn’t evident until they’re several months old, which can delay diagnosis and treatment. However, the earlier it’s identified, the sooner you can intervene to minimize the negative effects.
Be sure to take your child to each of their pediatric checkups and keep in mind that many hospitals now screen newborns and infants for hearing loss. These tests usually involve placing a special hearing aid in the baby’s ear to measure responses to sounds. Online, you can easily find hearing clinics near you so you can go with your little one in case of any sign of alarm.
2. Use hearing protection in noisy environments
The use of hearing protectors in noisy places is essential to protect children’s ears. Very loud and constant sounds can damage hearing, especially in young children, who have more sensitive ears than adults.
A study by the Acoustical Society of America reported that children’s exposure to loud recreational noise, such as from concerts or sporting events, should be reduced. It’s important for parents to teach children to use hearing protection properly, such as earplugs or noise-canceling headphones to take care of their hearing health.
3. Set volume limits on electronic devices
When children have access to smart devices such as cell phones, tablets, computers, or televisions, the WHO recommends setting and blocking the maximum volume so that children don’t exceed more than 60% of the total capacity.
Many of these electronic devices have parental control options that allow limiting the maximum volume and blocking access to inappropriate content. Likewise, parents have an obligation to set playtime limits through positive communication.
4. Avoid prolonged use of headphones
Using headphones at a high volume can affect the hearing health of children and adults, being one of the main causes of hearing loss. It’s important for children to use headphones for no more than one hour a day at a moderate volume. It should be noted that headphones that are placed directly in the ear can be more harmful to hearing than those that are placed over the ear. It’s better for children to use the latter as much as possible.
5. Encourage physical activity and good nutrition
Regular physical activity can improve cardiovascular health and lower blood pressure, which reduces the risk of diseases that can damage hearing. In addition, a balanced diet that includes foods rich in vitamins and minerals, such as fruits and vegetables, can help protect the hearing system.
Due to the above, it’s important to encourage children to play games to exercise and to provide them with a healthy diet from an early age.
Follow these recommendations to care for children’s hearing health
The ability to listen is fundamental to the development and well-being of children. It’s crucial to take measures to protect their ears from early childhood. Remember that parents and caregivers have a fundamental role in the care of children, as we must teach them good hearing and hygiene habits while supervising their exposure to noise.It might interest you...
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- AEP. (2020). Sordera o hipoacusia en el niño pequeño. Asociación Española de Pediatría. (Recuperado el 5/04/2023). https://enfamilia.aeped.es/temas-salud/sordera-hipoacusia
- OMS. (2020). Conjunto de herramientas para dispositivos y sistemas de escucha segura. Organización Mundial de la Salud y la Unión Internacional de Telecomunicaciones. ISBN 978-92-4-000164-0. https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/331001/9789240001640- spa.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
- Roberts, B., Neitzel, R. (2019). Noise exposure limit for children in recreational settings: Review of available evidence. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 146, 3922. https://asa.scitation.org/doi/full/10.1121/1.5132540
- Spankovich, C., Le Prell C. (2019). The role of diet in vulnerability to noise-induced cochlear injury and hearing loss. J Acoust Soc Am. 2019 Nov;146(5):4033. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31795697/