Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Protecting Children's Hearing

Audiologists are applauding Super Bowl winning quarterback Drew Bree for putting what appeared to be headphones on his one-year-old son during the post game celebrating. The New Orleans Saints QB had put low-cost, low-tech earmuff on Baylen to protect his hearing from the stadium’s roaring crowd. The lightweight foam-filled ear cups from Peltor weigh less than half a pound and typically cost under $30. Sales of the earmuff went up 40% following the Super Bowl.

Loud noise at a sporting event from time-to-time may not be significant, but a child like Baylen will likely attend many loud games and that can lead to hearing loss. The noise inside of a football stadium can reach 130 decibels, a dangerous level, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Exposure to noise for more than 15 minutes at 100 decibels is unsafe. Audiologists say children suffer more because of small ear canals. The sound pressure can make noise more intense - as much as 20 decibels greater for children than for adults.

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