Turn That Music Down!
From the Fifties to the present, parents have moaned about the volume of their kids’ music. Today's teens have music pumped straight into their ears via in-ear headphones, and audiologists are worried. Noise exposure is cumulative over a lifetime, which means that every instance of loud noise chips away at our hearing.
Noise levels over 90 decibels for certain amounts of time can cause irreparable damage to the inner ear. In-ear (ear-bud) earphones can crank out in excess of 100 dBs, well over the danger limit. Damage can happen after as little as 15 minutes.
It’s important to train kids to protect their hearing. Here's a rule of thumb to teach them: when using earphones, they should be able to hear normal conversation at a standard distance. If they can’t, the volume is above the 90 dB top limit. Time to turn it down.
Over-the-ear headphones are generally safer than in-ear models. The best choice is volume-limiting over-the-ear headphones. These models restrict the volume to 89 dBs, and they allow kids to hear what’s going on around them.
Sharing Earbuds is a No-No!
Kids need to know that it’s GROSS to share earbuds. All kinds of funky stuff thrives in the ear canal, and none of it is meant to be swapped. Yes, we’re talking germs (and worse). Click here for a teen-friendly article with a sure-fire, gross-out illustration that should cure every adolescent of the earbud swapping habit.