Preventing Hearing Loss
Thinking about taking your kids to the races or a weekend music festival? One thing you might want to consider packing along with the sunscreen and sippy cups is hearing protection. Protecting your children’s hearing not only prevents immediate problems, but it also sets them up for healthy hearing habits down the road.
Believe it or not, you have hair cells inside your ears. These hair cells are key to your hearing, and do not grow back on their own. Scientists are working on ways to regrow them in a lab, but for now if you’ve damaged those hair cells with loud noise, it means there is permanent damage to your hearing. And hearing loss, especially at an early age, can contribute to speech and language difficulties, difficulty paying attention, and many other problems.
So when does your child need hearing protection? There are two things to consider--noise that lasts too long, and noise that is too loud. Here are some situations when hearing protection would be helpful:
- Riding an ATV, snowmobile, dirt bike, or farming equipment
- Attending a loud event like an airshow, concert, or auto races
- When attending or participating in shooting or hunting events since gunshots can be extremely loud
- Spending time near a parent while they work with power or yard tools
Hearing protection for kids can include either foam earplugs or earmuff-type headbands. Foam earplugs are generally cheaper and more widely available, but many retail stores carry earmuff hearing protection for kids too. You may need to try both to see which one your child will tolerate.
If your child is already suffering from hearing loss and needs therapy to address speech and language, sensory processing or other issues, give us a call. Our outpatient therapy programs have experience dealing with many different types and causes of hearing loss.
Contact us for more information. In Sioux Falls, 605-444-9700. In Sioux City, 712-226-Able(2253). In Rapid City, 605-791-7400. Or, email us at info@LifeScapeSD.org
Learn more about our therapy services here.
-Bridget Page, MA, CCC-SLP, Speech-Language Pathologist, LifeScape