Back-to-School Tips for Protecting Children’s Hearing

Noisy Planet



As summer winds down and bathing suits are replaced by backpacks, our thoughts turn to the new school year. With the school bell about to ring,  we remind you to help your children protect their hearing during what can be a noisy school year. School bells, band practice, cafeteria noise, and even jammed hallways can be quite loud—even loud enough to put students’ hearing at risk.

Here are some tips to make sure your children’s ears are protected:

  • Give your children earplugs to carry in their backpacks. Your children can take steps to protect their hearing if they have earplugs to use in noisy situations that can potentially cause damage. Exposure to noise at 85 decibels or higher can increase the risk of hearing loss. For information on how to help your children use earplugs, read about sound advice on hearing protection.
  • Schedule a hearing test for your children before school starts. To do their best in school, children must clearly hear teachers’ instruction. Some schools periodically screen students for hearing loss. Check with your children’s school to see if and when the school nurse administers the test. If your school does not offer screening, ask your pediatrician about screening options.
  • Talk to your children’s teachers about noise-induced hearing loss. Have a chat with or send an email to your children’s teachers about noise-induced hearing loss and how important it is to protect young ears. You might even suggest that the teachers take advantage of sound meters that can be used in the classroom to monitor noise levels. Sound meters can be purchased from an electronics store or online. Downloadable sound meter apps are also available for most smartphones.


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