Loud Noises and Infant Hearing

Critical Keys to Keeping Your Baby Safe: Infant Hearing

What do fire engines, vacuum cleaners and toy phones all have in common? They produce dangerously loud sounds that can cause significant and irreversible damage to young ears. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that repeated exposure to loud noises has left 5.2 million American children with some degree of hearing loss.

The delicate ears of infants are particularly susceptible to the dangers of loud noises. Because of this, the CDC urges parents to follow these tips to protect their babies against ear-piercing noises:

  • Lower the volume on the TV, stereo and computer. Also, limit trips with your baby to places where noise levels can be exceptionally high for prolonged periods of time.

  • Listen to toys in the store before buying them. If a toy's sound hurts your ears, it will hurt your child's ears, too.
  • Keep your baby away from objects that generate a lot of noise, such as a vacuum cleaner or hair dryer. Rule of thumb: If it's uncomfortably loud for you, it's too loud for your child.

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