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Back to school: How to protect your child from Noise-Induced hearing loss this school year

A conversation between a mother and her 7-year-old son

Mom: Yo Dan, get those shoeboxes and take them upstairs

Boy: Mom, you say what? Con’ hear you

Mom: I know you can. Don’t make me repeat myself

Ten minutes later, mom returns to find Dan still seated across his Anime. Shocked to the teeth, the mom yelled,

Mom: Yo Dan, what did I tell you to do?

Boy: (sober voice) But mom, I told you I couldn't hear you

Mom: (frustrated tone) Just take the boxes upstairs.

Does this sound like your boy every time you ask him to do something? Well, don’t be crossed with him.

Sometimes they really can't hear you. And you know why? Cus’ they spend a good chunk of their time in highly noisy environments – AKA, school.

Even science confirms this:

A recent report revealed that nearly 12.5 percent of children aged 6-19 years old have a hearing impairment of at least 16 decibels (dB) in one or both ears, resulting from excessive noise exposure.

Do you know what a “16 decibel sound intensity means?” That’s about half the sound level of your regular whisper (30 dB). Can you imagine?

Luckily, there are measures to take to change the narrative. In this article are helpful tips parents can use to protect their little ones from the noisy school environments they spend most of their time.

How to protect your child from Noise-Induced hearing loss this school year

  1. Start by sensitizing them

How old were you before you finally realized staying in noisy environments could affect your hearing in the long run? I’m guessing you were already a teenager or an adult.

Just like you were when you were their age, most kids don't know about the risk they face when they stay too long in noisy cafeterias and packed hallways. When the noise gets too loud, most of them just place their hands on their ears and hope that that will help.

You need to teach your kids about the risk they face every time they stay back in such environments. If possible, you can even show them videos of kids like them receiving ear treatments from audiologists. This might get their attention better. Tell them, if they don’t want to end up like those kids visiting the ear doctors, then they need to beware of noisy environments at all costs.

  1. Be proactive by getting the right hearing aids

It’s not enough to just do the talk. You also need to walk the walk. And this involves buying the right earmuffs, earplugs, or custom hearing aids.

If your kid has this kind of item in his or her backpack, they can easily wear it anytime they find themselves in crowded spaces or noisy school classrooms.

There's one practice I even find absolutely impressive. And that's the idea of wearing custom hearing aids permanently in kids' ears. This way, you won't have to worry about whether he's using his earplug or not.

Of course, you want to get a cute-looking earplug if you’re making it permanent to avoid other kids making jest of your kid at school. You bet he’ll throw the plug into the WC if his colleagues are making a mockery of it.

  1. Keep them informed of the various noise levels there are

One aspect of parenting many get wrong is the issue of specificity. That is failure to mention specific details while teaching our kids.

It is not enough to simply say avoid noisy places, cover your ears when you find people making noise, and all. You need to get specific with the details. Of course, it may be hard for a 7-year-old, for example, to understand the decibel levels of sounds. But he can still understand that a loud cheer at a school extracurricular activity is riskier to his ears than a classroom noise.

In any case, sit him down and explain the various possible noise scenarios he might encounter and how he needs to behave in every situation. For instance, you can tell him to wear his hearing aids when the noise gets too much in his class. But when he's in a crowded hallway, he should simply walk away as quickly as possible.

  1. Schedule regular hearing tests for your kid

Even with earmuffs and the likes, your kid could still be exposed to ear-threatening noises.

This is why you want to regularly take him to your local ear doctor. From time to time, make plans to visit an audiologist like this hearing aids Toronto doctor on

When an ear doctor administers a hearing test on your kid, he can tell how fine or how badly your kid’s ears are doing.

By and large, don’t just assume they’re fine. Take him or her for a hearing test on a regular basis. Remember, if they’re struggling to hear you at home, they could also be struggling to hear their teachers in school or a honking car on the street.

Is that a risk you’re willing to take? Don’t think so. That’s why you need to meet with a hearing aids Ottawa ear doctor today.

  1. Raise concerns with the school

If you notice your child is subjected to highly noisy environments, speaking directly with the school authorities may be best.

Perhaps they could implement rules that curtail students crowding up in small spaces or making excessive noises in the classroom, café, and other areas of the school.

In case your request gets turned down or falls on deaf ears, you can raise a concern at the next general Parent-teacher conference. You can rest assured other parents will back you up on the subject. Nobody wants to see their kids suffer hearing loss because some school directors refuse to do their jobs.


You only need to be in a school environment one day to understand how loud these kids can be. If you’re serious about protecting your kid’s hearing abilities, then you seriously want to execute all the points we’ve talked about here.

To better understand the intensity of the noise pollution generated in most schools, I recommend checking out this statistical report collected by the International Noise Awareness Day. It is an interesting article, which talks about the extent of sound pollution in most elementary schools.

You’ll be shocked to see how much noise is generated by school bells, alarm clocks, classroom gossips, and even hallway talks.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or the management of EconoTimes

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