Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Listen Up! campaign to prevent child hearing loss- what this means to you

My daughter Vivian and I flew across the country today on our way home from visiting my parents. And like most parents, I struggled to think of ways to keep my baby entertained on the long plane rides.  At one point today, I turned on the cartoons on the TV and put my headphones in Vivian's ears. She didn't like it, so that didn't last long, but it never occurred to me that I could be damaging her hearing with an action like that.

So, it was good timing for me to get an email today about a campaign by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).  Apparently, the majority of people who purchase MP3 players to give as gifts are moms, meaning that the majority of recipients are kids. And kids don't always know how to properly use audio technology safely- they're kids- they don't know when something is too loud!

In addition to not knowing the proper volume for listening to their music, kids are often exposed to media in a much larger quantity than adults. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, in 2004 children were exposed to 6 hours and 21 minutes of media (TV, music, internet, etc.) per day, and by 2009 this had increased to 7 hours and 38 minutes per day or 10 hours and 45 minutes per day when media multitasking is taken into account. ASHA says that this puts kids at an increased risk of hearing loss.

So, what can we do as moms? We need to be aware of how much media our kids are exposed to during the day. And we need to follow two other simple rules:
  • Keep the volume down- half volume is best
  • Limit listening time- give your hearing 'quiet breaks'
Keep these things in mind and help keep your child's hearing safe! Find more information on hearing loss at the ASHA website.

I posted this information as part of my involvement with the Global Influence network. I was not compensated for this post, but was entered into a gift card drawing as thanks for my time in posting this information.