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What is hearing loss

Why Hearing protection is so important?

Our child’s hearing is something we often take for granted. As the popular saying goes, “Out of sight, out of mind.” Because we can’t see the workings of the inner ears of our child, we’re usually not immediately aware if their hearing has been damaged.

Noise-induced hearing loss is caused by environmental noise and this can happen to both babies and older children. It’s important that we take measures to protect our child’s hearing early on in life. The good news is that noise-induced hearing loss is completely preventable, with knowledge and the right tools.

Effects of hearing loss


Hearing loss has significant effects on children. The earlier the hearing loss occurs in a child’s life, the more it can cause problems down the line. The effects can be serious and can affect various areas of your child’s life, including family life.

Major effects of hearing loss are:

  • Delays in speech and language, resulting in communication difficulties with others, including family members
  • Learning problems due to language deficiency
  • Socialization problems and having low self-esteem due to speech and language difficulties

These have wide-reaching effects on a child’s life. If hearing loss is not treated early, children might experience problems in school, frustration from being misunderstood, and self-isolation. They might have problems making friends and getting along with classmates. 

These are serious issues that should not be taken lightly. It should also be noted that social problems usually happen to children with mild or moderate hearing loss, not profound or severe hearing loss. If your once friendly and easy-going child begins to become more withdrawn and introverted, it’s important to check if hearing has been impaired. 

Noise-induced hearing loss can happen both gradually or suddenly, depending on the type of noise and length of exposure. Like anything related to the health and safety of our children, prevention is always better than cure. Parents should be aware of how to prevent noise-induced hearing loss to prevent future problems.

What is noise-Induced Hearing Loss

The hearing of our children is something most parents take for granted. After the newborn screening is done at the hospital when your baby was born, parents don’t often give a second thought to their child’s hearing. However, it’s important to know that hearing loss can be caused by something present in our everyday environment and we may not even notice that we are harming our own child’s hearing.

When hearing loss is caused by environmental factors, whether gradual or sudden, this is called noise-induced hearing loss. It’s our duty to make sure that our kids, and their hearing, are protected from this and a great way to do this is by using a pair of New Junior baby earmuffs.

What causes noise-induced hearing loss?

First, we need to know what the normal level of noise is. Normal conversation is about 60 decibels. This is the sound level of a casual chat between family and friends. In contrast, whispering is 30 decibels, or half the level of a normal conversation. These levels are considered safe levels of noise. Household kitchen appliances, such as a blender or food processor is about 80-90 decibels. These are still considered safe levels of noise.

Being around noise that is 85 decibels and louder can cause sudden or gradual hearing loss. Some examples of noise that are 85 – 100 decibels are:

  • Busy restaurants
  • Noisy toys
  • Subways
  • Lawn mowers
  • Motorcycles
  • Snow mobiles


Dangerously loud levels are 110 decibels and above, such as the noise caused by:

  • Firecrackers
  • Jet engines
  • Car stereos and portable music players turned up to maximum levels
  • Amplified rock music
  • Ambulance sirens


If your child is consistently exposed to noise that is 80-85 decibels and above, this can cause gradual hearing loss. For example, constant exposure to subway or motorcycle sounds can affect your child’s hearing over time. On the other hand, exposure to dangerously loud levels (110 decibels and above), even just one time and for more than one minute long can instantly cause permanent hearing loss.

What are the effects of noise-induced hearing loss?

Hearing loss in children can be loss of volume or loss of both volume and pitch. Depending on the type of hearing loss, some children will be able to hear sounds that are low- pitched but will not be able to hear high-pitched sounds. Depending on the type of hearing loss, a child might be able to hear some environmental sounds but miss out on others. For example, a child with moderate hearing loss may have difficulty hearing the conversation between two people nearby but can easily hear the sound of a motorcycle from afar.

Any kind of hearing loss in children, whether mild or moderate, can lead to delays in speech and language development, as well as social skills. These delays and issues can give your child a difficult time in communicating effectively with people around them, including you and other members of your family. Noise-induced hearing loss can also cause other physical problems like having trouble sleeping, upset stomach, and an increased heart rate.

Having your child’s hearing treated immediately is essential in helping them live a happy and productive life. In any kind of childhood issue that needs treatment or therapy, early intervention is always best. This gives your child a better chance of having a positive outcome later on in life.


How do I know if noise could be damaging my child’s ears?

Your children’s hearing is something us parents often take for granted. most parents think about it during the newborn screening test and when your baby passes this test, we normally don’t give their hearing a second thought. however, your child’s ears and hearing can be damaged, gradually or suddenly, even without you knowing it. if your child hurts it’s eye, you’ll definitely notice, especially if there’s a visible cut. On the other hand, damaged hearing or dysfunctional inner ears are not as obvious. As parents, it should be our first priority to make sure our children are safe and healthy, and this should include being conscious of their sense of hearing.

Facts about hearing

Let’s review how our ears work. Soundwaves are carried by the environment into the ear until they reach the eardrum. Then the eardrum passes the vibrations to the inner ear, also known as the cochlea. Inside this are thousands of tiny hair cells that change the vibrations into signals that are sent to the brain.

Your brain then tells you that you are hearing a sound and what sound it is. That’s how our sense of hearing works when everything is in working order. When the hair cells or the hearing nerve become damaged, hearing loss occurs.

Next, let’s talk about how we measure sound, noise, and their effects on our children. The loudness of a sound is measured in decibels or dB. The human ear can hear any sound above 0 decibels. The higher the decibel, the louder the sound. There are safe levels of sound, sounds that cause gradual hearing loss over time, and dangerously loud sounds that can cause permanent hearing loss. Some common examples of sounds and their corresponding decibels are:

Safe levels:

  • Quiet countryside – 20 decibels
  • Whispered voice – 30 decibels
  • Normal conversation – 60 decibels
  • Vacuum cleaner – 70 decibels


Anything 85 decibels and louder can cause hearing damage over time:

  • Busy restaurant – 90 decibels
  • Lawnmowers – 90 decibels
  • Motorcycle – 95 decibels
  • Helicopter – 105 decibels


Dangerous levels of noise are 110 decibels and above:

  • Portable music players at maximum level – 115 decibels
  • Jackhammer – 120 decibels
  • Jet plane take off – 120 decibels
  • Ambulance siren – 120 decibels
  • Engine – 140 decibels


When your child is consistently exposed to noise that is 80-85 decibels and louder, their hearing may be affected over time. It might not seem obvious at first but if hearing is constantly exposed to unsafe sounds, this will damage hearing in the long run. For example, exposure to subway or motorcycle sounds on a daily basis can eventually cause hearing loss in your child.

If you’re a restaurant owner and you bring your baby to work every night (without protective baby earmuffs), you’re exposing your baby to sounds around 90 decibels which can cause damage to a baby’s sensitive ears. On the other hand, exposure to dangerously loud levels (110 decibels and above), even just at one time and for more than one-minute long, can instantly cause permanent hearing loss. We should always be aware of what kinds of noise can possibly be damaging to your child’s hearing.

Levels of hearing loss

There are varying degrees of hearing loss, ranging from slight to profound. If your child can only hear sounds that are 30 decibels and above, they are considered to have mild hearing loss. Moderate hearing loss is when a person can only hear sounds that are closer to 50 decibels or louder. Noise-induced hearing loss, or hearing loss caused by the environment, can be temporary or permanent. Children exposed to loud noise over a prolonged period of time are at risk of damaging their hearing.

When to use hearing protection

When you know that you will be bringing your baby or toddler to an environment with unsafe or dangerously loud levels of noise, like a New Year’s Eve fireworks display or a beloved grandmother’s milestone birthday party at a busy restaurant, for example, baby hearing protection is a must. Not only do they protect and preserve your child’s hearing, baby earmuffs also give parents peace of mind, knowing that his hearing is protected. 

Having your baby or toddler wear baby headphone earmuffs can also minimize disruptions in daily routines. For example, if your grandmother’s 90th birthday runs later than bedtime, baby earmuffs will allow your child to stay comfortable and even fall asleep with the party happening all around her. If you’re unsure of what level of noise your baby will be encountering, it’s best to make your baby wear earmuffs.

Some parents with active lifestyles might need to make their child wear earmuffs regularly, especially parents who want, or need, to bring their babies everywhere they go. For example, there’s no need to miss a dinner party at a restaurant because you’re worried about the noise your child will encounter. Baby earmuffs will protect their ears and keep your child comfortable all night long. Plus points for not having to worry about a cranky baby or a toddler tantrum due to being sleepy, because your child will be able to fall asleep in spite of the noise around them.

 

Level of safety

Decibels (Approximate)

Type of noise

Permanent hearing loss may happen

140-150

Fireworks within 3 feet, guns, jet engine, loud car stereo, rock music, plane taking off

 

120-130

Jet plane, siren, jackhammer, ambulance, sporting event, rock concert, fire alarm , motorcycle, band practice

 

110

Chain saw, radio-controlled airplane, tractor, leaf blower, motor boat, car horn, snow mobile, nightclub, helicopter, aeroplane

Gradual hearing loss may happen over time

90

Motorcycle, lawn mower, hair dryer, noisy toys, shop tools, trucks

Getting Loud

80-90

Kitchen appliances, traffic, radio, TV, vacuum cleaner

 Safe 

60

Normal conversation, dishwasher, busy restaurant

 

30

Whispering

 

We can’t emphasize enough that noise-induced hearing loss can have major effects on your child’s life. No parent would want their child to suffer from something that is 100% preventable. Now that you’re aware of the negative effects that can stem from hearing loss, you can make sure that this doesn’t happen to your child. With baby hearing protection, you can be sure that you are protecting your child’s hearing from the environment around them. 

What is ANSI's S3.19-1974 Standards?

Manufacturers of hearing protection are required to evaluate their devices and label them with a Noise Reduction Rating based on ANSI S3.19-1974 . ANSI's S3.19 is the American National Standards Institutes method for measurement of real-ear protection. The ANSI's standards are used to ensure that hearing protection devices provide a predictable level of protection for your ears.

New Junior baby earmuffs have been tested by the ANSI and meet the following global safety standards:

NRR 22dB
Mean Attentuation @ 500Hz 26db
Mean Attentuation @ 1000Hz 30db

For more informative information on hearing loss check out our recent blog articles:

1) Signs of hearing loss

2) Why hearing protection is so important 

3) What is noise induced hearing loss

4) How do I know of noise could be damaging my child's ears?