It is estimated that three out of every 1,000 children is born with permanent hearing loss, making it one of the most common birth defects in the United States. According to the Journal of Pediatrics, 12.5 percent of children have some level of hearing loss between the ages of 6 and 19, largely due to environmental causes. Most of the hearing loss of this age group could be prevented with proper safety techniques and medical care. Here are a few things you can do to help protect your child’s hearing.

  • Get your child’s hearing tested. All insurance covers checkups for children, and part of that check up should include a hearing test. If your pediatrician detects any hearing issues, referral to an ear nose and throat, or ENT, specialist should occur.
  • Listen to your children if they complain about ear pain. According to the U.S. Department of Health and ear infections are the most common reason people bring their children to a doctor.
  • Turn down the sound. Teens especially love to listen to music at volumes that are dangerous to the ear. Switch to over the ear headphones instead of ear buds, and check the volume they are listening to often.
  • Use earplugs when playing music. Many fail to consider that kids in band or orchestra are dealing with loud volumes they cannot simply turn down. If your kid is in a school band or a garage band, but properly fitting ear plugs and insist on their use.

Does your child play an instrument in a band, and if so, do they wear earplugs?
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