New Survey Released for May Awareness Month Shows Hearing Experts Nationwide Are Concerned About Tech Misuse Damaging Children’s Communication Health
Northridge, CA. May 9, 2016– With new data showing that a majority of audiologists are seeing sufficient misuse of personal technology devices by children and teenagers—to the point that audiologists have serious concerns about kids’ communication health. Northridge audiologists Drs. Frazer, O’Boyle, and Lombardi, from Hearing Associates, Inc., are urging parents to teach and model safe device listening to prevent irreversible, lifelong hearing loss in their children. This advice is especially timely given that May is Better Hearing & Speech Month.
A growing concern as children of all ages increasingly use devices to listen to music, watch television shows, play games, and otherwise entertain themselves, often for hours each day, noise-induced hearing loss is completely preventable by adhering to some very basic safe listening habits. However, once this hearing loss occurs, it is irreversible.
“We’re not saying don’t use this technology, as we know it is here to stay,” explains Dr. O’Boyle. “However, we’re saying that a few simple actions—keeping the volume at half level and taking listening breaks—can go a long way in protecting kids’ hearing. This is especially true when using devices with accompanying earbuds or headphones. It’s important to instill these habits early, when possible, but it’s worthwhile to have the conversation no matter the age of your child.”
Nationwide, surveyed audiologists rank repeated misuse of personal technology at loud volumes that can potentially damage children’s hearing as their top tech-related concern. This is supported by some disturbing data showing sharp increases in hearing loss among adolescents, as well as the World Health Organization labeling unsafe listening to devices an international health threat.
Parents play a key role in not only teaching these habits but modeling these behaviors. “As with just about everything else, it’s critical that parents practice what they preach—for the children’s health as well as their own.”
Hearing loss can affect everything from children’s speech/language development; academic and vocational success; and social skills and mental health. If you suspect your child may be having a hearing issue, seek a complete evaluation from a certified audiologist immediately to mitigate any potential negative consequences.
To learn the signs of hearing loss, visit http://identifythesigns.org. To set up a consultation with an audiologist at Hearing Associates, Inc. call 818-727-7020.