PHILIPSBURG–Collective Prevention Services (CPS) urges the population to be aware that loud music can cause hearing damage, especially in young children, and as such it is important to protect them from loud pitches, tones and in general overly loud music by avoiding these as much as possible and not standing in close proximity of sound-truck speakers.
This message is in light of the start of the Carnival season. Music, like all sounds, is measured by the intensity and frequency of the sound waves that hit the ear. The unit used to measure the volume of sound is the decibel (dB). The greater the number of decibels, the louder the sound and the more harmful it is to the ears.
Environmental noise exposure, such as road traffic, aircraft and/or sudden high-level noise, is associated with a range of health outcomes in children. Children demonstrate annoyance responses to noise, and noise is also related to lower wellbeing and stress responses, such as increased levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline.
Prolonged exposure can result in damage that can be irreversible, and parents and guardians are advised to pay attention to this during the Children’s Parade. Hearing loss may be mild, moderate, severe, or profound. It can affect one ear or both ears, and leads to difficulty in hearing conversational speech or loud sounds.
CPS advises parents to monitor their children during Carnival activities so that they do not stand near speakers with loud music as this could be damaging to the child’s ears.
Take the following steps to minimise the risks and protect your child from the physical and psychological effects of noise:
Ensure that he or she wears child-sized hearing protection such as earplugs or earmuffs during noisy activities and events. Limit the amount of time spent on noisy activities.
Instruct him or her to walk away from sources of loud noises.
Have your child’s hearing tested if he/she routinely participates in noisy activities, such as playing an instrument or attending musical activities or sporting events.
“Hard of hearing” refers to people with hearing loss ranging from mild to severe. Tinnitus, often described as a ringing or buzzing sound in the ear, is a symptom associated with many forms of hearing loss.
People who are hard of hearing usually communicate through spoken language and can benefit from hearing aids, cochlear implants, and other assistive devices, as well as captioning. People with more significant hearing losses may benefit from cochlear implants.
“Deaf” people mostly have profound hearing loss, which implies very little or no hearing. They often use sign language for communication.
The causes of hearing loss and deafness can be divided into congenital causes and acquired causes. Congenital causes may lead to hearing loss being present at or acquired soon after birth.
It is recommended to seek expert medical consultation if your child experiences any of the following symptoms: Asks people to repeat themselves; regularly hears ringing, roaring, or hissing sounds; speaks loudly or raises voice to be understood by someone standing nearby; does not react to unexpected loud noises.