Parents Need to Pay Closer Attention to Loud Music and Hearing Loss

Parents, particularly the parents of teenagers, are not as aware and vocal about the dangerous effects of prolonged exposure to loud music, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Penn State University.  As a result, teens are at elevated risk of long-term hearing problems.  More from Reuters:

One in eight American kids and teenagers – or more than 5 million – has a type of hearing loss that usually stems from overexposure to loud noises, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Parents can help prevent much of that hearing loss, the researchers said.

For the new study, they collected Internet survey responses from more than 700 parents of teenage children.

Almost 70 percent of the parents had not spoken with their child about noise exposure, mainly because they thought the actual risk of hearing damage was low.

But almost an equal number reported being willing to limit time listening to music and access to other excessively noisy situations to protect their teenager’s hearing, according to results published in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

On the whole, parents seemed willing to take steps to protect their kids, but often underestimated the risks of too much loud music.

“I think it just means that we have work to do in terms of raising awareness,” Sekhar said.

More educated parents and those with younger teens were most likely to be willing to take precautions with their kids, like limiting music time, limiting access to noisy situations or insisting on protective measures like earplugs.

Image: Teenager listening to loud music, via Shutterstock

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