Hearing Protection and Stigmas – Educate Your Teen About Excessive Noise
Even more so than adults, children and teenagers consider themselves invincible. Many will try their absolute best to avoid slapping on sun cream, wearing a bike helmet, strapping on a seat belt and of course, donning ear plugs. Protection of any sort can give the false impression that someone is not hard core enough and so teenagers and young kids may resist wearing ear plugs to avoid being stigmatised. However, failure to protect your child’s hearing could result in permanent hearing damage, far less desirable than wearing ear plugs on occasion.
Hearing Damage in Children on the Rise
When we consider the amount of excessively loud music that children are exposed to from a very young age, either at music concerts, or through MP3 players and gaming devices, it should come as no surprise that hearing loss in children is increasing. Thus, parents and educators have a two-fold responsibility – to teach their children about the importance of hearing protection and to ensure that their children don’t stigmatise those who do use hearing protection. Fortunately, there has been an increased awareness of hearing loss in children and teenagers, and so more hearing protection measures are being put in place at schools, universities and even musical events.
Exeter University Hands out Free Ear Plugs
The University’’s Beats and Bass Society want to remove the stigma associated with wearing ear plugs by handing them out at clubs near the University. Their Sounds for Life project aims is to make young people aware of the dangers of being exposed to high levels of music for long periods of time, particularly when clubbing or attending live music events. Their slogan hits home:
“’No-one wants to listen to the same song for the rest of their life.”
With support from the British Tinnitus Association (BTA) it’s a great opportunity to educate young people about hearing loss and protection. The Sounds for Life website also features a blog section where DJs can talk about their experiences of constantly being in a loud musical environment and of course hearing protection, which also helps to get the right message across.
Performers Encourage Fans to Wear Hearing Protection
It’s becoming more and more common for performers to encourage fans to wear hearing protection at concerts. An example from this year was when rapping and singing group Plan B gave out free ear plugs at their concerts. These active measures by high profile music performers go a long way to combat stigmas as teenagers and children look up to these musical icons and are highly influenced by their actions. In an interview Plan B openly talk about their experience with hearing damage and tinnitus.
What Should Parents Do?
Hearing protection initiatives by educational institutions and musicians are helping to raise awareness about the dangers of hearing damage, although parents need to get involved too. Note how much noise your children are being exposed to and encourage the use of hearing protection. Perfect Fit Ears has a range of NoisePro ear plugs, which protect the ears from excessive noise at home or at recreational activities, which are small and durable – perfect for children or teenagers.