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Understanding The Importance of Hearing Protection for Children at Different Ages

a toddler sitting on the floor with hearing protection

Hearing is one of the most important senses for children. It allows them to learn language, socially interact and participate in activities. However, children’s hearing is more vulnerable to damage than adults’ and requires special protection. Here’s why it’s essential to provide children with hearing protection.

How To Provide Hearing Protection for Children at Different Stages

Children of varying ages require different levels and types of hearing protection.

Infants and toddlers have delicate ears and are particularly sensitive to loud noises. The noise from lawnmowers, fireworks, and power tools can permanently damage a child’s hearing.  Besides shielding your children from these types of noises, you can use earmuffs to provide hearing protection for very young children. Earmuffs fit over and seal the entire ear and are adjustable to easily fit any child.

As children grow older and engage in recreational activities or attend concerts and sporting events, it becomes essential to provide appropriate hearing protection to prevent long-term harm. Ear plugs placed inside the ear canal are a great option for older children who may not feel comfortable wearing bulky earmuffs in public. Ear plugs are discreet, affordable and can be used for many applications. You can choose between disposable, reusable and custom-fit models.

Avoid using earplugs for very young children as they don’t have the dexterity to insert or remove them, and they can be a choking hazard.

Consequences of Not Protecting Hearing in Children

Prolonged exposure to loud sounds without adequate hearing protection can result in noise-induced hearing loss, affecting a child’s ability to communicate, learn and socialize. Moreover, studies have shown that hearing loss can impact a child’s cognitive development, speech and language skills, academic performance, and overall quality of life.

Parents can reduce these risks by educating their children about the importance of hearing protection and instilling good habits from an early age. It’s also a good idea to invest in suitable hearing protection devices, such as earmuffs or earplugs, designed specifically for children. Use them consistently in noisy environments, during loud recreational activities and at loud events.

When Your Child May Need a Hearing Test

Besides using hearing protection, parents must also recognize the signs of hearing loss. If your child consistently fails to respond when you talk to them, shows delayed speech and language development, has difficulty following instructions or continually increases the volume on the TV, it may be indicative of hearing impairment. If you notice these symptoms, schedule a pediatric hearing test at a trusted hearing centre as soon as possible.

Visit Us for Hearing Protection and Children’s Hearing Services

At Soundwave Hearing Care, we offer pediatric hearing care in Calgary for children of all ages — from infants to adolescents. Contact us today for hearing services for your children, including hearing tests to hearing aids. We have locations in CalgaryLethbridgeHigh River and Grande Prairie.

All the blogs are reviewed and edited by our clinic's lead audiologist, Dr. Anne Wooliams. Dr. Woolliams is an experienced audiologist specialized in pediatric audiology, auditory processing, and tinnitus/sound sensitivity therapy. She is dedicated to providing top-notch hearing care and helping her clients improve their language and communication abilities. Dr. Woolliams' expertise in literature and linguistics, combined with her passion for helping people improve their language and communication, make her an incredibly valuable asset in the field of audiology. Learn more about Dr. Woolliams.