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How Headphones Could Be Damaging Your Kids' Hearing

Posted at 9:50 AM, Feb 08, 2018

The World Health Organization estimates over a billion young people are at risk for hearing loss because they use earbuds.

Audiologists say listening to music on your iPhone at full volume any longer than five minutes is unsafe and the warning signs can be subtle.

Dr. Katie Pawlowski says, “The child is mishearing certain words, it’s not that they don’t hear you they may just misunderstand what you’re saying or they’re having more difficulty hearing in a noisy setting when there’s a lot of background noise or more than one speaker.”

Experts suggest if you let your kids use headphones take these important steps:

  • If you can hear it, it is too loud
  • Keep the volume around 50 percent
  • Have your child take breaks and let those ears rest

“I’m seeing a lot of increase in tinnitus, of ringing in the ears, in younger children,” said Pediatric ENT Dr. Karin Hotchkiss. “Normally older people could express that they were having ringing or buzzing, thinking that was just more common as we age. Now, we’re seeing an increase in teenagers and even younger children, as down to age four or five.”

Dr. Hotchkiss says using headphones that go into the ear canal can up the ante nine or 10 decibels, that’s the equivalent of a jet plane taking off.

Here’s how to cap the volume on your Apple product:

  1. Click the gear icon to take you to “Settings”
  2. Scroll down to “Music”
  3. Toward the bottom you should see “Volume Limit”
  4. Set the volume to desired volume
  5. To set that limit, go back to the main settings menu and find “General”
  6. Once you click that, find “Restrictions”
  7. You’ll be instructed to put in a 4-digit passcode
  8. Scroll down to the menu items labeled “Allow Changes,” there you’ll see “Volume Limit”
  9. Make sure “Don’t Allow Changes” has a check mark next to it

And with the other extra Dr. Hotchkiss did with the different type of headphones that are safe for kiddies, these are her picks for cheap headphones that have a decibel limit. The third one is a limiting cable that will lessen the decibels:

Written by Jasmine Styles for WFTS.

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