Protect your kids’ hearing

I was watching the Rugby World Cup 2015: Samoa vs. Scotland game on television this weekend and noticed this happy baby among the Scottish fans. Kudos to his parents for protecting his hearing!

toddler with hearing protection

Repeated exposure to loud sounds leads to hearing damage, and that damage is painless, irreversible and cumulative over your lifetime. The noise level at sporting events is easily in the dangerous zone, well above 85 decibels. Consider these quick facts from Health Canada:

  • If you are in a noisy environment and someone standing a metre away has to shout to be understood, the sound levels are probably higher than 85 dBA and you are at significant risk for permanent hearing loss if exposed daily for 8 hours or more.
  • If you are somewhere noisy and someone standing 30 cm away has to shout to be understood, the sound levels are likely higher than 95 dBA¬†and you are at significant risk for permanent hearing loss if exposed daily for 45 minutes or more
  • If you are in a noisy place and someone has to shout into your ears to be understood (how annoying!), the sound levels are likely higher than 105 dBA and you are at significant risk for permanent hearing loss if exposed daily for 5 minutes or more

My guess is that sound level would be well over 105 dBA at many points in time over the 2.5-hour game.

Read more about hearing loss in my story, Pardon Me: How Spin Class Led to Tinnitus published in More magazine. I’m still using foam ear plugs in spin class and at the movies.

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