Protect your family’s hearing – with the 4th of July just days away, you’re prepping for this fun-filled holiday. You can’t wait to have the family over. All the activities – kicking around a soccer ball with the kids and enjoying the fireworks display in the evening. We know you have a million other things to think about, but don’t forget to take a few steps to protect your family’s hearing this 4th of July.
Fireworks are Loud
Who doesn’t love fireworks? They’re bright and colorful, match the music, and dazzle our eyes with amazing explosions and designs. While our eyes are loving the fireworks display, we often forget about our ears. You know they’re loud, but just a few minutes can’t hurt, right? Wrong. Unfortunately, fireworks are so loud they can damage your hearing with a single blast.
Crunch the Numbers
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), permissible noise exposure limits for sounds of around 115 decibels (dB) is 15 minutes a day or less. Let’s put that in perspective. The sound of a normal conversation is around 60 dB. A chainsaw or your leaf-blower reach 100 dB. Standing next to a jackhammer exposes you to sounds of 130 dB. So how loud are fireworks? A single fireworks blast from a few feet away is 150 dB!
Hearing loss can be gradual, from daily exposure to loud sounds. But you can easily lose your hearing from one extremely loud sound, like a fireworks display. If the fireworks last for half an hour, you and your whole family will experience the negative effects of hearing loss. The World Health Organization recommends that adults don’t expose themselves to sounds louder than 140 dB, and children shouldn?t be near sounds louder than 120 dB.
Just because fireworks are loud doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the show. With a few simple steps, you can share a magical evening with your loved ones, and rest easy knowing your family’s hearing is safe.
Move Further Away
The first thing to think about when it comes to fireworks is how close you are to the noise. The closer you are to the blast or the speaker system, the louder it will be, and the greater your risk of hearing loss. Sitting farther away means you’ll be farther away from damaging your hearing. Adults should be a minimum of 50 to 60 feet from the fireworks, and children should be at least 160 feet away. Infants’ ears are the most delicate, and babies under a year old shouldn’t be exposed to fireworks at all since hearing loss will damage their brain, and negatively affect their language development!
Wear Hearing Protection
1 in 5 Americans has hearing loss, many due to exposure to loud noises like fireworks. Take a few minutes to pick up some foam earplugs for you and your whole family. Pass them around before the fireworks start and make sure they’re sitting snugly in your ears. The best way to insert foam earplugs is to roll them between your fingers before placing them in your ears. They’ll expand inside your ear canal, giving you the best sound protection.
If you have any children under 8 years old, earmuffs will protect their ears better than foam earplugs. Look for heavy-duty earmuffs with padded cups and a thin headband. These will provide a good seal around your ears, and sit comfortably on your head. You can find foldable earmuffs that fit easily into your bag or bright colored ones for your kids. You can use these a few more times this summer, at the monster truck show, the sports arena, or when sanding down your deck. Remember to protect your family’s hearing. They will thank you for it.
Treating Hearing Loss
Do you think that you or your loved one has a hearing loss? The best thing you can do is to visit us at Hearing Group as soon as possible for a hearing assessment. Once we have a clear picture of your hearing loss, we’ll help you find the perfect hearing solution from among our top hearing aids. Whether you’re after connectivity, lead an active lifestyle, or want to follow conversations with ease, we’ll find the perfect device that will give you back your hearing, and allow you to enjoy this summer season.