Thursday, March 25, 2010
Medical Reports: Hear this Message
When it comes to protecting our kids hearing doctors say you should start at birth, that's why audiologists everywhere were thrilled to see saints quarterback, Drew Brees, protect his child's ears during the super bowl. 7's Diana Diaz shows us why doctors say it's crucial to hear this message.
WSVN -- The Saints Super Bowl win wasn't just a victory for the team and it's fans. It was a victory for hearing specialists all over the country. As the nation watched quarterback Drew Brees protect his infant's ears during the deafening, post-game celebration.
Hillary Snapp, Audiologist, UM Miller School of Medicine: "I think it's a perfect role model for parents."
It got the attention of Dawn Vallie. She has two young kids and their family is always going to loud events.
Dawn Valli, Mom: "My family goes to concerts. We go to Broadway plays. We go see fireworks. We do sporting events. Everything has been so extremely loud."
Her 9-year-old daughter, Briana, wants to be a pop star, but when Dawn recently took Briana to her favorite singer's concert, the noise put the little girl over the edge.
Dawn Valli: "It was hurting her ears so much, she ended up crying and she wanted to leave."
Doctors say infants and children are more vulnerable to loud noises because their ear canal is much smaller.
Hillary Snapp: "Some studies that show as many as five million children have hearing loss due directly to noise."
Specialists say concerts, sporting events, even playgrounds can all reach dangerous noise levels of more than 100 decibels.
Hillary Snapp: "You have to understand that it's not just the loudness level, it's the amount of time that a child is exposed to that sound. It's recommended you're not exposed to 100 decibels for more than 15 to 20 minutes."
And there are ways to recognize when it's too loud.
Hillary Snapp: "If you have to yell or raise your voice, you're in an environment that is too loud for that child. If your child is saying that the voices sound muffled or they are expressing sensitive to sound or complaining of ringing in their ears, that environment is too loud."
But, there are just some events that are loud. That's why it's up to parents to protect their child's ears.
Hillary Snapp: "They have to protect their children. Once that damage is done it's done. It's irreversible."
For infants, Dr. Snapp suggests earmuffs. For older kids, you can use regular ear plugs or have custom made ear molds, which will last forever. Dawn has learned her lesson. Her kids ears are now protected wherever they go.
Dawn Valli: "We have bought earplugs, so we have earplugs we bring with us to make sure my children do not have hearing loss."
As for MP3 players, doctors say you should only listen to them at 80 percent volume and for no longer than 90 minutes.