The wrong headphones can cause permanent hearing loss. Headphone companies say their headphones are safe. Some headphones are and some headphones are not.
These days, even 3-year olds wear headphones. They are a great gift for the holidays. They are not too expensive, and they are well liked by children. Most companies say their products are “safe for young ears.” Many say their products are “100 percent safe listening.” Parents rely on these promises. By doing so, they put their children’s hearing at risk.
A study reviewed headphones for kids. It reported that half of the headphones did not limit volume to the level they reported. The worst phones had volume so loud it could damage ears in minutes.
An expert said, “The makers are not interested in the health of your child’s ears. Their interest is selling products. Some of them are not good for you.”
Studies show that half of the kids eight to twelve years old listen to music daily. Most teen-agers do the same.
Safe listening is about volume and how long you listen. Sound is measured in decibels. Eighty decibels is twice as loud as 70 decibels. Ninety decibels is four times louder than 70. The louder a sound, the less time you should listen to it.
The volume of a power lawn mower is about one hundred decibels. That volume is safe for just 15 minutes. Noise at 108 decibels is safe for less than three minutes.
There is no law limiting the sound coming from headphones.
Bluetooth headphones without cords are the safest. An expert said, “If you are using it in Bluetooth mode, it is impossible to make it too loud.”
Children reported that they liked a Bluetooth model. It is called the Puro BT2200 ($99.99) the most. It is best to use the BT2200 without a cord.
Here is advice from experts. Keep the volume of children’s headphones at 60 percent. Have your children take a break every hour. Have the child wear headphones. Ask your child a question from an arms-length distance. The child should be able to hear you.
Source: The New York Times December 6, 2016