Health Watch — Parenting: Watching the Noise

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

Parents have a tough job to do in making sure their children grow up to be happy, healthy and safe. This week on Health Watch, we’ll talk about some topics to help parents do this job. Ever since the days of the old Victrola, parents have been telling kids to turn that music down. Today’s digital music players with headsets may seem like a godsend so parents don’t have to hear the loud music, but you may still need to monitor the volume.

Dr. John McClay, a pediatric ear specialist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says these devices can cause hearing damage. They can generate sounds of up to 120 decibels, and damage can occur starting at 80 decibels, especially with long exposure. Dr. McClay suggests that parents limit the amount of time kids use these music players and make sure the volume is set below 80 decibels. If you notice signs of hearing loss, have your child checked by a specialist.



October 2007

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