The following is excerpted from an online article posted by HealthDay.

Many younger children could be permanently damaging their hearing by blasting loud music on their earbuds and headphones, a new report finds.

Two in three parents say that their child between the ages of 5 and 12 regularly pop listening devices in their ears, according to the University of Michigan Health C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health

That includes half of children ages 5 to 8, which is a perilously early age to expose ears to extended bouts of loud noise, health experts say.

“Over recent years, we’ve mostly been concerned about teens overusing audio devices,” said Dr. Susan Woolford, a pediatrician at the University of Michigan and co-director of the Mott poll. “But earbuds have become increasingly popular and prevalent among younger kids, exposing them to more intense noise on a regular basis.”

“Young children are more vulnerable to potential harm from noise exposure because their auditory systems are still developing,” Woolford added in a university news release. “Their ear canals are also smaller than adults, intensifying perceived sound levels.”

Half of parents whose children use listening devices say their kids spend at least an hour a day with them, while one in six say a typical day includes at least two hours of use, poll results show.

Prolonged or extreme exposure to high volumes of noise can result in hearing loss or tinnitus, which is constant ringing in the ears, Woolford said.

Only half of parents said they’ve tried to limit their children’s use of listening devices by asking them to take a break, setting specific hours for use or using a timer, the poll found.

Source: HealthDay

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