Springfield audiologist shares tips for keeping your child’s ears safe during virtual learning

Published: Sep. 22, 2020 at 9:50 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - With the pandemic comes virtual learning, and many students using more tech to adapt. That has audiologists concerned, and they say listening to your headphones all day could cause concern for hearing loss.

“Whether it’s an in the ear style or an over the ear style, either one have potential to cause hearing loss," said Mercy doctor of audiology Jaime Lanois.

You see it in the classroom, and now at home, as schools around the Ozarks utilize technology daily, computers equipped with a pair of headphones are at every desk. Lanois said it’s not the type of headphones that is a reason to worry, it’s how loud your child is listening.

“Make sure that the sound level does not reach the half way mark," she said. “Every sound device has different loudness levels, and so if you have it at halfway that’s a safe volume. You don’t want to go passed half way. “

There’s also a quick test parents can try at home.

”Take the child’s headphones or your headphones and hold them at an arms length in front of you, turn on the loudness at your preferred volume," Lanois said. “If you can hear that sound fairly clearly, it’s too loud and you need to turn it down.”

If your child can’t answer a simple question, like their name, with their headphones on the volume is too loud.

”Try to do the distance learning in a quiet environment, if there are visual or hearing distractions going on in the environment we’re going to turn up the volume," Lanois said. “You may have multiple kids at home that are doing distance learning, try to make sure each child is quiet during that time.”

She said there is even an option for parents who want a little bit more control over protecting their child’s ears.

“Some of the devices that we have, phones for example or other media players you can set a lock on those features if you go into the settings, that’s really helpful for kids so they can’t intentionally go above and break your rule above the half way mark,” Lanois said.

She also recommends taking a break from the noise every hour or so if possible.

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