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16:42 PM

KCTV 5: New headphones could help prevent hearing loss in children

When it comes to children’s hearing and headphones doctors say there is some good news and some bad news.

Here’s the bad news first, the headphones kids are wearing could be causing irreversible damage to their hearing.

But here’s the good news, local doctors say there is a way to stop the problem and save their hearing.

Doctors say if parents are an arms distance away from their children and the child can’t hear their parents through their headphones, the volume is way too loud.

“We are seeing hearing loss at a younger age. And just in my own clinic, I’ve seen kids as young as 12 or 13 having some evidence of damage from noise,” Dr. Laura Horowitz said.

Dr. Horowitz conducts hearing tests daily at Children’s Mercy. She says kid’s headphones are louder now than ever before.

“If you’re listening to one really loud song you can get basically, what we call, your entire dose of allowable noise for the day,” Horowitz said.

Because of the damage being caused to children’s ears, companies are now selling headphones like the iClever BoostCare, that limit the volume from going above 85 decibels.

These new headphones set the volume at a safe level for kids.

Dr. Horowitz says the new headphones are a good idea and should be used early on.

But for some, the damage may already be done.

Here’s what doctors say to look out for if something is already wrong.

If a child is saying huh or what to every question a parent asks. If they say their ears are ringing or if they have the television or speakers consistently louder than they should be. All are reasons to visit a specialist.

Along with electronic devices, the world also contributes to hearing problems.

Take Arrowhead Stadium for example.

Arrowhead is the world’s loudest stadium and Children's Mercy says sporting events and concerts play a bigger role in hearing loss than people realize.

Dr. Horowitz says when people go to a concert or a game they should bring ear plugs and wear them when possible, especially when next to a speaker.


Watch the full story via KCTV 5.

Learn more about The Hearing and Speech Clinic at Children's Mercy.