Hearing loss can be a lifelong problem for babies, but it does not have to be. There are many ways you can protect your baby’s hearing as well as help them grow up to have a healthy relationship with sound.
Safe Decibel Levels for Infants
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) recommends that infants should not be exposed to any type of loud noise at all.
Are you wondering about the safe decibel levels for infants?
As a rule of thumb, infants should not be exposed to sounds above 60 dBA. That’s the reason this level of sound is maintained in hospital nurseries.
The NIDCD recommends that a normal person should not be exposed to sounds over 85 decibels (dB) as it can cause hearing damage.
How Loud Noise Can Affect Your Baby’s Hearing?
A baby’s hearing is still developing at birth and doesn’t reach full functionality until they are at least 1 year old, but it is still important to protect their ears from loud noises. Babies may experience ear bleeds or infections caused by overexposure to loud noises.
If your baby is exposed to excessive noise levels, it can damage their hearing over time. The NIDCD also recommends that parents limit their child’s exposure to loud noises during TV time, music time, and other activities that involve loud sounds like fire engines or sirens outside or fireworks inside the home.
Early Signs of a Hearing Loss in Infants
To protect your baby’s hearing, it’s important to know what to look for when he or she is born. Hearing loss in infants can be one of the most serious problems a parent faces since it can lead to developmental delays and learning disabilities.
The signs of hearing loss in infants are often subtle, so it’s important to be on the lookout. If you see any of the following signs, it’s time to talk with your doctor:
- Your baby squints or turns away when you talk to them.
- Not responding to their name when called by it.
- They don’t seem interested in toys or other sounds around them.
- Your baby seems startled by loud noises (like thunder).
- You notice that your child seems to have difficulty understanding spoken language.
- You notice that your baby has trouble following what you say or doesn’t seem to care that you’re speaking.
How to protect your baby’s hearing?
Baby headphones help prevent your baby from being exposed to harmful sounds. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies should not be exposed to music with a volume higher than 60 decibels (the volume at which you can whisper).
Your baby’s auditory system is still developing as he or she grows, so it’s important to take steps to protect his or her hearing now.
Here are some tips to help protect your infant’s hearing:
You can protect your infant’s hearing by following these simple steps:
- Listen to a baby’s cries and talk quietly.
- Avoid loud noises such as firecrackers, guns, and construction sites.
- Don’t play music too loudly while your baby is sleeping.
- Avoid using a baby monitor that plays white noise at high volume.
- If you are breastfeeding, use a nursing position that protects your baby’s ears.
- Try to keep conversations at a normal volume so that your baby can hear you properly.
It is a known fact that newborn babies cannot hear very well. Their hearing is not fully developed and their brain has not yet been able to process the sound waves it receives. To protect your baby’s hearing, you need to consider the above points.
Important note: If you think your child has an ear infection, see a doctor right away so you can get treated before it gets worse.