Preventing Excessive Noise Exposure in Infants, Children, and Adolescents
Noise affects people of all ages. Noise-induced hearing loss, a major problem for adults, is also a problem for young people. Sensorineural hearing loss is usually irreversible. Environmental noise, such as traffic noise, can affect learning, physiologic parameters, sleep, and quality of life. Children and adolescents have unique vulnerabilities. Infants and young children must rely on adults to remove them from noisy situations; children may not recognize hazardous noise exposures; teenagers often do not understand consequences of high exposure to music from personal listening devices or attending concerts and dances. Personal listening devices are increasingly used, even by small children. Environmental noise has disproportionate effects on underserved communities. This statement and its accompanying technical report review common sources and effects of noise as well as specific pediatric exposures. Because noise exposure often starts in infancy and effects are cumulative, more attention to noise in everyday activities is needed starting early in life. Pediatricians can potentially lessen harms by raising awareness of children's specific vulnerabilities to noise. Safer listening is possible. Noise exposure is underrecognized as a serious public health issue in the United States. Greater awareness of noise hazards is needed at a societal level.
Balk, Sophie J.; Bochner, Risa E.; Ramdhanie, Mahindra A.; and Reilly, Brian K., "Preventing Excessive Noise Exposure in Infants, Children, and Adolescents" (2023). GW Authored Works. Paper 3880.