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How to Protect Your Baby's Hearing

Loud noises are more dangerous to tiny ears than adult ones. Take care of your baby's hearing so they can listen to you their whole lives.


  • Step 1: Avoid operating machinery near a baby or small child. Lawnmowers, chainsaws, and other equipment can cause irreversible damage to hearing.
  • Step 2: Avoid letting your child play with excessively loud toys. Children frequently hold noise-making toys to their ears, and many rattles and squeaky toys can exceed 100 decibels.
  • FACT: The noise from heavy city traffic can reach 85 decibels.
  • Step 3: Invest in a pair of child-size, noise-reducing ear muffs or foam ear plugs when you take your baby to sporting events or other loud events, such as car or boat races, where noise levels can reach potentially dangerous levels.
  • Step 4: Consider sitting farther away from the action at shows or fireworks displays. Decibel levels there can reach as high as 140 decibels.
  • TIP: An infant will hear a noise as 20 decibels louder than an adult.
  • Step 5: Don't take your baby to concerts where they are subjected to sustained noise of more than 85 decibels.
  • TIP: Inexpensive decibel meters are available online and at many retail outlets.
  • Step 6: Consider that noises potentially dangerous to an adult's hearing are far more dangerous to a child's hearing. A baby's ear canal is much shorter than an adult's, so the pressure entering the ear is greater.

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