A primary concern to parents and educators today is the prevalence of hearing loss and damage to children. Increasingly, this hearing loss is not due to ear infections or genetic causes. Instead, noise induced hearing loss is on the rise. In three articles: "Hearing Conservation Education Programs for Children: A Review", "The Effectiveness of an Interactive Hearing Conservation Program for Children", and "Noise Induced Hearing Loss in Children", the concern is reviewed and possible solutions for this problem are suggested.
The loss is fairly gradual, so it may not be noticed immediately. The amount of hearing lost depends on the intensity of the sound, the duration of the sound, and how often the person experiences the sound. Hearing loss can be long term, or short term, depending on the above three instances. Once hearing loss has happened, however, there is no way to cure what has happened.
In "Noise Induced Hearing Loss in Children: what Educators Need to Know", by Anne Kathryn Haller and Judy K. Montgomery, they describe the effect that noise induced hearing loss has had on American society. Nearly one third of Americans with hearing loss can link their decreased hearing ability to noise (Haller 29). Over time, it has moved to the number two cause of hearing loss, after age-related hearing loss. According to Haller, "nearly thirty million people are estimated to be exposed to injurious levels of noise each day" (30). What is worse is that many of these people are children. For children, loss of hearing carries a greater penalty then loss of hearing for adults has. Children are still learning how to use language, and a loss of hearing can negatively impact their ability to communicate, understand and learn language (Holler 2004). In the article, to prevent these problems in schools, Holler suggests having regular assessments of noise in schools, keeping noise in cafeterias and gymnasiums as low as possible, encouraging students to use personal hearing protectors, and regular screening of students for hearing loss, so that it can be caught and treated early (Holler 2004).
In "The Effectiveness of an Interactive Hearing Conservation Program for Children," by Gail D. Chermak, Lori Curtis and J. Anthony Seikel, the researchers looked at recent increases in hearing loss in children and possible causes and solutions. They determined that of children with hearing loss, the majority of them are boys ages ten and older who have diminished their hearing in leisure activity (Chermok 1). Their study primarily looked at the effectiveness of hearing education for children in elementary school, and its long term effect on the children's responses to situations involving excessive noise. They presented to children two one hour sessions in which they were asked first what they knew about hearing and hearing loss in a questionnaire, and then were taught how to recognize situations of excessive noise, and how to protect their own hearing in those situations. Results suggested that this education significantly increased the children's knowledge of hearing and hearing loss, and also increased the children's likelihood to use preventive and protective measures when around excessive noise.
In the third article, "Hearing Conservation Education Programs for Children: A Review," by Robert L. Folmar, Susan E. Griest, and William Hal Martin, current efforts to protect children's hearing are reviewed, in order to provide a comprehensive source for educators. They found twelve programs whose primary goal was to educate about hearing loss, and an additional seventeen whose specifically looked at children and ...
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