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A Recent Poll Of Parents Suggests That Young Children Are Increasingly Using Headphones And Earbuds, Which Raises The Risk Of Hearing Issues At Earlier Ages

insta_photos - stock.adobe.com - illustrative purposes only, not the actual child

Seeing teenagers wearing headphones and blasting music is pretty typical– whether they’re working out at the gym, eating lunch at school, or just hanging out in their bedrooms.

But it turns out that younger kids are also getting in on the action. A recent study highlighted a growing trend of younger children using headphones and earbuds, which could lead to hearing issues at younger ages.

The latest findings from the University of Michigan Health C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health show that two-thirds of parents say their kids, ranging from 5 to 12 years old, are regularly using these devices. What’s more, half of these youngsters are plugged in for at least an hour daily.

Additionally, one out of six parents acknowledged that their child typically uses these devices for at least two hours a day.

“Over recent years, we’ve mostly been concerned about teens overusing audio devices. But earbuds have become increasingly popular and prevalent among younger kids, exposing them to more intense noise on a regular basis,” said Susan Woolford, a pediatrician who co-directed the Mott poll.

According to Dr. Woolford, concerns about noise exposure in young children have historically focused on loud, one-off events such as fireworks or concerts.

However, parents might not fully realize the possible damage caused by prolonged use of listening devices. Plus, determining if their child’s noise exposure levels are safe can be challenging.

Children commonly use personal audio devices in the car, at home, or at school. About a quarter of parents mention that their kids sometimes use these devices on airplanes, while fewer than 10% say their children use them on the bus, outdoors, or in bed.

About 50% of the parents surveyed think their children frequently use headphones and earbuds as a form of entertainment. In response to growing concerns, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a statement in 2023 emphasizing the importance of reducing noise exposure risks in children.

insta_photos – stock.adobe.com – illustrative purposes only, not the actual child

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