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Playing a band instrument. Watching TV at loud volumes. Riding off-road vehicles.
These are big ways preteens can damage their hearing.
That’s why the National Institutes of Health has launched a new Spanish-language website to raise awareness about the causes and prevention of noise-induced hearing loss among Latino preteens.
The website is part of a campaign called El mundo es ruidoso. Proteja la audición de sus hijos. (It’s a Noisy Planet. Protect Their Hearing.). It encourages kids ages 8-12 to adopt healthy hearing habits.
- How we hear.
- What noise can do to your hearing.
- The science of hearing loss.
“Research suggests that hearing loss caused by loud sounds at an early age may speed up age-related hearing loss later in life,” according to the website. “The good news is that hearing loss caused by loud noise is completely preventable.”
The Spanish website also has age-appropriate tips and tools for preteens (ages 8 to 12) and parents.
For example, did you know you don’t have to use cotton swabs to clean out a child’s ear?
“Earwax (cerumen) is supposed to be in your ears. It has a mission: to keep your ears healthy by trapping dust and dirt so that they don’t travel deeper into your ear,” according to the website. “The inside of your ear doesn’t need to be cleaned because earwax is the cleaner.”
The website also has Spanish-language resources to teach kids about hearing loss from noise:
- Shareable images that provide helpful hearing tips and can be shared via social media.
- Free publications that can be downloaded, printed, or ordered.
Key prevention messages include:
- Baja el volumen (Lower the volume).
- Aléjate del ruido (Move away from the noise).
- Usa protectores del oído, ya sean tapones u orejeras (Wear hearing protection, such as earplugs or earmuffs).
“With this information, parents and other adults can encourage children to adopt healthy hearing habits before and during the time that they develop listening, leisure, and working habits,” according to the website.