Childhood Hearing Overview
Studies have suggested that some population groups are at greater risk for harmful effects of noise. These groups include young children. There is sufficient scientific evidence that excessive noise exposure can induce hearing impairment, as well as psycho-social effects such as annoyance, stress-related health effects such as cardiovascular disorders, sleep disturbance and decreased school performance. Health Effects of Noise, Dr. Sheela Basrur, Medical Officer of Health, Toronto, Ontario, 2001.
Hearing health begins with screening for hearing loss at birth. The Hearing Foundation of Canada (THFC) demonstrates its commitment to this by promoting universal newborn hearing screening programs in all provinces.
The first three years of a child’s life are key to their lifelong communication capabilities, and recognizing their hearing ability is integral to their learning. THFC’s Baby’s Communication Checklist provides parents with a way to monitor and protect their child’s hearing. As a charter member of the National Coalition on Noisy Toys, THFC also alerts parents to the potential harm caused by noisy toys through public education and brochures.
As children move towards adolescence, developing healthy hearing habits is crucial to protecting their future hearing. THFC’s award-winning elementary school program: Sound Sense: Save Your Hearing for the Music! / Oui à l’ouie: ménagez vos oreilles pour la musique!, is presented to students in grades five and six.
To learn more about Noise Induced Hearing Loss in Children; a “less than silent” environmental danger, download this article from Paediatrics & Child Health.