Protect Your Hearing on the Fourth!
BOOM, POP, SIZZLE! The sounds of July! Even before the celebration on the Fourth, popping firework sounds are up and down the street. And, we all love a great fireworks show on the Fourth of July! Did you know that fireworks and other loud noises can cause permanent hearing damage? According to the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders,
approximately 26 million Americans between the ages of 20 and 69 have high frequency hearing loss from overexposure to loud noises at work or during leisure activities. Children may be particularly vulnerable to this risk.
Of course you want to watch the fireworks and enjoy the day, but here are a few precautions you can take to make sure you protect your hearing or your child’s hearing.
Protect Your Hearing on the Fourth of July!
- Earplugs – Wearing earplugs won’t dampen the fireworks experience, instead, it will help protect your hearing. Earplugs can help reduce the impact of excessive noise in young (or old!) ears. They can be found any any drug store and are easy to put into little ears. Try using headphones on very young children, they will likely stay put better than earplugs.
- Safe Distance – The American-Speech-Hearing-Language Association recommends sitting at least 500 feet from where the fireworks are launched. Fireworks noise for spectators 800 feet away ranges from 88 to 126 dB. But from 10 feet away, it’s 155 dB—louder than a military jet takeoff!
- Alternative Ways to Celebrate – If you have young children, perhaps there are other ways to celebrate the day, without the fireworks. Pinwheels or sparklers (under parent supervision) are a festive and special treat. Or, how about decorating the house, bike, or car with red, white, and blue streamers and balloons? Participate in the local parade or a neighborhood barbecue. There are many ways to make the day special without a fireworks display.
Plus, don’t forget your pet this Fourth of July! Most pets find the noise and commotion of the holiday a bit stressful. Your best bet is to keep your pets inside your home. Turn on the radio or TV on when you leave, as the background noise can help mute the sounds of firework explosions. All ears need a little protection!
Be safe and have fun!