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Dr. Josh Werber and Dr. Karen Haunss

Headphones and Hearing Loss

A recent article in the New York Times discussed the risk of long term hearing loss in children who listen to music with headphones at high volume. The risk of long term hearing loss increases with increased volume(decibels) and length of noise exposure. The OSHA workplace safety limit for adults is 85 decibels for no more than 8 hours.

Testers evaluated 30 sets of children’s headphones. Half of the headphones tested had a maximum volume that exceeded the upper limit of 85 decibels, with the loudest recorded at 114 decibels!!!

Tips for children listening to music with headphones safely:
1. Limit the volume to 60 percent.
2. Encourage the child to take a ‘listening break’ every hour to allow the inner ear to ‘rest.
3. If you are near your child when they are using headphones, and they can’t hear you, the volume is too loud.

Listening to music is a pleasurable experience. Make sure that your child is listening at a safe volume, so that they may enjoy this experience for a lifetime.

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