In-ear earphones ‘damaging’ children’s hearing

Children are causing permanent damage to their hearing by playing loud music directly into their ears using modern high-tech earphones.

For generations teenagers have sat in their bedrooms with their favourite band blasting out of the stereo, while their parents stand at the bottom of the stairs shouting at them to “turn it down!”

However, the danger of children damaging their ears has increased dramatically over the past decade, with the rise of the iPod, iPhone, and in-ear earphones.

The same volume as a motorcycle

A study carried out by DeafHear.ie in Ireland found that up to 60% on young people in Ireland are putting their long term health at risk, by playing their music too loud and for too many hours a day. One in four have their devices set to the extremely dangerous level of more than 100 decibels, the same volume as a motorcycle.

Brendan Lennon, the head of information at DeafHear.ie said: “It is perfectly safe to listen to music on headphones at volumes up to 85dB,” he said.

“With each additional decibel you should be limiting the length of time you listen on the device. For instance, at 91dB anything more than two hours a day will cause permanent damage.”

As Christmas approaches, many parents will have bought new electronic gadgets for their children, all of which will contain a portable music player.

DeafHear.ie advise parents that the most effective way of reducing the risk of long term damage to their children is to buy them over-the-ear headphones to listen to their music through, as opposed to in-ear earphones.


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Andrew Moore

Andrew Moore is a writer for Irish Music Daily and Ireland Calling. His favourite Irish music bands are the Dropkick Murphys and the Pogues.

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