Parents have always had a hard time getting their kids to sleep and have tried many things to get them to do so peacefully, but is it possible that some of these solutions are actually causing child hearing loss?
A recently conducted study suggests that sleep machines, machines that produce white noise to help make a child sleep, may actually be leading to loss of hearing.
Sound produced at certain levels has the ability to damage hearing. Children are more susceptible to this damage due to their smaller ear canals and it is recommended that young children should not be exposed to sounds of 50 db for more than an hour. By comparison, an adult can safely stand double that for the same length of time.
The study tested 14 types of machines that produce white noise, all but one of which were capable of producing sounds greater than 50 db, even when placed across the room. The main concern of the study was that three of the machines that were tested were capable of producing sounds greater than 85 db when near the crib.
“The main message is that off-the-rack machines – three of them – at certain conditions are capable of producing hazardous levels of sounds. I’m not saying they were (producing hazardous sound), but they were capable.” said Dr Blake Papsin, the report’s lead author.
Dr. Papsin works for the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. He and his colleagues advised parents who intend to use sleep machines to place them far away and to set the volume as low as possible. Also, using the devices for less time was advised as well. Many sleep machines have automatic shut-off features so that it isn’t necessary to have it running for long periods of time.
Are You Causing Your Child Hearing Loss?