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Healthy Hearing for Tiny Tots on Fourth of July

Harbin Clinic Pediatrics love celebrating exciting and jubilant milestones with young patients and their parents. There are so many first experiences that should be captured on camera and cherished for years to come, especially holidays and festivities like the Fourth of July. But there are choices to think through regarding your little ones before setting off fireworks in the yard or attending a large celebratory display. 

The sentimental pops and explosions of fireworks are thrilling and memorable, but they also pose a risk for your hearing – especially for tiny tots and babbling babies. We’ve provided some helpful explanations and tips to keep your family’s hearing healthy this Independence Day. 

How Loud are Fireworks?

Fireworks produce a sound output that is in the decibel (dB) range of 150 to 175. Sounds registering at 85 dB or higher can cause permanent hearing loss, and this can occur by a series of loud sounds or a single loud noise incident. 

Hearing is essential to the social, cognitive and emotional development of a child, and damage to growing ears can cause delays in speech and language processing. While loud noises may not bother an adult, it’s important to remember that babies hear differently, and loud sounds could potentially damage infants’ hearing and delay auditory development.

What You Can Do for Infants? 

Covering your child’s ears are a great way to reduce exposure to harmful noises. Protect their ears with earmuffs, earplugs or headphones, and the whole family will be able to enjoy the firework spectacle. 

Keep your distance from a large public display of fireworks. Putting 500 feet (roughly one and a half football fields) of distance between your infant and the display will reduce the exposure to potentially damaging decibels.  

Be aware of how long your child has been exposed to loud noises and remember that one loud instance could cause permanent damage. Try taking short breaks or leaving early to allow your little one to rest. 

Harbin Clinic Pediatrics hope you enjoy the festivities of the Fourth of July safely and create lifelong memories with your little firecrackers. 

Published July 2, 2020

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