Protect your child’s hearing

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By Mary Malik

The sounds of summer are in the air, and some of them are really loud. Dr. Cara Donovan, Au.D., of Sounds of Life Hearing Center, has some advice for keeping your kids’ hearing safe this summer and beyond.

“Between loud noises from events like fireworks displays, sporting events, concerts, parades and other fun activities, children’s ears can be under assault during the summer months,” says Dr. Donovan. “Even in your own yard when the kids are playing and mom and dad are doing yard work, it’s important to have some sort of ear protection.”

Protection can mean foam ear plugs you can purchase, custom-fit ear plugs fitted specifically or over-the-ear headphones.

“It’s really the child’s preference,” says Dr. Donovan. “Whatever version your child will wear is the most important thing.”

For young and older children, headphones are also a concern. Some kids are using ear buds or headphones for several hours every day.

“Any headphones or ear buds should be kept at half volume,” advises Dr. Donovan. “A good guideline is if someone is standing a meter away, your child should still be able to hear them talking. If they can’t, the volume is too loud.”

Swimming can also present ear issues for kids, especially those susceptible to ear infections or who have pressure equalizing (PE) tubes.

“Kids with PE tubes or a hole in the eardrum need to be mindful of fresh water,” says Dr. Donovan. “They should be wearing swim plugs to protect that middle ear space. You can find swim plugs at the store or we custom make them here at Sounds of Life for a comfortable fit that stays in.”

The audiologists at Sounds of Life Hearing will test your child’s hearing and also identify and treat ear infections.

Sounds of Life Hearing Center is located at 8003 Auburn Road, Suite 4 in Concord Township. For more information call 440-579-4085 or check the website