- May 19, 2012
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This past week we attended a “family event” at one of the local parks to support animal adoptions with several of our friends. After the kids loaded up their bags with free items handed out at the various booths (no more pens, magnets or flyers, please!) we headed off to the “family concert.” We got there a little early to have snacks and ended up with mediocre seats. Somehow one of the organizers recognized my wife and asked us to join her in the front VIP section of the concert (Woohoo! Or so I thought). Once the concert started it was insanely loud. I should say, unbearably loud. I thought it was just me, but as I looked over at my children, each of them had their hands clutched over their ears with frowns on their faces. None of us were enjoying it and unfortunately, we did not come prepared. Since it was out of control loud, we had to leave after only three songs. It was such a relief to get out of there — we saw other families start leaving and it looked like it would become a mass exodus. My kids complained of hearing a ringing sound in their ears on the way home and were concerned about whether it would go away.
None of us were enjoying it and unfortunately, we did not come prepared.
This isn’t the first time this has happened and sadly will definitely not be the last time. I’m not sure what the Sound Check people are thinking but my only explanation is that they must all have permanent hearing loss from continued exposure to these concerts. They should have someone random from the audience helping them with a sound check but that’s a whole other article for another time. I tend to be the one who is more easy-going and “kick-back” in the family, while my wife is more of a stickler on things like sunscreen, eating out, staying up late, and keeping to schedules in general. But on this topic we are in complete agreement. We are both cautious about our children’s hearing and are on top of it at parties, concerts or other events.
Since we can’t always control external sources, we need to arm ourselves and our children with hearing protection.
The ringing (or stuffed-ear) the kids have is officially called tinnitus. It usually goes away and normalizes after a few hours or days. The concern is that it could lead to permanent hearing loss, especially with continued exposure. The only prevention for this is that you and your children come prepared! Some people are more sensitive to loud sounds than others. Since we can’t always control external sources, we need to arm ourselves and our children with hearing protection. They are relatively inexpensive so each child should have his/her own pair, and they should ALWAYS be readily available. They’re small and can be placed in tiny containers (like small vending capsules). There are several types to choose from and even ones that are stealthier for any self conscious children. We recently bought one online that looks like a decorative headband. It looks great and other kids don’t give my daughter a hard time when she puts it on at a party if the music is extremely loud. Either way, my kids realize that their health overrides their need to look cool. Show your kids that you’re willing to put them on as well and they’ll follow suit. They’ll have an even better time at the concerts when they can actually hear the music and then be able to talk about it the next day!
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