Or at least, that's the message from the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) who are urging people to ensure that they protect their children's hearing this bonfire night.
In a recent press statement, the RNID claim that persistent exposure to noise above 85 decibels over time can cause permanent hearing damage. According to Garen Carol's Decibel Comparison Chart, that equates to roughly the sound of city traffic. Continues the press release “with some fireworks reaching in excess of 155 decibels, the sensitive hearing of children is particularly at risk”
Mark Catling, RNID Products’ Head of Business and Relationship Development, says: “The noise caused by fireworks is a very real but often forgotten risk to hearing. Though bonfire night is a time of fun for all the family, protecting the hearing of your young ones is vital to prevent potential hearing damage, ensuring that you can all continue to enjoy bonfire night for years to come”.
It's pretty easy to forget that children are more sensitive to loud noises than adults are – probably because we've lost some of our hearing range over the years. And sadly, I know I'm one of those people who think 'it'll never happen to me', but perhaps being a parent should make me somewhat more aware of my mortality – or in this case, the mortality of my and my daughter's ear drums.
Certainly not meant as a sales pitch, although in support of a charity I don't really mind, it is worth mentioning that the RNID sell The Peltor Kid,(£12.28) which are ear protectors for children from birth to 7 years.
The protectors are said to reduce decibel levels between 11.6dB and 36.1dB.
The good thing is that these can be useful in any loud events such as music concerts, on motorboats, steam trains or motor racing – all noises that might not affect adults, but could be damaging to children.
The RNID also warn that noise-induced damage can cause trouble sleeping and give rise to stress. It can make it difficult to hear what others are saying. Furthermore, attention and learning capacity can be decreased.
I love fireworks as much as the next person, but will definitely consider my baby's ears this time round, even if it means standing a distance from the fireworks, or using her daddy's noise blocking headphones.