Information Update - Turn down the volume to protect your hearing health

Dec 11, 2012, 11:00 ET from Health Canada

OTTAWA, Dec. 11, 2012 /CNW/ - If a personal listening device is on your shopping list this holiday season, Health Canada reminds you that high noise levels can impact your hearing health and physical safety.  Personal listening devices can include iPods, MP3 players, portable radios, cellular phones and gaming headsets.

What you should do: 

  • When purchasing a personal listening device, check to see if the product includes a feature that limits sound levels, and learn how to use that feature.
  • As a general rule, keeping the volume at the mid-way level will minimize the risk of causing hearing damage. Listening to a personal listening device at full volume for just three to 12 minutes can pose a risk of immediate, serious or permanent hearing loss.
  • Avoid using earbuds/ headphones in situations where hearing is important for safety, such as when driving, crossing a street or biking.
  • Avoid increasing the tightness of the earbud/headphone fit, as this can increase the sound levels.

In addition to personal listening devices, there are many children's toys on the market that have sound. Playing too long and too often with very loud toys can harm a child's hearing, but a few simple guidelines can reduce the risk of harm.

  • If you have to yell to be heard above the sound of a toy, then it is likely too loud for a child and should not be used.
  • Look for toys that have volume control features, so that the sound can be kept low or turned off.

Hearing loss from excessive noise can be permanent, but by following the safety tips above you can help minimize your risk.

SOURCE Health Canada