As parents and grandparents we set the habits in our children and grandchildren that help them care for their bodies and minds to maintain their health. Whether it is as simple as brushing teeth after every meal or washing hands or more complicate matters such as hearing health, the practices we instill from a young age can stay with a child into adulthood. There are many ways you can model good hearing health practices for your children.

  • Make hearing protection a habit. Mowing the lawn, seeing a concert or attending the game, disposable ear plugs are easy to carry and use. Both mom and dad should wear hearing protection at loud events so your children can see the importance
  • Screen for hearing loss. A simple hearing test done on a regular basis is important to treatment and preventing the problem from getting worse. Children often times get screened at young ages at the doctor or at school, but adults often go many years, even decades, without a hearing test. Modeling comprehensive healthcare is also important to debunking stigmas related to hearing loss
  • Turn down the volume. Today’s kids are “plugged-in” from an early age to devices and often listen with ear buds. As children become teens it gets harder to monitor their use of ear buds. Start early with educating your children about keeping volume low and the importance of taking regular listening breaks
  • Educate. When your child gets older take time to talk about hearing health. How does the ear work? What is a loud noise and how does it damage? How can you take care of your hearing? We spend a lot of time talking about how to take care of our bodies, our teeth, our skin, but often hearing is left out.

Hearing health is an essential element to our long-term well-being and should be an important part of our children’s health knowledge and routines.