Fireworks can lead to hearing loss in children

July 3, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness

 
POSTED: WEDNESDAY, JULY 2, 2014 1:00 AM
Nathan Williams, AuD.
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Whether you are shooting fireworks in your drive-way or watching a public display, you could be at risk of having some hearing damage.

Fireworks produce a sound output that is in the 150 to 175 decibel range.

Each year, many people experience some damage to their hearing as a result of fireworks.

HOW FIREWORKS AFFECT HEARING

There are two things to note when considering whether or not fireworks will have the potential to cause hearing loss. First is the distance a person is from the sound source. Sound is less likely to affect your hearing the further you are positioned from the firework explosion.

The second thing to consider is how loud the firework actually is. The World Health Organization recommends that adults not be exposed to more than 140 decibels of peak sound pressure. For children, the recommendation is 120 decibels.

If you are dealing with a firework that explodes at 170 decibels, you would have to stand 15 to 20 meters away before you are at a safe limit. Children would have to stand 50 to 60 meters away from that same firework. Infants should not be exposed to fireworks, because they generally experience the greatest amount of sound pressure.

Exposure to loud sounds can result in the following:

 

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