Question: How many parents and grandparents have bought their teenagers new, higher-capacity phones and mp3 players? And how many of them use these devices regularly?

Whilst we remind our teenagers of the very real dangers of crossing the road with their earphones blaring we very rarely get too much traction from giving them a lesson in hearing health. The perceived infallibility of youth, and their susceptibility to peer and marketing pressures make it hard for hearing health to be given too much thought.

However, the NAS work in schools with the Love Your Ears campaign to get 12 to 16 year olds to recognise the importance of hearing health has been a huge success. We are welcomed into the classroom, as an addition to the PSHE curriculum, to talk about the dangers of mp3 over-usage. With the support of audiologists, we demonstrate the function of the ear and explain its sensitivity and fragility. As part of the practical interaction we use specialized headphone readers, which allow students to test for themselves the output levels of their personal stereos.

Giving the teens an opportunity to talk about their personal stereo in a group, discussing volume levels and their impact on long-term hearing, has proved a very positive way of interacting on this sensitive issue. As a result the teens become engaged and aware of the potential dangers of prolonged mp3 usage and set an intention to reduce the time and volume of their exposure. In short, they embark on a journey to better Love their Ears!

Street Safety: listening to loud music whilst out and about poses huge risks to all road-users. The AA (Automobile Association) puts this in a clear and helpful way. ‘iPod oblivion – a trance like or zombie state entered by some people using Mp3 players, phones and electronic organizers on the move – can be lethal for pedestrians, cyclists and car drivers. It is thought that pedestrians’ lack of attention may be a factor in some of the 500 pedestrian deaths or 26,887 pedestrian casualties last year’
(source: AA Article)

These incidents would happen less often if pedestrians could hear the ambient sounds around them while listening to music without ruining their enjoyment, thus allowing users to remain fully aware of their surroundings. – if only there were such a product… well, you’re in luck.  Air Drives interactive headphones are audiologist approved for all day listening as they exceed the OHSA and House Ear Institute guidelines and allow the user to enjoy music whilst being aware of background sound and oncoming dangers.  You can order yours today from the NAS order line on 0844 571 9585 or email orders@noise-abatement.org.

Help us spread the word further and save more teenagers from noise induced hearing loss. The Love your Ears campaign is the only one of its kind, which specifically targets vulnerable teens and aims to prevent this teenage time bomb.

We rely on your donations and membership to further our commitment to preventative teenage hearing health – act now! Join our Facebook and Twitter communities.

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