Bonfire night will shortly be upon us and as exciting as this night can be, with exploding rockets and sizzling sparklers, take a moment to think about the impact this noisy festival can have on your hearing and your child’s.
Did you know that fireworks can reach up to 130dB in noise, which is equivalent to a jet taking off on a runway? Firework noise can cause temporary and permanent hearing damage, including tinnitus, the persistent ringing in the ears.
Prepare Your Hearing Aids For Fireworks
If you wear hearing aids, you can prepare them for fireworks before the show starts:
- Wear earmuffs over your hearing aids (you may need to switch them off if you experience feedback)
- Turn off or mute your hearing aids while the fireworks are exploding
Even if you already have hearing aids, it is still important to protect your ears and those who don’t have hearing loss.
Here are a few ways to protect your hearing this bonfire night
- Use hearing protection. Whether you are launching your own fireworks or attending a public show, bringing along hearing protection is the smartest and simplest way to ensure you don’t suffer any hearing damage.
- Keep a safe distance away. Maintain a distance of at least 15-20 metres away from loud fireworks. For children, the distance should be greater around 50-60 metres
- Buy lower noise level fireworks. All fireworks you can purchase come with a noise level rating. Look for the ones with the lowest rating. Louder does not mean better. You can still have a gorgeous show without the risk of hearing loss.
- Check in with your ears. If you start to feel any pain, discomfort, or ringing in your ears, it’s time to stop. Leave the noisy area right away.
It is important to keep in mind that if it is too loud for you, it is far too loud for children.
Children’s ears are more sensitive and less tolerant of noise. Infants should not be exposed at all. An infant’s ear canal is much smaller than a child’s or adult’s, so the sound pressure entering the ear is greater. What might not sound that loud to an adult can sound up to 20 decibels (a 10 db increase is equal to a doubling of sound pressure) louder to an infant.