According to a study published in JAMA this week, the prevalence of hearing loss in adolescents (12 to 19 years of age) has increased in the past 20 years. While the purpose of the study did not involve establishing a causal link, the findings have initiated discussions about popular trends among adolescents and the corresponding effects these trends may potentially have on hearing. While many things can affect the integrity of the auditory system, exposure to excessively loud music via personal audio devices such as iPods or MP3 players has generated a lot of buzz. For those parents who are concerned about output levels of their child’s audio device, a relatively new product is available to remedy the situation.
KidzSafe earbuds (shown on the left) as well as KidzSafe headphones (shown above) are commercially available products that will help put parent’s minds at ease. Both products have been designed to limit the output of the audio device to levels lower than 85 dB SPL regardless of the position of the volume control of the audio device. Compatible with any audio device equipped with a 3.5 mm jack, the KidzSafe ear buds are available in a several colors including pink, blue and green; the headphones are available in white. Keep these products in mind the next time you talk to your patients!