With the Fourth of July just now behind us, we still have plenty of family cookouts, gatherings by the pool or at the beach, and more summer celebration sounds and fireworks ahead. It is usually a good idea to keep the fireworks to the professionals and attend a show in your region applying safe show practices (with hearing protection in hand or rather in ears).
This begs the question, in our hyper-vigilant world, do kids really have much exposure to recreational fireworks these days? Recently, Bhatt et al (2019) examined the use of fireworks and other recreational loud noise using data from the National Health Interview Series (data from 2014). The sample from the NHIS included over 13,000 children under 18 years of age. Fireworks, with 44.8 percent reporting use were the second most common source of reported loud noise exposure, the first being music (46.5 percent) and the third, yard equipment (42.5 percent). Sadly, only 16.4 percent reported consistent use of hearing protection devices when exposed to explosive sounds, such as fireworks. When including all sources of loud noise, only 6 percent reported consistent use of hearing protection.
Takeaway: There is a high prevalence of youth exposure to loud sounds, including impulsive/explosive sounds. Further, there is a low prevalence of hearing protection device use. Both passive and active prevention-based strategies are necessary to protect youth from noise induced hearing loss from recreational sources. These strategies range from manufacturing lower level sound emitting fireworks, warnings on packaging, education on hearing protection and hearing loss risk, use of hearing protection and hearing conservation strategies, periodic hearing screenings, and reinforcement with reasonable regulations.
For more information see Bhatt et al (2019). Epidemiology and gender differences in pediatric recreational and firearm noise exposure in the USA, Laryngoscope, Prepub, May 9.
“Huh?” is used in at least 31 languages around the world! A version of the word can be found in nearly every language on Earth (Dingemanse et al, 2013). This research concluded that all languages studied included a word similar, in both sound and function, to the English “huh?” Regardless of language, the word is…
If you have a dog or cat, you’ve probably seen their ears moving toward an interesting or startling sound. For professional equestrians, watching the ears of their horse allows them to gauge their shifting attention. Humans still have these same muscles, and even more interesting is their relationship to our brain and how we pay attention. …
Tai Chi is not just for increasing balance; it may also help improve cognitive performance. In a recent randomized controlled trial, study participants who practiced a form of Tai Chi twice a week for six months improved their scores on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) when compared to a control group (Fuzhong et al, 2023)….