Having children is a precious gift. The sound of laughter that fills our homes and overwhelms us with love and gratitude every day is a beautiful feeling. Ok, you don’t feel that every day. And with the current restrictions on getting out of the house, you may be pulling your hair out. But even so, our lives are better for having our children around. So, what things are you looking forward to doing once restrictions are lifted, and we can all socialize as much as we want again? If going to concerts, or other large (or loud) events, is on your list then keep reading below to learn how to protect your child’s ears at a concert.
Concerts And Festivals
Your list may be endless, so keen we are to enjoy life once more. You may be thinking that you would like to attend a live concert. For the past year, concerts have been on hold due to the global pandemic. But hopefully, we will enjoy the thrill of live music in the not too distant future, with hope on the horizon. And it’s good for our mental health to plan things to look forward to, even if it may not happen for awhile. So what do you need to consider when attending concerts or festivals with children?
Firstly, make sure you have enough snacks and drinks. Children are notorious for needing above the average person’s snack requirement, so make sure you’re well stocked up. They may also serve as a distraction if your child becomes overwhelmed. If attending a concert or festival with live bands/music, it may be useful to invest in some live performance earplugs for your child’s comfort. Young children can find loud music a little intimidating, so using earplugs specially designed to block background noise will mean they can enjoy the music safely and remain relaxed. Make sure you check the NRR (noise reduction rating) for quality and ultimate protection. There are various options, but most have the same function; they block any noise other than the music, enabling your child to listen safely. So they can still enjoy great sound quality.
The noise at concerts doesn’t just come from music. Thousands of screaming fans are also attending with their contribution. Children are often unaware of this before a concert, so it may cause some discomfort initially.
Some children suffer from hyperacusis, which is a condition that affects the perception of sound. If your child experiences this, loud music will be particularly challenging. It can also cause pain for some children, and in some cases, a child will develop a fear of noise. It can be caused as a result of a medical condition and should be investigated by a professional. A doctor may suggest sound therapy to eliminate or reduce the problem gradually. In the meantime, either avoid large music venues or always provide good quality ear protection for your child so he/she does not develop a phobia. Most hearing aids can be adjusted to provide reduce excessive amplification.
Earmuffs are another option for little ears. They completely cover the area to block sound and are more comfortable for younger children to use. As a general rule of thumb, if you are in an environment where you have to shout to be heard, you should use ear protection. Too much exposure to loud music can cause permanent damage within 5 minutes, and the damage is irreversible. The ears of babies and toddlers are very vulnerable to noise, so protecting them should be a priority. Earmuffs are great because they can be utilized and used for warmth, as well as sound restriction. You can also use them when traveling on a plane or any other environment that could be challenging for the ears. They can even be used to sleep in.
[Read: Sensory Processing 101]
Picking the Right Area
Choose the right seating area. Where you sit in a concert will determine how much sound you are exposed to. Avoid sitting next to speakers as this will be the loudest place. The front row, although good for the view, is the worst place for sensitive children.
If your child seems to be struggling with the environment, it’s good to take a break periodically. Take them outside for some fresh air or somewhere quiet and calm to give them a chance to relax. Concerts and festivals can be intense, so taking regular breaks are vital.
It might be wise to take your child to a smaller music venue before exposing them to a large-scale concert or festival, especially if they suffer from hyperacusis. This way they can be introduced gradually and will be less intimated by a large event.
We are all looking forward to the time we can engage in the things we enjoy again. Our children also need exciting things to look forward to. So start planning now, and in no time we’ll be back out there having fun with the people we love.