Hearing-loss prevention practices should be taught in schools

Robert L. Folmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Children are often exposed to excessive levels of sound, such as loud music, firearms, power tools, and noisy toys. Such exposure puts children at risk for developing noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) and tinnitus. For more than 30 years, health policy agencies and numerous experts in hearing science have recommended teaching hearing-loss prevention practices to children in schools as a way to reduce the prevalence of NIHL. Despite these recommendations, basic hearing-loss prevention information that could prevent countless cases of NIHL remains conspicuously absent from most school curricula. At least 10 organizations produce or use a variety of materials in a comprehensive hearing-loss prevention curriculum for school-age children. At least 18 additional organizations produce or disseminate materials (Web-based, video, or printed matter) that could be used to teach hearing-loss prevention in classrooms. Therefore, adequate materials and curricula are available for presenting this information to school-age children. It is time to implement the repeated recommendations of experts by providing hearing-loss prevention instruction in all of our nation's schools on a regular basis. These educational efforts should eventually help to reduce the prevalence of NIHL, which is a fully preventable condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-80
Number of pages14
JournalSeminars in Hearing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2008


  • Children
  • Education
  • Hearing conservation
  • NIHL
  • Noise-induced hearing loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing


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