Celebrating National Audiobook Appreciation Month Safely

Our audiologists work with many families who love to use audiobooks. But the same concerns seem to be voiced among both parents of young children and older adults – are they safe? Audiobooks are a great source of entertainment and we support their use for both educational and entertainment purposes. The key to being safe listening to audiobooks is to maintain the volume at an appropriate level. Loud headphones are a cause of hearing loss in our youth these days. While you maintain your child’s safety in other ways like swimming, eating, or playing sports, be sure to also monitor the volume of their headphones and keep their ears healthy, too.

June is National Audiobook Appreciation Month which aims at increasing the awareness of the benefits of listening to audiobooks. In the digital world we live in, this form of technology can be found on a number of resources and products and almost all books are available digitally these days. They are used in classrooms to support fluency and vocabulary acquisition and although once more popular with struggling readers, they have been a great tool to help non-readers foster a love for reading and learning as well. Gifted and talented students can benefit from the vocabulary exposure in higher level texts and can easily follow at their own pacing.

Audiobooks can be used with all readers to introduce students to books above their reading level, model good interpretive reading, teach critical listening skills, highlight the humor in books, introduce new genres of literature that some students may not otherwise consider, introduce new vocabulary, sidestep unfamiliar dialects or accents, provide a read-aloud model, provide a bridge for topics of discussion between parents and children, and recapture “the essence and the delights of hearing stories beautifully told by extraordinarily talented storytellers.”

If children or adults have a problem hearing the narration, encourage them to talk with one of our audiologists rather than cranking the volume in the headphones which could actually worsen hearing issues. “Listening through headphones at a high volume for extended periods of time can result in lifelong hearing loss for children and teens,” says Dr. Foy, an osteopathic pediatrician from Vallejo, California. “Even a mild hearing loss due to excessive noise could lead to developmental delays in speech and language.” Protect your children from hearing loss due to noisy headphones so that they do not need hearing aids  prematurely. Likewise, during other loud situations, children may benefit from our custom-fit ear molds or ear plugs which can help block out some sound from the ear canal. Overall, Audiobook Appreciation Month serves as a great reminder to protect hearing and increase awareness on the uses of headphones. Contact our audiologists for more information.

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