On the Fourth of July, it’s typical for friends and family to get together to spend some quality time, while celebrating this wonderful holiday. What’s not to like? There’s food, sun, outdoor activities, quality people, and fireworks. Fireworks on the Fourth of July are something that many of us look forward to every year, both kids and adults alike. However, while fireworks are a timeless tradition, they make the Fourth of July one of the noisiest holidays, putting your hearing at risk. Fireworks are amazing to watch, but unfortunately, they can be louder than gunfire or a rock concert. In fact, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, firecrackers and fireworks can be heard at a distance as short as 3 feet away and can reach up to 155 decibels; while prolonged exposure at 85 decibels can cause hearing damage. So needless to say, fireworks can easily damage your hearing.
The Fourth of July is a wonderful holiday to look forward to, for both young and old. The best part? Fireworks are pretty much a mainstay all summer long, from the Fourth of July to Labor Day. Nonetheless, if you are watching fireworks this summer season, you will want to safeguard your hearing from the explosions. Take precaution and protect your hearing this Independence Day and beyond by following these Fourth of July hearing tips.
Keep Your Distance from the Source
If you are watching a fireworks show, stay at least 500 feet from the source of the noise, and the same rule applies to both kids and adults. If you decide to stay close to the source, you will put yourself at a higher risk for permanent hearing loss, and it could be immediate and sudden.
Investing in a pair of earplugs is an inexpensive, easy way to protect your ears during loud events, such as fireworks. Just make sure the earplugs fit snugly in your ears. If you have a child under the age of 8, use earmuffs to protect their hearing.
Be Aware of Your Limit
If you are watching a fireworks show and you start to notice a buzzing or a ringing in your ears, that’s a good indicator that you are standing too close to the source. You want to avoid noises that are close and loud, so if you are noticing that your ears are ringing, move further away from the source.
In many cases, we may find ourselves wondering “is this too loud for my ears?” We usually don’t notice until it’s too late, because we don’t realize until our ears are ringing. Luckily, if you own a smartphone, there are apps that can measure decibels of noise, so you can be aware and take the proper precautions.