Sound Choices for Kids & Teens

Sound Choices is an educational program designed to teach children about hearing conservation.



According to the National Center of Disease Statistics, 5.2 million children between the ages of 6-19 years have hearing loss directly related to noise exposure.

CHSC is proud to announce that our Sound Choices program – video, student and teacher materials and interactive games are now available to the public on our website at

Sound Choices is an educational program designed to teach children about hearing conservation.  Although the definition of “noise” may be interpreted on a personal basis, it can be described simply as unwanted sound. Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) can be instantaneous and caused by just one single exposure to a very loud sound (like a firecracker or gunshot) or it can be caused by cumulative exposure to loud sounds. Even though hearing loss due to loud sound may not be evident in the childhood years, NIHL may present later, in teenagers or early adulthood.

Just as we teach our children about other health and safety issues (wearing bike helmets, using sunscreen, eating healthy food), we should also address hearing wellness. Unlike other health issues, NIHL is generally invisible – there are no overt visible warning signs like blood, bruises, or pain.  Young children learn to listen. As they grow, they listen to learn. Good hearing is critical to the development of spoken speech and language and thus, learning.

Although permanent, noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is 100% preventable.

Tips for Kids to Protect Their Hearing

Turn it down!

If you are wearing earbuds/headphones and someone can hear your music from arms reach away (about 3 feet), it is too loud.

Use noise-cancelling earphones

These will allow you to set the listening level at a lower volume if you are in a noisy place and still hear what you want to hear.

Limit listening time

The louder the sound, the less time it takes to damage your hearing. The next steps will help you limit exposure to loud sounds.

Move away

Move away from the source of the loud sound. It’s one of the easiest things to do! Also, do not use noisy equipment in small enclosed spaces.

Use earplugs

Earplugs are inexpensive and easy to find at most drugstores, sporting goods stores, and hardware stores. Keep them at home, in your backpack, or in the car so you have them when you need them.

Cover your ears

Use your hands or use one finger to push the little flap in front of your ear backwards to seal off the ear canal.

Block the sound

Close the door, close the window!

How Loud is Too Loud?


160 dB Jet Airplane

150 dB Helicoptor

140 dB Rock Concert

130 dB Ambulance Siren

120 dB School Dance

110 dB Power Saw

100 dB Cement Mixer

90 dB Lawn Mower


80 dB City Traffic

70 dB Small Party

60 dB Normal Speaking Voice

50 dB Car Horn

40 dB Refrigerator Motor

30 dB Whisper

20 dB Rustling Leaves

10 dB Normal Breathing

0 dB Threshhold of Normal Hearing

Kids can learn more about how their ears work and how to protect their hearing by visiting the interactive website If you suspect your child may be experiencing hearing loss, contact Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center to schedule an evaluation at 216-231-8787.

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