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Dangerous Decibels: protecting hearing in wired kids

1 March, 2020

Dr David Welch, Head of Audiology in the University’s Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, directs the Dangerous Decibels programme and will speak at the Silent Breakfast event that Hearing New Zealand is hosting in Auckland this Sunday to raise funds.

Says Dr Welch: “Loud sound causes irreparable damage to our inner ears, and it is completely preventable in three simple ways: turn down the volume, walk away from the noise source, or wear earplugs or earmuffs.”

Hearing New Zealand is encouraging other people to host their own silent breakfast and pass on collected donations to the charity via a local branch or its Givealittle page. To make the breakfast ‘silent’, invitees could wear earmuffs or protectors for the first 10 minutes to mimic hearing loss, then discuss the experience; a guest could give a short speech in sign language; or someone could measure sound levels at the venue.

“The idea is to foster more understanding and empathy for those living with a hearing loss, while getting people to think about what steps they can take to protect their own and their kids’ hearing at home, school and in the workplace,” says Dr Welch.

Apart from funding the Dangerous Decibels programmes, which has already run in many schools and reached thousands of children, the money raised will go towards visits to music festivals where Hearing New Zealand volunteers will give out free ear plugs and other campaigns to encourage people to protect their hearing in noisy environments.

Dr Welch: “We are excited about our new partnership with Hearing New Zealand. Their committed people and organisation will help to protect thousands of New Zealanders from the devastating effects of hearing loss.”

Silent Breakfast event details:
Venue: Hearing Auckland, 8 Vincent Ave, Remuera
Date: Sunday 8 March from 9.00-10.30am.

Donations to the Hearing New Zealand Givealittle page.


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