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Crackers Can Affect The Development Of Hearing In Babies: Docs

  • IWB Post
  •  November 10, 2015


Neo-natal experts say that exposing the newborn to loud firecrackers can develop hearing problem. However, they say, it is difficult to detect because of the subtleness of the impact. Therefore, doctors suggest that parents of a newborn should stay on their toes to avoid such consequences.

Dr Jayshree Mondkar, head neonatologist from Sion hospital, Mumbai said: “Exposure to loud crackers may damage the ear drums. A newborn baby is vulnerable to loud noise created by firecrackers in Diwali. Since they are too small, the impact is subtle and gauging the damage is difficult. ”

In 2010, the popular crackers — measured by anti-noise pollution activists — were found to be as high as 140 decibels (dB), even though the permissible levels are125dB. However, over a period of time, the manufacturers have reduced the levels and this year the same firecrackers were measured to be around 117 dB.

Sound levels above 80 dB can affect the development of hearing in babies and young children. Health experts say earmuffs can effectively reduce dangerous levels of noise and can be used for babies as young as six-week-old.

Dr Chander Lulla, fetal medicine specialist at Jaslok hospital, Mumbai said: “Though there is no research done on the developmental impact of noise pollution created by firecrackers during Diwali on foetuses, it is advisable that a woman stays away from loud firecracker noise during the first three months of pregnancy. The foetus is in initial developmental stage and therefore extra care should be taken for the same.”

Psychiatrists also say that a certain section of children in the age group of 2-15 can develop anxiety and fear because of loud fire cracker noise. “Many parents prefer to go out of town specially to avoid the Diwali period and noise pollution. I suggest parents not to force children to burn firecrackers and encourage get together with relatives and friends,” said Dr Parul Tank, psychiatrist, Fortis hospital, Mumbai.

This article has been first published in DNA.

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