Hearing Damage & Protection: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

Ears are amazing parts of the body that enable you to hear. In this lesson, learn how your ears work, discover how hearing can be damaged, and identify ways to protect your ears and sense of hearing.

Listen Closely

Has someone ever accused you of not listening? Hopefully it was because you were daydreaming and not because you couldn't hear them! Our ears are pretty amazing features, and they use a complicated system to allow us to hear the world around us. Protecting you hearing is important, so let's find out how we can keep our ears safe.

Inside of the ear is a complex system of parts that work together so this person can hear.

Parts of Your Ear

Ears are made of three sections. The outer ear includes the pinna, which is the part people can see and sometimes pierce! Your outer ear also has an ear canal that can create wax, which sounds a little gross but is actually helpful for keeping germs out of your body.

The middle ear includes an eardrum, which helps collect vibrations from sounds gathered by the outer ear. This leads to the inner ear, which includes the cochlea. This is a curling tube that contains liquid, and it has very tiny hairs that actually send signals to your brain when you hear sounds.

Sources of Damage

When all of the parts of the ear work properly, you can hear some pretty cool things, like your favorite music or your cat purring. But unfortunately, these delicate parts of your ear can be damaged easily, often resulting in hearing loss.

Sounds are measured in units called decibels. These are ways of measuring how loud or soft a sound is. Humans can hear a wide range of decibels. Something that you can barely hear, like a piece of paper falling on a carpeted floor, might have a decibel level of 10. But a very loud thunderstorm might be at a level of 130, which would be very uncomfortable for your ears.

If you are exposed to sounds with high decibel levels for long periods of time, it can cause temporary or even permanent hearing damage. Consider this the next time you crank up the volume on your earbuds or the radio in the car.

Turning the volume down will help prevent hearing damage.

Damage can also be done by poking things into your ear canal. Even a Q-tip can be harmful. The poking and pressure can cause damage to the delicate sections of your ear.

Hearing Checks

It's important to get your hearing checked regularly by a doctor. The doctor can inspect the inner parts of your ear to see if there is any damage. A yearly physical often includes an ear check.

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