The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is concerned that the media has failed to give the requisite coverage to the risk of hearing damage from noisy toys or electronic devices.
The association's reaction comes days after the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a report on the media's apathy towards the risk of hearing loss among children.
The report said that most of the media coverage was being focussed on the lead content of toys and other serious concerns, while hearing damage from noisy devices was completely absent from the list of dangers to children.
Recent reports also revealed that electronics were among the fastest-growing segment of the toy market, and were being marketed to younger and younger children.
"It is up to adults to safeguard our children and protect them from dangers that we can easily avoid, including lead, choke hazards — and hearing damage from loud toys or playing videogames and music too loud, too long," said Dr. Noma Anderson, the President of ASHA.
The association says that loud toys and personal listening technologies may pose a threat to ears for all ages if not used safely, and once damaged, ears do not heal.
It has also warned that for children, hearing loss may adversely affect children's academic and social development.
In the wake of the increasing trend of gifting and receiving electronic toys, the association has suggested that parents better learn how to protect their children's hearing and teach them safe listening habits.
The ASHA has also recommended some important guidelines to maintain a healthy hearing. According to it, one must give one's ears a break from continuous listening, and lower volume should be used.
The guidelines also recommend setting volume limiters prior to allowing children to use electronic items.
In a report, the association has also said that frequently misunderstanding what is said and wanting things repeated is a symptom of hearing loss. Trouble in identifying or localizing sounds is also a symptom of the problem.
The association also recommends seeking the care and advice of a certified audiologist whenever a person suspects hearing loss.