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As the new school year kicks off, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s (ASHA) has launched a “Listen To Your Buds” initiative, a public education campaign aimed at preventing noise-induced hearing loss by helping adults teach children how to use personal audio technology safely. The ASHA is dedicated to helping more children develop safe listening habits to avoid the devastating, lifelong effects that can accompany hearing loss.

ASHA’s Listen to Your Buds 2012 national poll results show that eighty-four percent of parents are concerned that the misuse of personal audio technology is damaging the hearing of children in general. Seventy-five percent of parents say that teaching the proper use of this technology is important, yet only fifty percent of parents have discussed safe listening with their children.

“Studies show hearing loss can occur painlessly over time and is most commonly caused by exposure to loud sounds,” says ASHA President Shelly Chabon, PhD, CCC-SLP. “For children, even mild hearing loss can lead to delays in speech and language development and affect their academic performance, social interaction and more. ‘Listen to Your Buds’ educates everyone to practice safe listening in easy, everyday ways.”

The “Listen To Your Buds” campaign provides tips such as keeping the volume down to half and taking listening breaks when using personal audio technology. It also provides parents with warning signs and resources on where to get help if concerns arise.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 150,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists in the United States and internationally. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing and balance disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess, and treat speech and language problems including swallowing disorders.

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association