A baby item that could harmful to little ears Show Notes

Friday, March 14, 2014 Host(s): Dr. Bill Maier
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If you or someone you know has a baby at home, listen up. There may be something in their nursery that could be harmful to their little ears.  

CBS correspondent Michelle Castillo is reporting on new research on infant sleep machines. It turns out they may be too loud, potentially damaging a baby's delicate hearing.

The devices play soothing “white noise” to help babies sleep. But it turns out that some of them, when played at maximum levels, could exceed the noise limit recommended for infants.

Researchers tested 14 infant sleep machines that are commonly sold in the U.S. and Canada. They played 65 sounds at the maximum volume and tested them from three different locations in babies' nurseries.

All of the machines exceeded the 50-decibel noise limit guideline that hospitals adhere to in infant nurseries. Three of the machines reached levels greater than 85 decibels. 

If played consistently for eight hours, those sounds are higher than the noise limit set by the US government for adult workers!

Study author Dr. Blake Papsin, told USA Today that he is also concerned that white noise may harm a developing brain, since infants need to hear all sounds in order to help their brains mature.

He says "Completely removing all informational content at a loud, potentially damaging level is the worst.” 

In other words, baby’s brains need to take in a variety of sounds during the day, and white noise in the nursery cancels those out.

If you’d like to learn more about the study, go to the American Academy of Pediatrics website at aap.org.

I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.
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