Sound and noise are universal in our environments. It is so widespread we often do not notice it or simply categorize it as a harmless nuisance. Yet, this could not be further from the truth. Whether we realize we realize it or not, noise pollution is hazardous to the health to you and your loved one’s health.
What is Noise Pollution?
Environmentalists scientifically categorize constant or high-level sounds that disrupt the natural balance as being the result of exposure to “noise pollution.” This description applies to abnormal volumes and repetitive production of sounds or noise. Examples of noise pollutants include airport traffic, construction sites, music concerts, sporting events, fireworks, consistently playing with noisy toys/video games, and listening to personal music players or high-volume headphones.
Is Noise Pollution Harmful?
Because we can not see it, smell it does not mean it cannot harm us.
Surprisingly, the most common victims of noise pollution are our children. Numerous diseases, birth defects, and immune system changes are traced back to noise pollution. This includes psychological effects, as well.
Approximately 40 years ago a link between low-birthweight and exposure to high sound levels noted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Expectant mothers with exposure to noise pollution have higher rates of birth abnormalities to include: low birth weight, harelip, cleft palate, and spinal defects.
As well, noise pollution is known to damage the physical health of children beyond infancy. Children who live in noisy residences often have a heart rate significantly higher than those of children from quieter homes. Lower focus and performance abilities are also linked to those living in noisy conditions.
Consequently, higher rates of hypertension and ADD/HDAD disorders are found amongst children living in noise pollution. It is estimated, approximately 12% American children between the ages of 6 to 19 years had impaired hearing in one or both ears.
Regular exposure to sounds and noise related pollution in educational settings compromise their auditory processing and can develop speech and/or reading complications. Just like children continue to physically grow as they get older, they continue to develop their speech perception capabilities as they develop into their teenage years. Disruptive noise in learning environments can yield a variety of cognitive developmental delays.
Evidence shows children in noisier classrooms have more learning aptitude difficulties than those who learn in quieter settings. APD, an auditory processing disorder associated with word discrimination, and Dysgraphia, a writing development impairment stem brain-based issues and caused by environmental stressors commonly associated with noise pollution.
How to Protect our Children?
Noise pollution can play a role in shaping our child’s mental health and physical functionality. Once we understand and reconcile this scientific fact, we can take preventative measures. Your child’s health is important to Lucid Audio. We are parents too, which is why our HearMuffs are made with our revolutionary advanced sound protection technology.
Our HearMuffs actively compress harmful sounds while having the unique ability to let in outside voices at a comfortable level. HearMuffs and Kids HearMuffs protect your child from noise pollution including traffic, concerts, construction, and city sounds. All while providing maximum comfort for all head shapes and sizes and grows with your child from infancy through adolescence.
With this week, technically, June 21st, being the official start of summer, we hope you treat yourself with some well-deserved travel away from the office (or classroom…or kitchen…) And regardless if you find yourself flying or taking a short road trip, we understand packing for yourself or family brings with it a few frustrating packing challenges.
Thankfully, we have researched a slew of carry-ons designed specifically to ease the travel burden. Should you choose to put the words, “travel” and “burden,” in the same sentence (hmm?), we are confident you will be happy including these carry-on approved must-haves to your packing list. To make things even easier on you we even included links to buy each product below.
1.) CORKCICLE…ANYTHING CORKCICLE
Never lose your cool this summer in any travel situation. Keep your drinks hot or cold on long-haul flights or road trips with any of their insulated stainless steel drink canteens or drink holders. Their designer-inspired and contemporary metallic designs are a great accessory to your travel attire. And what’s better? 5% of all Corkcicle sales go directly toward Charity: Water to help provide clean drinking water to those in need.
2.) OUNNE WATERPROOF CASE (iPHONE) or LIFEPROOF FRE SERIES WATERPROOF CASE (GALAXY)
Protect your smartphone from water, accidental drops, and scratches with a certified waterproof phone case. There is nothing worse than a cracked phone screen or non-functioning camera to hinder capturing your travel memories.
3.) LUCID AUDIO WIRELESS HEADPHONES
If sound quality and battery life are essential then Lucid Audio’s Bluetooth headphones are the way to go when traveling! Designed to be light, travel-friendly, and second-to-none when it comes to comfort, quality, the sound activated compression protects you from distracting turbine and engine noises that can cause long-term damage. Listen to your music, take calls, and with the adjustable ambient volume control, continue to have conversations with your travel companions.
4.) POCKETJUICE CHARGER POWER BANK
This portable compact power charger packs a big punch of power. The slim and compact body will surprise you by how fast it can charge up to two smartphones/tablets fast and includes multiple functions essential for the smartphone traveler.
5.) TRTL PILLOW
This scientifically proven super soft neck support is compact and lightweight compared to the traditional u-shaped neck pillow. Should you find yourself wanting a little shut-eye during your travels, this travel pillow holds your neck in ergonomic position during rest. And with its low-profile features, it is super lightweight and can easily attach to your travel bag. Check out this Trtl Pillow Video to see the comfort for yourself!
6.) BAGSMART ORGANIZER
Save time dealing with unraveling your electronic cables, plugs, adapters, battery packs, etc. There is nothing more frustrating than spending half your travel time trying to locate a charger stuffed at the bottom of your bag or pulling out the knots of your jumbled up chords. And if you are like us, you can also find room in this roomy organizer to add your other travel items such as your passport, tablet, laptop accessories, etc.
ASD advocated strongly argue spectrum children should be seen as a “difference to be recognized” instead of a “disorder to be cured.”
And what better time to explore this topic than Autism Awareness Month?
Upon my first attempt, my question was immediately answered. Connecting noise protection devices and someone diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) would be easy. My computer was flooded with research and websites with ASD information. Managing overstimulation and sensory sensitivity are a high priority for someone with ASD. Give this, it was obvious was a connection. HearMuffs and Kids HearMuffs are already widely utilized for their “noise protection” and sensory calming features. Anyone with ASD would benefit using Lucid Audio HearMuffs and Kid HearMuffs for their everyday use and during therapy sessions.
Great! That was easy. Now what?
Well, my search didn’t end there!
As I continued on, I was led down a path more thought-provoking than simply connecting our products to the ASD community.
In fact, what I stumbled upon profoundly and beautifully altered my perception of the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) community.
I knew there was a slew of resources. What I was not expecting, was to recognize many children (including mine) not on the spectrum, are walking away from their PlayStations and putting down their smartphones. They are opting to play with sensory soothing tools. Such tools originally marketed and advertised for someone with ASD. Products including fidget spinners, slime, and squishies to name a few are important components (and have been for many years) components utilized during ASD therapy and everyday use. I don’t know about you, but all three have recently taken over my home and the everyday lives of my children.
Given this fact, it is imperative to give pause to the idea our children are grasping for toys with sensory soothing features. They are actually craving a break from the daily chaos and noises of their lives.
These newly named, “kid craze” and “trend toys” keeping our children company have been around as early as the 1970s. For decades now, they have been tools vital in assisting sensory and fine motor skill development. They work to regulate and independently calm children. They become less anxious in and able to cope with obsessive behaviors.
Many teachers and parents outside of the ASD community see these toys as distracting, pointless, and messy. Especially now that playgrounds have become a fidget and squishy black market. And kitchens into Do-It-Yourself Slime labs. When they are actually great tools for giving a pleasing and calming sensory experience. Thus the urge for them to become distracted dissipates.
If we can shift our focus from being a fad, we could potentially tackle all levels of over stimulation and hypersensitivity that lie within all of our children.
If you know any child that would like comfort and protection from their fast-paced routines and over stimulating activities, regardless of diagnoses, check out Lucid Audio’s Kid HearMuffs. Their revolutionary technology, kid-approved features, and quality comfort and protection have made them a hit with all children. Lucid’s Kid HearMuffs are Audiologist-Approved. To add, they hold an industry-leading 22 Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) and the patented GrowBand allows HearMuffs to grow with any child starting at infancy.
At the end of the day, I am not only confident Lucid Audio’s HearMuffs and Kids HearMuffs could benefit ASD children just like all children, but ASD children are not so different from my children (our children) after all.
There’s nothing quite like a family road trip. How many times in life do you have the opportunity to spend hours on end packed into a small, moving space with the people you love most??? While road trips can make for the best memories, there are a few things that should be packed to improve the quality of a family road trip and ensure it’s an enjoyable experience for all involved.
Here are 4 things you should remember to pack with you for your family road trip:
It doesn’t take long while on the road for stomachs to start growling. In my experience, I happen to feel the most hungry when the nearest exit is still miles and miles away. Having healthy, nourishing snacks on hand is critical, but it can be hard to decide what to pack for a road trip! Here are some easy ideas:
- A loaf of sliced bread and jars of peanut butter and jelly for easy sandwiches on the go. You can also pack some avocados to spread some nutritious green goodness onto your sandwiches as well! Remember to pack a knife for easy spreading!
- Dried fruits like raisins and apricots for nutritious, non-perishable, snacking
- Juice boxes to quench hunger and offer some sweetness
- Grapes, carrots, celery, apples, bananas, and oranges especially for the first few days. There are a number of fruits and vegetables that won’t go bad right away. Keep these on hand to satisfy the desire to snack. These items are especially nice because it might be difficult to find high-quality produce at gas-station stores…
Second, items for coziness!
The design of cars is getting better and better, but they’re still not the coziest places on the planet. A few simple items will make cars more comfortable for passengers and will aid in helping the kids get to sleep and stay asleep. Be sure to pack some pillows, a comforter, soft socks and slippers, and stretchable cotton clothes. These items will make the car a more welcoming and comfortable place.
Third, Kids HearMuffs!
Kids have sensitive ears and might be disturbed by the array of loud noises that are present on the road. It’s important to protect your children’s ears from the sounds they might encounter, and also important to keep them entertained!
Lucid Audio’s Kids HearMuffs Trio do both: they protect your child’s ears and also allow your child to listen to their favorite media. The sound protection HearMuffs include active compression of harmful sounds, the unique ability to let outside voices in at a comfortable level, and the ability to listen to any media through a standard audio jack.
The HearMuffs are ideal for when your child is ready to snooze in the car, or, if they’d like to look out the window but you’d like to protect them from the loud construction sounds outside! The HearMuffs are wonderful additions to any family road trip and will create a more enjoyable experience for every member of your family. Lucid Audio also offers HearMuffs for newborns and infants which come with the ability to play four soothing sounds including white noise, babbling brook, heartbeat and lullaby.
Of course, there are many other items you should be sure to pack (toothbrushes, an extra gas canister, extra water, a physical map, some podcasts to keep you occupied, etc.). Family road trips are opportunities for bonding and unforgettable memories. We hope you have a wonderful and comfortable trip!
Looking for some ways to soothe your child?
When our children are born we seem to innately know his or her needs. My mom used to say, a baby is: sleepy, hungry, poopy or uncomfortable. If he or she is crying, address one of those.
Most of the time, mom or dad instinctively knows exactly what the issue is and how to solve it. But sometimes, it is not that easy. For example: Did you catch the nebulous description, “when a baby is uncomfortable”? The easy, go to fixes are things like wrapping your baby up in a burrito blanket, rocking, bouncing, moving their legs up and down to massage the intestines, holding close to the bosom or rubbing the tummy. These are common and repetitive movements that soothe all babies.
But what do we try next if those don’t work? First, consult your pediatrician! Then, use the following techniques, not only for babies 0-5 but also your older kiddos, ages 5-10.
I do not claim to be an expert, but based on my own experiences plus what I have learned from my sisters and good friends who are therapists of one sort or another, comfort is all about addressing the senses and/or diet.
When babies are born, they are similar to a new bloom on a flower. Their senses are heightened and they are extremely sensitive to loud noises, sudden movement, touch, temperature, and pressure on the body. Their sense of smell is developed but they much prefer the smell of mom. When they come out of the womb, it is like they are coming from another planet. It takes awhile for babies to fully integrate into this world. According to the book, The General Theory of Love, it takes babies about 1 year to fully integrate into this world.
Sometimes the senses don’t develop all the way, the brain is wired differently or the brain synapses don’t fully connect. All too often these days, we start to see patterns emerge that are connected to Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, Aspergers, and ADHD.
Regardless of your child’s development, I have found the following may help you soothe your child:
Apply Deep Tactile Pressure: When you cannot sit still, it may mean too much sugar or perhaps your proprioceptors are not firing. Deep tactile pressure like a weighted blanket, weighted Vest or light pressure on the legs, hips or shoulders help to connect the proprioceptors and brings comfort.
Limit Auditory Input: If there are too many sounds happening at once, it may cause sensory overload. Normally, we can select the sounds that we listen to but babies and those with SPD listen to all the sounds. Depending on the individual, they either hear all the sounds jumbling together and cannot make sense of it or they can gather information from each sound and become overwhelmed with too much input.
The idea here is to block or isolate sounds with audio devices like Lucid Audio’s HearMuffs™. HearMuffs for infants, 0-5 and Kids HearMuffs, 5-10. HearMuffs have Advanced Hearing Protection and Unique Kid-Approved Features including active compression of harmful sounds, the unique ability to let in outside voices at a comfortable level and the choice to play four soothing sounds or watch any kind of media source.
Movement: Movement addresses the vestibular system responsible for sensory information about motion, equilibrium, and spatial orientation. Try swinging, laying on an exercise ball and rolling back and forth, spinning or for older kids martial arts help.
Oral Input, this is the fastest to satisfy the sensory system. Try teething rings, chewing gum, or rubber tubing (nontoxic).
I hope these ideas help you. Please add your ideas for soothing a child. I will add them to my list of tried and true.