Unit 2: Music Connection

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Turn Down the Volume

If you listen to music, you are probably like millions of other kids--you turn up the volume when you hear your favorite song. Listening to loud music may be fun, but a government study shows it may also be dangerous.

One in Ten Are Injured

According to the study, which was paid for by the U.S. government, more than 5 million kids, ages 6 to 19, have suffered some hearing loss. That's more than one out of every ten kids. Out of the kids with hearing loss, more than 250,000 have moderate to severe hearing loss.

Amanda Niskar, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, conducted the study. She was surprised by the results. “It was assumed in the past that children wouldn't have noise-induced hearing loss at an early stage,” Niskar said.

Niskar blames the hearing problems on loud noises. Loud noises are a “problem for children,” she said. Loud music, fireworks, emergency sirens, and construction noise can all cause hearing problems.

Now Hear This!

Hearing loss affects kids for the rest of their lives. In addition, not being able to hear well can cause kids all kinds of other problems.

For example, hearing loss “can influence [a] child's ability to learn in the classroom,” Niskar said. If a child cannot hear the teacher or classmates well, he or she might have a hard time understanding lessons and following instructions.

Niskar said the best way to prevent hearing loss is either to stay away from loud noises or to wear hearing protection, such as earplugs and protective headphones. So the next time you want to pump up the volume, turn it down instead.

parts of the ear

Word Wise

moderate:
Of medium amount, extent, or quality: My friend earns a moderate income.

severe:
Very serious, extreme: The damage to the rose garden was severe.

influence:
To cause changes or have an effect without using direct force: The mayor has a talent for influencing the people in his town.

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Activity

Look at the words moderate and severe. How are the words related? Write three sentences or related pairs of sentences using both words.

Example: Chris said he had a severe case of the hiccups, but I think it was only moderate.

Data Hunt

Imagine you have been asked to create an ad campaign to warn children about the risk of hearing loss. Create a poster for the campaign that contains the following information.

  • The fraction of kids aged 6 to 19 in the U.S. who have suffered some hearing loss.
  • The fraction of kids with some hearing loss who have moderate to severe hearing loss.