ASHA Praises Introduction of New Apple Volume Setting Software
Parents Can Limit Volume of Children's iPods
(Rockville, MD - March 29, 2006) The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) today praised Apple for introducing new software that will allow iPod listeners to set their own personal maximum volume limit.
"While public education is the fundamental, long-run answer to protecting the nation's hearing health with regard to popular new audio technology, Apple's move is a step in the right direction, which we commend," according to Brenda Lonsbury-Martin, ASHA's Chief Staff Officer for Science and Research.
"For some time," Lonsbury-Martin explains, " ASHA has been at the forefront of the hearing health-popular technology usage discussion, urging consumers to take personal responsibility and follow several precautions. Lowering the volume is one. But there is also limiting listening time and using headphones that isolate listening to wanted sound, reducing the chance that users will increase volume to block out unwanted sound."
Lonsbury-Martin notes, too, that the precautions pertain to not only the usage of the iPod, but also to usage of many of the devices that make up the new wave of popular technology that is plugged into the ear.
The new Apple software update for the iPod nano and fifth generation iPod permits listeners to set their own maximum volume limit. Moreover, it gives parents the ability to set a maximum volume limit on their child's iPod and lock it with a combination code. Eighty-five decibels is considered the safe upper limit for volume levels.
Lonsbury-Martin says that it will be important for consumers to be able to know that they are listening within safe volume limits, knowledge that should help parents protect their children's hearing. "A recent national poll that ASHA commissioned suggested that parents are limited in what they can do to protect their children's hearing because their kids are using these devices away from home and for long periods of time. Apparently, this new software will help address that problem."
ASHA has made protecting the hearing health of the young a priority, noting that even minimal hearing loss among that age group can be devastating to educational and social development. Next month, ASHA plans to launch a national campaign featuring a prevention message for very young listeners.
"Apple has demonstrated its responsiveness by issuing its new software," Lonsbury-Martin says. "We welcome them to continue their positive steps by joining with us in our new campaign." According to Lonsbury-Martin: "ASHA is especially well-positioned to reach kids since a great many of our more than 123,000 members work in schools throughout the United States."
For more information about noise and hearing loss and how to protect your hearing, go to www.asha.org or call 1-800-638-Talk.
ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 123,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess, and treat speech and language problems including swallowing disorders.