ASHA Unveils Cartoon Earbud Characters Bearing Prevention Messages Related to Hearing Health
The Buds Advise Elementary-Aged School Children To Follow The "Rules of Thumb" When They Use Popular Audio Technology
(Rockville, MD - May 5, 2006) As the next phase of its campaign to conserve hearing by promoting safe usage of popular technology, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is introducing the "Buds," two cartoon earbud characters which provide safety tips for children ages 5 - 10, their parents, and other significant adults.
The Buds are at http://www.listentoyourbuds.org/, an interactive web site with fun, free, and downloadable items featuring the Buds. The web site includes screen savers, bookmarks, posters, and coloring banner pages. All items feature the Buds and the "Rules of Thumb," simple safety guidelines which encourage kids to do things such as lower the volume and limit listening time.
"The approach we are taking is fun because of our target audience, but the issue is very serious," according to ASHA's President Alex Johnson. "Hearing loss can affect a child's ability to communicate, learn, and socialize with others."
In March, an ASHA poll looked at the usage habits of high school students with respect to some popular technology that provides audio through earbuds or earphones. More than half of high school students surveyed reported at least one symptom of hearing loss. While the poll did not attribute hearing loss to unsafe usage of personal stereo systems, it did report that these students are listening too long and at volumes too loud.
"By educating children at a young age and before they develop bad habits, ASHA hopes the Buds will help prevent cases of noise-induced hearing loss," explains Johnson.
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. For more information about noise, hearing loss, and noise prevention, go to http://www.asha.org/ or 1-800-638-TALK.