Are Fireworks Too Loud for Babies?
Fireworks are always a crowd favorite and enjoyed on many holidays. I love to sit in the park on July 4th and watch the fireworks show that has been orchestrated to old patriotic songs. I am planning on taking our baby girl to the big firework show this summer to continue the tradition I loved growing up. However, I wanted to make sure it was safe because I heard it can be damaging to babies ears.
Fireworks are known for their spectacular bursts of color but they are also known for the loud booming noise that follows. I was concerned that the noise could hurt her ears. The CDC reports that exposure to repeated loud noises have caused 5.2 million American children to have some degree of hearing damage or loss.
Fireworks can produce 140 decibels of noise. This is pretty loud considering an air plane taking off is 180 decibels. Any noise over 130 decibels can cause pain and immediate hearing damage. Prolonged loud noises are even more dangerous. A 110 decibel noise can cause damage after only one minute.
Fireworks can still be an option but take proper precautions. Location, location, location! The further back you are from the firework launch the better. Fireworks can be viewed from miles away and the further you are, the more muffled the booms. You can even watch from inside your car and stifle the sound even more. A good rule of thumb is, If it sounds loud to you, it is too loud for your baby.
Firework shows are generally 15-25 minutes long and can be up 140 db. Distance is a good idea but added protection would ensure the extreme noise doesn’t do damage. The Baby Banz Hearing Protector Earmuffs are a great way to go the extra mile and ensure your baby’s ears are safe. They are stylish, affordable, and most importantly, protect babies ears. The 3M Peltor Optime 105 H10A Over-the-Head Earmuff is also a good option and it boosts a noise reduction level of 30 dB and is highly recommended for extreme loud conditions. These can be used at musical events, public outings, fireworks, airplanes, outdoors, etc.
It is never recommended to shoot your own fireworks with a baby present. If you are at an event, like a wedding, where they are launching their own celebratory fireworks, distance yourself from the show and if possible, watch from inside.
Babies Reaction to Fireworks
When our baby would hear a sudden loud noise she would erupt in tears and crying. I was not only worried about her ears but her reaction. We have a friend that has a loud, booming voice and whenever he would come over our baby would panic at his loud entrance! Would she even be able to enjoy the fireworks?
This is another reason why distance and extra protection, like the earmuffs, are a great way to ensure that ears and reactions are not affected by the noise. Some babies are not bothered by the startling sounds but other babies are more sensitive to loud noises and can have dramatic reactions. If your baby is startled and overwhelmed by the event, it is best to avoid the tears and head home. Some TV stations will air the New York fireworks and even though this isn’t like being there in person, it is a good alternative.