Hearing damage in children and young people is increasing. The trend is so alarming that the German minister of health recently issued a warning to all young people about the risks from too much noise.
One in four young people suffers from hearing damage. The dire statistics moved the German minister of health, Ulla Schmidt (SPD), to issue a warning to young people about the damaging effects of the noise they increasingly inflict on themselves.
"We will not and we cannot stand idly by while the noise causes irreversible damage. Instead, we must promote early prevention among children and young adults", said Ulla Schmidt, who is also an ambassador for Initiative Hören, the German hearing initiative.
Her aim is to create noise-awareness in young people. A sensible attitude towards noise should become a natural part of everyday behaviour of young people.
According to estimates, the young person of today will grow up to hear like today's 60 year-olds by the age of 40. The reasons include the increasing noise levels of night clubs, music and toys, reports the German national centre for health information, the Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung.
Source: dpa, 20. March, 2004; BMGS Presse, BMGS 1/2004
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