We hear thanks to tiny “hair cells” that live inside the cochlea, or the snail-shaped organ beyond the eardrum. Hair cells can be damaged by exposure to loud noises and don’t grow back. The American Speech-Language and Hearing Association cautions that sounds louder than 85 decibels can cause permanent hearing loss. However, some iPods and other MP3 players can produce sound upwards of 110 decibels! Protect your child’s hearing by avoiding loud noise whenever possible and using earplugs/earmuffs when loud noise is unavoidable. If you can’t hear someone clearly three feet away from you…it’s too loud!