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May 3, 2007

Free toy sound testing at ULM Speech and Hearing Clinic May 15

ULM’s Speech and Hearing Clinic will provide a valuable service to the public by conducting a free toy sound testing May 15 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. in Brown Hall.

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month, and so the focus turns to sound-producing toys that can be educational and bring children hours of endless entertainment, but can also cause irreversible damage to their hearing if the toys are too loud or are used inappropriately.

Hearing conservation in children is often overlooked. Children will frequently place toys close to their ears. The inner ear contains hair cells which can be damaged by loud noises. Damaged hair cells cannot be replaced, and the result may be permanent hearing loss. It can occur rapidly, but commonly develops over time and often goes unnoticed until it is too late. Speech and language problems associated with such a loss can also limit academic achievement and social adjustment.

Faculty members in the department of communicative disorders invite the public to bring toys for children of all ages to the Speech and Hearing Clinic to determine if the sounds produced by the toys are within safe volume levels. No appointment is necessary; testing of each toy takes several minutes.

For more information, call the ULM Speech and Hearing Clinic at (318) 342-1395.

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