Hundreds of thousands of children and adolescents continuously expose their hearing to such strong noise pollution at a young age that irreversible damage can occur over the years, often associated with tinnitus or hearing loss. Largely unnoticed by the public, this is a health mega-problem with all its negative consequences both for those affected and their quality of life as well as for society as a whole, which finances the health system.
Child and youth prevention
The primary goal of the awareness campaign is to inform the general public, but especially young people, about the development of tinnitus and permanent hearing disorders. This is because many children and young people are not aware of the dangers of permanent exposure of their hearing to excessively loud music and noise. This is why comprehensive and early prevention work is especially necessary for them.
Focus since 2019: Learning materials for daycare centres and schools
Since 2019, we have been focusing our prevention work on the development of learning materials for daycare and school children. This is because the number of young people suffering from hearing disorders and tinnitus in particular is growing continuously. Therefore, the German Foundation Tinnitus and Hearing Charité sees an urgent need to already address this special health risk for children and adolescents in daycare centres and schools.
We have developed a pilot project for day-care centres and invented and designed the story, which is illustrated in a child-friendly way. Together with their teachers, the children can playfully explore their sense of hearing. In dialogue with each other, they learn how sensitive their own hearing is and how important it is to pay attention to it. In the future, we would like to address this particularly young target group, as well as their parents and adult companions, at the music festivals that offer a special area just for children: With professional hearing protection and information prepared in a child-friendly way.
For the further development of this project, the foundation is looking for more supporters.