Exposure to Loud Noise

My daughter is 3 months old. Is it safe to take her to a fireworks show or will it be too loud for her ears?

Dr. Greene’s Answer:

Your baby will let you know whether this is a welcome experience for her or not. Some babies are transfixed with joy and others cry early and long.

Sitting a little farther back will increase the chances that she will like it and it will decrease the noise to protect her ears. All of our ears are vulnerable to loud noises, especially sustained loud noises (but she is not at any more risk than you are in that regard).

Some of kids’ senses aren’t as well developed as ours (vision, for instance), and others are even more acute, such as taste and hearing, so the fireworks may sound louder to her (and food tastes stronger to her), but this does not make them any more risky for her.

I wouldn’t recommend taking her to a rock concert or sitting and watching a jackhammer together, but 20-minute fireworks show should be fine if you are both enjoying it.

Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.

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