Recent studies from the Netherlands, England, and New York City have all come to the same basic conclusion: A constant level of noise causes problems for a child, even if they don't think it bothers them. Dr. Carol Drummond, a clinical psychologist, says that "we tend to get desentizied to chronic noise in our lives so we don't hear it." But new studies show that loud, continuous noise from airplanes, construction, and traffic is damaging, even for those who think they're used to it. Experts say that the exposure to constant noise raises blood pressure, reduces the ability to concentrate, and lowers children's academic performance. "Kids exposed to noise chronically can be as much as a year behind their age-mates with regard to reading skills," adds Dr. Drummond. She says one problem is that language skills rely so much on picking up nuances in the way words and sentences sound…"and that is very significant, especially in young children because skills are cumulative and so if they don't get the basic skills when they're six, seven, eight that impacts their acquisition of reading skills over time."
Experts say it's not always possible to move away, but any effort at sound-proofing your home helps. For example, you could install acoustical tiles and bookshelves. Another option is to take your child to a quiet place, like a public library during study time.
Top Stories in Connect with Kids
Noise Pollution Can Damage Children's Hearing
To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.