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Health effects of noise on children and perception of the risk of noise

Children’s daily lives are full of noise, and children make noise themselves. High levels of noise are found in homes, day care, schools and discotheques. Noise in incubators is measured to be 80-90 db(A) with peaks up to 120 dB(A). Toys and tools can emit harmful noise, some exceeding 100 decibels.

Noise can adversely affect children. Infants reared in noisy homes manifest lower mastery scores on development tests. The most serious consequences of noise are hearing damage and tinnitus. Noise can also provoke a stress response in children that includes increased heart rate and increased hormone response. Noise can disrupt sleep and thus hinder needed restoration of the body and brain. Noise can negatively affect children’s learning and language development, can disturb children’s motivation and concentration and can result in reduced memory and in reduced ability to carry out more or less complex tasks.

The report gives an overview of the levels of noise in children’s settings and an overview of the harmful effects of noise. The report also presents children’s own perception of noise, and discusses what definitions of noise we could use in relation to children. The book can be required in a limited extent on paying postage and delivery.

Forfatter: Marie Louise Bistrup, red.
Udgiver: National Institute of Public Health
År: 2001
Bestillingsnr.: 200115
Redigeret: 06.02.06