Mannequin Teaches Hearing Safety

Thursday, March 6th 2008, 10:04 pm
By: News On 6

Did you know your child's music could be loud enough to permanently damage their hearing?  The News On 6's Joshua Brakhage reports one young woman is getting her peers to listen to her message about dangerous decibels.

With a generation that's plugged-in 24/7 a parent might never have to yell, "turn that music down."

The Centers for Disease Control report a growing number of children, nearly 13%, have noise-induced hearing loss.

Hearing experts say 85 decibels is safe which is the sound of busy city traffic, but too many teens are turning up the volume. When college sophomore Genna Martin realized the potential perils of personal music players, she decided to do something about it.

She created Jolene, donning the electronic mannequin with a blue wig, shades and leather.

"I thought it was a cool idea and a good way to attract attention," said Genna Martin.

Jolene's equipped with a microphone in her ear, and attached to her, is a sound meter. Genna invites kids to hook up their iPods and get a decibel reading.  Genna tells them if that volume level is safe or not.

One good rule of thumb is if you can hear sound leaking out the ear buds, the volume is probably too high to be safe.