Music for kids does not need to be only music for kids.
It’s never too early (or too late) to share some of your favourite “albums” (because that’s what they were called when you first bought them) with your kids. Ok, if your favourites are all Metallica, ACDC and Guns ’n Roses, maybe leave them on the shelf, but there are gems in your collection to share with your children that you can enjoy on your summer roadtrips and at the cottage. Our top picks that most people have in their ‘grown-up’ music collections that you should listen to with your kids include:
- The Beatles
- Anything Motown
- Bob Marley
- James Taylor
- Elton John
- The Beach Boys
Get Outside…it’s music festival season.
Summer is a great time to get out and enjoy music with your family as there are an abundance of music festivals across the country all season long. Jazz, Blues, Folk, World Music – there is something for everyone and by everyone, I include your children. You’ve taken them to see Sesame Street Live, The Wiggles and The Doodlebops, but there is nothing like a live show with a stage full of performers, instruments, singing and dancing.
Hear This: Hearing protection needs to be as important as sun protection.
We have all left rock concerts with ringing in our ears. For children, that same sensation can lead to damaged hearing loss that cannot be recovered.
There are products that will protect them that you might have seen before – Gwyneth Paltrow holding Apple who was wearing what look like big pink headphones that are actually noise–reducing hearing protection earmuffs. They retail for $40 and will make your music–loving–festival–going family safe this summer. I’m going to suggest that you’ll use these more than you think as they’re great at any event that is uncomfortably loud including airshows, fireworks, parades and even Sunday afternoon lawn mowing. Any noise that you have to shout over can cause hearing damage to children.
Where to buy: www.hearstore.ca OR www.soundgoods.ca
Peltor KID Ear Muffs are specifically designed to be lightweight and comfortable enough for babies and kids up to age 7. They effectively attenuate harmful noises without shutting out other ambient sounds. With muffs you do not have to worry about getting a good fit or the plugs falling out when you are not looking. Another benefit to KID Muffs is that they do not pose a choking hazard, as earplugs sometimes can when used by very young, unsupervised children. Available in blue or pink. $29.99
How loud is too loud?
150 dB = rock concert
140 dB = firearms, jet engine
130 dB = jackhammer
120 dB = jet plane take-off,
120 dB = ambulance siren
120 -140 dB = Motorcycles, firecrackers
105 dB = helicopter
100 – 115 dB = iPods used at maximum levels
100 dB = snowmobile, chain saw, pneumatic drill, night clubs
95 dB = motorcycle
90 dB = lawnmower, shop tools, truck traffic, subway
90 dB = noisy toys
80–96 dB = restaurants
80 dB = alarm clock, city street traffic
70 dB = vacuum cleaner
60 dB = normal conversation
35 dB = whispered voice
Unsafe Levels of Exposure:
110 decibels or louder: regular exposure of more than one minute risks permanent hearing loss.
100 decibels: No more than 15 minutes of unprotected exposure is recommended.
85 decibels: Prolonged exposure to any noise above 85 decibels can cause gradual hearing loss.
“Although being aware of decibel levels is an important factor in protecting one’s hearing, distance from the source of the sound and duration of exposure to the sound are equally important. A good rule of thumb is to avoid noises that are “too loud” and “too close” or that last “too long.”
- The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
My final thoughts on music and your kids this summer – you don’t keep your kids out of the sun, you protect them. Don’t keep them from the music, protect them. Get outside in the sun, enjoy the music and have a fabulous summer.
For Canadians, check out www.exclaim.ca/festivals and in the US, check out www.pollstar.com to find outdoor summer music near you.