Safe Listening for Kids in Quarantine

During Level 4 Lockdown, many kids are spending more, not less, time on their personal devices.  But what is this doing to their hearing?

Many kids don’t know they’re permanently damaging their hearing when they listen to music or movies loudly for long periods of time.


Together, we can educate kids about safe listening and raise awareness for the very real risks of noise-induced hearing loss.

Are your kids listening within the Safe Listening Allowances?

Did you know our ears have a weekly listening allowance?


If we want to keep our hearing for life, it’s so important to keep within the weekly sound allowance.


Use the table below to gauge how well your child is staying within their weekly allowance.

Test your hearing online for free

The more we know about our hearing health the better we can look after our hearing in the future. That’s why it’s a good idea to regularly monitor any changes.

Take an online hearing test and let us know how you went and you'll go into the draw to win a pair of Puro Sound headphones.


Capped at 85 decibels, Puro Sound headphones keep you within your safe listening allowance, so you won’t damage your ears!

How does loud music damage your ears?

It can help to think of the hair cells in your ears being like a fresh patch of grass and loud music being like a group of people trampling on the grass. 


Before anyone walks on the grass, the blades stand up right and tall. But, as people continue to walk on the grass the blades become flattened. 


If people stop walking on the grass, after a few days, some blades of grass might pop back up and stand straight again. 


But, if people continue to trample over the same patch of grass, the grass begins to die, and the damage becomes permanent.

Think of your weekly sound allowance like a 20-litre bucket of water.


You can fill it up slowly over the week with just a couple of litres each day.


Or you can fill it up with 20 litres all in one go.


Filling the bucket up all in one go is like listening to music on max volume. This means you’ll use up all your weekly sound allowance very quickly.

That's why it's important to monitor how loudly and for how long you listen every week.

What does having a weekly sound allowance mean? 

Want to know more about Safe Listening?

Looking for screen-free activities for kids?

We’ve put together a list of neat ideas to keep kids active and away from screens during the COVID-19 Lockdown.

  • Go for a teddy bear hunt.

  • Spa day! Pamper yourself and use up some cool bath products you’ve been meaning to try. If you don’t have anything special just really luxuriate in the bath and make sure you use lots of lotion.

  • Get dressed up as if you were going out to see friends and go for a walk around the neighbourhood. Getting properly dressed can have a positive affect on your mood.

  • Is it getting a bit cold? Try making a fancy hot drink - like from a café! Make some sort of creative concoction.

  • Have any spare fabric or T-shirts you don’t enjoy wearing anymore? Try making t-shirt pom-poms.

  • Try your hand at life drawing. Have a go at drawing one of your family members!

  • #SelfCare session! Think about what really makes you feel good. A short run? Reading a book? Using a bath bomb from your stash? Work on lifting your mood in the best way for you.

  • Ride a bike, skateboard, or scooter around the block.

  • Build a blanket fort in your lounge (+ camp there overnight)!

  • Make a list of things to find in your neighbourhood and go on a walk to find them.

  • Write a poem about this strange time.

  • Make slime!

  • Plan a dinner from a cookbook (not the internet).

  • Write a letter to your future self in 10 years about being in quarantine.

  • Write a short story.

  • Create a ‘COVID-19 Diary’ and decorate it, like a time capsule of this very odd time in history!

  • Redecorate your bedroom! Have you always wanted to move your bed to the other side of the room? Try it out. It’ll help you feel fresher.

  • Look for a unique recipe for dessert and make it for your household.

  • Find a song that matches how you’re feeling today.

Need help with staying on top of screen-time?

To make it easier for your family to stay on top of screen-time, here are five free apps you could use to help limit screen-time.

During screen-time, as a rule, make sure kids are keeping the volume below the halfway mark on their devices.

Learn new communication skills

During the Level 4 Lockdown period, why not make use of this time to learn new hearing loss aware communication skills as a family.

Over the coming weeks, NFDHH will be posting a range of online classes to our community page, including:

  • New Zealand Sign Language taster classes

  • Lessons on Fingerspelling 

  • Lessons on Lip Reading.​

Be Supported


This is a stressful and uncertain time for all of us, but it can be especially hard for kids.


It can be a tough time being away from our normal lives - talking to someone about these feelings can really help.


Youthline is a service specifically created to support kids through difficult times. They offer their services via phone or via text. 


For more information, go to their website.

Communication Tips


We have created a handy Communication Tips Poster for kids. Print it out and hang it in your house as a reminder for everyone at home to be more hearing loss aware.

As we are all sticking to our bubble, it is essential that family members understand how best to communicate with young Deaf and hard of hearing people, so they feel included and understood.

What can you do to keep your ears safe?

Download the full Safe Listening Kids pack


Want to download the entire pack?

We've made it easy, simply click the button below to download.

Address: Level 2, 11 York Street, Parnell

PO Box 37729 Parnell, Auckland 1151, New Zealand

Phone: 09 307 2922 or 0800 867 446 


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© 2020 The National Foundation for the Deaf Inc.