Tens of thousands of New Zealanders are affected by Noise Induced Hearing Loss (“NIHL”). It's affecting their relationships, their quality of life and their jobs, every day. The economic impact of NIHL is over $45 million and growing fast.
At the Foundation, we want to reduce this impact, so we've developed a strategy that we're turning into action. We want to create targeted long term changes to protect people where they live, work, shop and play.
We have identified two areas where the Foundation can contribute to reducing noise, and therefore NIHL. These are directed at early childhood and youth. The overall aim is to influence the factors that lead to noise induced hearing loss in New Zealand through a combination of consumer awareness and sector/setting change.
The first step was a workshop held on 9 September 2009, which brought together noise and hearing specialists together with leaders in the areas of research and social change, including the noted originator of the Dangerous Decibels programme in the United States, Dr Billy Martin from the Oregon Health and Science University. The results of the workshop will enable us to refine our strategy, target areas for action and create innovative, effective ways of making change. We discussed how we can better protect the ears of pre-schoolers, DIY’ers, concert goers and the “MP3 generation”. Once we have collated the input, we will implement our refined strategy, which we intend to affect policy, improve work and learning conditions, create behavior change and, the ultimate, encourage teenagers to change their listening habits! Read our campaign strategy
Download our fact sheets to help you manage noise in your centre. We value your feedback - let us know if they were helpful!
Read the abstracts of several research articles prepared by Massey University staff concerning the hearing status and exposure to noise of early childhood centre staff and safe noise levels in early childhood centres.
AUT University students have created their own sound injury prevention and rehabilitation campaign, in collaboration with NFD, to make young people aware of safer listening practices. You can read the media release here, visit the team's web site here or connect with them via their Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Listen-Hear-Love-Music/151455708214941.
NFD partnered with Childforum www.childforum.com to present a regional series of workshops from Auckland to Christchurch throughout April-June 2010 on the topic of noise management in early childhood centres. Our aim was to educate and inform, and to provide noise reduction strategies for the attendees to take back to their own centres. View our presentation
In the UK, and in New Zealand, there are recommended standards for the acoustic treatment of classrooms. But in both countries there is no requirement for designers to follow these recommendations. That means that many school children in both countries have unnecessary problems hearing in classrooms. Watch a short clip from the UK on YouTube for more information
The Foundation's 2009 survey reveals that pre-school children are potentially being exposed to excessive noise levels while at play. Read more