Can Fireworks Damage Hearing?

Summer is a time to run around, play, and have fun outdoors, but as the 4th of July approaches, it’s important to understand when fireworks can damage hearing. Fireworks are fun, but not always safe for kids. Dr. Maithilee Menezes, Otolaryngologist at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, warns against exposure to close-up, large, and loud explosions of fireworks. Close proximity can cause permanent hearing damage almost immediately. With any really loud noises, hearing protection is encouraged to prevent damage. Fireworks at fairs or festivals are usually far enough away and should not affect your child’s hearing. As a general safety tip, kids should not set off fireworks without adult supervision.

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The St. Louis Children’s Hospital YouTube station is intended as a reference and information source only. If you suspect you have a health problem, you should seek immediate care with the appropriate health care professionals. The information on this website is not a substitute for professional care, and must not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. For help finding a doctor, St. Louis Children’s Hospital Answer Line may be of assistance at 314.454.KIDS (5437). The opinions expressed in these videos are those of the individual writers, not necessarily St. Louis Children’s Hospital or Washington University School of Medicine. BJC HealthCare and Washington University School of Medicine assume no liability for the information contained in this website or for its use.

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