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Hearing Safety Tips for Your Fourth of July Weekend!

Boys Town National Research Hospital logo​Contact: Yoyo Ma
Specialist, Marketing and Communications

July 1, 2016
For Immediate Release

Hearing Safety Tips for Your Fourth of July Weekend!

OMAHA, NEB. - Did you know fireworks can fire at 170 decibels? That’s 30 decibels above the recommended sound pressure exposure for adults and 50 decibels above the recommended exposure for a child, according to the World Health Organization. So how far away should you and your loved ones be from fireworks and other loud Independence Day festivities?

Boys Town Ear, Nose and Throat Institute answers this question and provides addition tips for protecting against harmful and excessive noise to help you and your family enjoy a safe Fourth of July weekend!

Firework Hearing Safety

  • Location, Location, Location. The immense pressure of impact noises such as fireworks can cause immediate physical damage to unprotected ears. Sit farther away from where the noises occur. To stay below the recommended sound pressure exposure, adults should be approximately 15 to 20 meters away from exploding fireworks. This distance increases to 50 to 60 meters for children.
  • Protect Ears. There are two types of hearing protectors available, and both can be purchased from a drugstore or sporting goods store. Roll down foam plugs can go into the ear, and headphones sit over the top of the ear. Headphones tend to be more comfortable and offer a little bit more protection. If you are setting off fireworks, either at home or professionally, double up with ear plugs and headphones, as you may be unable to reach the recommended distance before the firework explodes.

Watch Video Overview: 4th of July Hearing Tips

“As an audiologist, I'm not recommending that you sit at home and not enjoy these activities,” said Nathan Williams, Au.D., CCC-A. “With properly fit hearing protection, you can reduce the risk of any noise-induced hearing loss and enjoy the show and really enjoy this American holiday.”



Boys Town National Research Hospital is an international leader in research on childhood deafness, vision and communication disorders. For 40 years, Boys Town Hospital has been dedicated to providing leading edge clinical care, pioneering translational research and improving the lives of children and their families through applied technology and educational outreach programs.