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Protect your hearing on July 4

Posted: July 1, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: July 1, 2011 1:55 a.m.

The Better Hearing Institute is urging people to pack earplugs when heading out to this year’s Fourth of July celebrations and to exercise safety whenever around fireworks.

The single bang of a firecracker at close range can permanently damage hearing. But by following some simple precautions, people can enjoy the Fourth of July festivities and still protect their hearing.

“The best advice I can offer is to leave the fireworks to the professionals and sit at a comfortable distance from the display — where you can enjoy the colors and lights, but not expose yourself and your family to loud noises,” said Sergei Kochkin, executive director of the Better Hearing Institute. “To protect your hearing, make sure you’re wearing ear plugs and that they’re securely in place before the show begins. And be sure to keep them in for the entire show.”

Disposable ear plugs, made of foam or silicone, are a good choice. Users can hear music and conversations. When they fit snuggly, they’re effective in adequately blocking out dangerously loud sounds.

For information Randall Bartlett, M.A. and Cydney Fox, Au.D. are clinical audiologists in private practice at Audiology Services of Newhall. (661)259-1687,, or


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