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ASHA Sponsors WETA Kids, #1 Most Watched Children's Programming In Washington, DC

New Television Ad Points Viewers To Safe Listening Web Site During Better Hearing And Speech Month (BHSM)

(Rockville, MD - May 4, 2009) - A new television advertisement encouraging viewers to visit www.ListenToYourBuds.org (LTYB) for information on safe usage of personal audio technologies was launched today by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and its' safe listening sentinels the "Buds" on WETA TV 26. Approximately 60 spots will air throughout May BHSM, a month dedicated to raising awareness about communication disorders.

Part of an ongoing campaign to raise consumer awareness about the potential risk of hearing loss from improper use of such technology, ASHA uses animated "Buds" characters (earbuds) to deliver kid-friendly prevention messages via this bilingual, educational web site. The "Buds" lead visitors to sources of information about hearing and noise, including games and music.

ASHA is working with other national organizations like the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (one of the National Institutes of Health), the Parents Choice Foundation and others to help spread the LTYB safe listening message into our schools and communities.

"ASHA recognizes that the best way to prevent lifelong hearing loss is to reach children before they become improper users of portable music players such as iPods," ASHA President Sue T. Hale explains.

WETA Kids reaches more than 75,000 households with children each week and nearly 100,000 adult viewers, most of whom are hard-to-reach influential moms tuning in with their children.

"By sponsoring WETA Kids and other programs like it, ASHA believes it will succeed in teaching young people how to protect their ears from a noise-induced hearing loss," Hale adds.

A noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) occurs when tiny sensory hair cells in our inner ears are damaged by noises that are too loud and that last for too long.

NIHL is 100 percent preventable. Therefore, it is critical that children learn good listening habits, and that parents set guidelines for headphone usage, monitor volume levels, and watch for warning signs of hearing loss. Here are two steps you can take to protect your children's hearing.

  • Keep the volume down. A good guide is half volume.
  • Limit listening time. Give your ears "quiet breaks" after an hour of listening.

Parents, children and educators can find hearing information at www.ListenToYourBuds.org.

About the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

ASHA, located in Rockville, Maryland, is the professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 135,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists. For more information on speech, language, and hearing disorders, consumers can log on to http://www.asha.org or call 1-800-638-TALK.

About Better Hearing and Speech Month

Since 1927, ASHA has used May to raise awareness about communication disorders and the professionals who provide treatment. For more information log on to www.asha.org/bhsm/

About WETA Kids

WETA Kids aims to make a positive impact on the lives of children through age-appropriate, curriculum-based entertainment that reaches a diverse population of children-and their parents-with varying backgrounds and cultures.

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