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Pump up the volume, pump up hearing loss

Next time your kids use their iPods, check how high the volume is cranked. Audiologists cite research that found most people suffer hearing loss after just five minutes of listening to a personal music player at 80 percent of maximum volume. A volume lowered to 70 percent means listening for 4.6 hours a day is probably safe, although some researchers urge lowering the volume to 60 percent and limiting time to an hour a day. To help protect your kids’ hearing, get them noise-reducing earphones that help block out background sounds.