New Research Finds Noise Harder on Children than Adults

From the cacophony of day care to the buzz of TV and electronic toys, noise is more distracting to a child’s brain than an adult’s, and new research shows it can hinder how youngsters learn.
In fact, one of the worst offenders when a tot’s trying to listen is other voices babbling in the background, researchers said Saturday at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
“What a child hears in a noisy environment is not what an adult hears,” said Dr. Lori Leibold of Boys Town National Research Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska.
That’s a Catch-22 in our increasingly noisy lives because “young children learn language from hearing it,” said Dr. Rochelle Newman of the University of Maryland. “They have a greater need for understanding speech around them but at the same time they’re less equipped to deal with it.”

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