A Washington-based hearing aid battery manufacturer is helping to raise awareness of preventable hearing loss in the North East by teaching children to protect their hearing this World Hearing Day.

By teaching children about noise-induced hearing loss in an easy to understand and entertaining way, Rayovac®, a world-leading hearing aid battery manufacturer* and division of Energizer Holdings, Inc., aims to ensure they can hear more, for longer, by being aware of preventable causes of hearing loss.

A group of children visited a Rayovac® manufacturing facility in Washington, UK, where they donned high visibility jackets before being treated to a factory tour and a fun, hour-long interactive lesson on hearing loss awareness and prevention, led by Harrogate-based audiologist Emily Balmer.

A video of the session is available to watch on the Rayovac® website, along with practical advice for parents on preventing hearing damage caused by headphones and tips on protecting your hearing at work and as you age.

Paula Brinson-Pyke, Marketing Director at Rayovac® said: “World Hearing Day is held on the 3rd March each year. It is an opportunity for us to remind people in the North East that hearing loss caused by exposure to loud noises, though common, is preventable.

“There are some simple things we can all do to help stop loud noises from permanently damaging our hearing, no matter our age. This is the message we would like local people take away with them this World Hearing Day.”

Using coloured pipe cleaners to represent the fragile hair cells in the ear undergoing damage from loud noise and playing a verbal ‘pass the message’ game while wearing ear defenders, not only raised smiles and laughter but provided the children with a range of information about noise-induced hearing loss, its impact and how to prevent it.

The children were also given some deaf awareness training and learning techniques to help them communicate better with people with a hearing disorder, such as speaking clearly and looking directly at someone when talking.

Emily Balmer is an audiologist from The Hearing Suite. Speaking about why loud sounds are harmful to our hearing, she said:  “We can’t always prevent hearing loss – for many of us it’s just something that happens as we get older or it can be the result of our genetics. Hearing loss caused by exposure to loud noises and headphones, for example, is however completely avoidable, and that is what we need to teach our children.

“The children left Rayovac® with a better understanding of where and why hearing damage from loud noises can occur, and knowing how to protect their hearing in these situations.”

As part of the commitment to teaching people and children, in particular, to protect their hearing from damage caused by loud noise, staff at the Rayovac® Washington plant will be raising money for the Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss. The company will match funds raised in a plant-wide cake sale and other activities throughout the year to go towards the charity’s work ensuring that thousands of children who are deaf or have hearing loss can access the early identification, hearing technology, and locally-based expertise they would otherwise not have, in order for them to reach their full potential.

To view the video of the lesson, find out more about how to protect your hearing, and learn how to get involved in World Hearing Day, visit http://protect.rayovac.eu, like Rayovac® on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HearwithRayovac, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/HearwithRayovac.

*Based on internal company estimates of worldwide market share.