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Study: Preschool Teachers at Higher Risk of Hearing Problem

The findings suggested that hearing loss and tinnitus -- sensation of hearing sounds in ears -- were the second most common symptoms affecting preschool teachers

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Study: Preschool Teachers at Higher Risk of Hearing Problem
Study: Preschool Teachers at Higher Risk of Hearing Problem. Pixabay
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Seven out of 10 female preschool teachers suffer from hearing problems, finds a study that linked the profession with a higher risk than others’ exposed to noise.

It is because the preschool teachers are regularly exposed to voices and screams that often convey important information and is difficult to avoid, unlike in an industrial environment, as they have to listen to the children.

“Preschool teachers have a much higher risk than those who work in environments with a similar noise rating. The symptoms can be triggered by the boisterous environment, and it’s also difficult to use hearing protection,” Sofie Fredriksson from Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden said in a statement.

“We have an occupational group with much higher risk for these symptoms, and if nothing is done about it, it’s really alarming. We have to lower sound levels, have a calmer preschool,” Fredriksson explained.

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Representational image. Pixabay

The findings suggested that hearing loss and tinnitus — sensation of hearing sounds in ears — were the second most common symptoms affecting preschool teachers.

Among the group of 4,718 women who participated in the study, while 71 per cent experienced sound-induced auditory fatigue making them unable to listen to the radio, 46 per cent had trouble understanding speech.

Similarly, 39 per cent said that they experienced discomfort or physical pain in their ears from everyday sounds that are not necessarily loud at all, at least once a week.

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“Hearing protection devices are normally the main intervention if the sound level cannot be reduced in another way, and it may be necessary if you have a child who subjects your ears to crying for a whole day during their introductory period at preschool,” Fredriksson suggested.

“But the design of the premises and room acoustics also have to be considered. In a large room with solid walls, it becomes noisy no matter how educational and strategic you are in your work,” she added. (IANS)

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Depression in Children Stay Undetected by Parents and Teachers- Study

The gold standard for identifying children who might be at risk for developing depression later in life is to ask the children themselves

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Childhood violence may spur puberty, depression: Study. Pixabay

Parents and teachers may find it difficult to detect depression in young children, that can affect their social skills and academics, a new study shows.

According to Anxiety and Depression Association of America, as many as 2-3 per cent of children aged between 6-12 might have a major depressive disorder.

But parents and teachers face difficulties in recognising depression in children.

The findings, appearing in the Journal of School Psychology, showed that children who show mild to severe symptoms of depression in second and third grades are six times more likely to have skill deficits, such as difficulties with social skills or academics, than children without symptoms.

However, when teachers and parents were asked to rate a child’s level of depression, there was only about 5-10 per cent overlap in their ratings.

Depression
Parents and teachers face difficulties in recognising depression in children. Pixabay

“Some people would view that overlap as the truth about a child’s well-being and areas of disagreement as errors, but we need to explore the possibility that each of them are seeing different aspects of children’s behaviour and mental health,” said Keith Herman, professor in the University of Missouri (MU), College of Education.

For the study, the team completed profile analyses of 643 children in early elementary school to explore how patterns between student, teacher and parent reporting can be used to gain a holistic picture of a child’s mental health.

Herman suggested that mental health professionals could work with teachers and parents to identify depressive symptoms early by including self reports from children in mental health evaluations.

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“The gold standard for identifying children who might be at risk for developing depression later in life is to ask the children themselves,” noted Herman.

“However, even if a child doesn’t say they feel depressed, certain outward behaviours might provide clues to the state of the child’s mental health. It’s important for teachers and parents to catch these behaviours early to prevent long-term problems that occur with depression,” he said. (IANS)