Halloween is such a fun and nonthreatening time for people to express themselves, be creative, and socialize with each other. There is no greater excitement than seeing our friends and family dress to be what they are not (or what they wish to be!) Whether you are outside trick-or-treating with your kids, at a party dancing with your friends, or enjoying the holiday from the sidelines watching a Halloween parade – here are some tips to keep the day fun and to maintain good hearing and ear health:
- Keep Your Ears Warm! It’s going to be cold tonight! Be aware of that as you dress in your costume. If you are just commuting to an event, wear a warm coat. However, if you are going to be outside for many hours going Trick-or-Treating, make sure your ears are well covered. Being outside in the cold reduces blood flow to the ears, increasing the risk of ear infections. Wear ear warmers or ear muffs to avoid this.
- Check Hearing Aids If you are a parent who wears hearing aids, make sure they are functioning properly so that you can best be aware of everything happening around the group of kids you are with. Your child wears hearing aids? Make sure they are cleaned and put fresh batteries in to avoid any issues communicating while engaging in Halloween fun. Take extra accessories with you – just in case.
- Hearing Aid Batteries Be aware that the cold weather shortens the life span of hearing aid batteries. It cannot be stressed enough to replace them with new ones before you go out. Also – bring a spare few!
- Hats, Masks and Scarves Your child will be less aware of his/her hearing aids than usual because of all the fun. Be sure that the accessories fit well and will not accidentally dislodge the hearing aids. Develop a plan ahead of time to avoid anything happening.
- Be Aware Does your child have a hearing loss? Be their extra pair of ears – listening for cars, potential dangers or even just other groups of kids. Safely cross streets. Are you an adult with a hearing loss – going out to enjoy the festivities? Remember that there will be more people out and about – more sounds and noises around you. Focus on the signal and turn your noise suppression hearing aid program on.
- Stay In a Group If your kids are old enough to go Trick-or-Treating on their own, set up a plan and a route before they leave and when you expect them to be home. If your child has a hearing loss, set up a meeting with his/her co-Trick-or-Treaters so that they can all discuss a game plan. Lip reading is hard in the dark!
- Use Your Vision – Everything will be darker than usual so make sure your kids wear reflective clothing or a reflector on their so they are visible. Flashlights are helpful outside or at a party to use your vision to help hear better.
- Party! Throwing one? Be aware of your friends with hearing loss or other hearing-related issues. Consider sectioning off a space or room that’s quiet so your guests can communicated more easily. Going to a party? Situate yourself close to walls, lights and windows to better hear the other guests and to make use of your vision for lip reading.
- Clubbing Enjoying Halloween at a club or lounge with a DJ and 100s of your closest friends? Wear hearing protection! Music levels in clubs can reach upwards of 100dB, sometimes even higher. Also – be aware that alcohol makes you more susceptible to a temporary threshold shift, so the sounds around you won’t appear as loud as they truly are.
- Candy Candy Candy! Halloween is about the candy, right? Yes, but beware because increased blood-sugar levels can damage the blood vessels that supply the inner ear with oxygen and nutrients. This can result in the sensation of tinnitus and even a feeling of dysequilibrium.
Have a Safe and Happy Halloween, whatever you dress as and however you celebrate!