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Hearing Charities of America offers free educational program
to prevent hearing loss in younger children

Recent findings about hearing loss among teenagers should spur action

Kansas City, MO | August 18, 2010. Parents and educators can seize this opportunity to prevent noiseinduced hearing loss from becoming an epidemic among future teenagers.

With yesterday’s news that research reveals rising rates of hearing loss among American teenagers, the public is, for the moment, paying attention to this often-overlooked health issue.

That’s why Hearing Charities of America (HCOA), a national nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness of hearing health, invites educators, youth club leaders, churches and other community organizations to sign up for its free SAFEEars! program.

While there are several good hearing health programs aimed at adults and teenagers, SAFEEars! is specifically targeted to reach younger children via educational activities that will help them learn to avoid noise-induced hearing loss in the first place.

SAFEEars! is a hearing loss prevention program developed by HCOA’s parent organization, Sertoma, in conjunction with the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).

Designed for use by teachers, youth club leaders, caregivers or volunteers, the program guides them through concrete examples and hands-on activities to help kids understand that noise-induced hearing loss is real.

The curriculum is tailored specifically to younger ages. SAFEEars! Kids are Listening is designed for children in third through sixth grade, while SAFEEars! Listen Up is for sixth, seventh and eighth graders.

Both offer activities that help young people develop an awareness of hearing and hearing loss, as well as provide opportunities for young people to influence the awareness and understanding of noise-induced hearing loss among others.

Those who would like to initiate the SAFEEars! program in their communities can visit www.hearingcharities.org where they can sign up to receive the free SAFEEars! program manual and view sample pages from it.

The SAFEEars! program can also be presented to schools and youth groups by members of local Sertoma clubs. HCOA’s parent organization, Sertoma is a service organization with clubs throughout the U.S. Contact a local club, or visit the national website for more information: www.sertoma.org

About Hearing Charities of American (HCOA) and Sertoma

HCOA’s mission is to create a hearing healthy world by raising awareness and promoting collaboration. This new nonprofit grew out of the 98-year-old Sertoma (Service to Mankind) organization, an international service club that has long focused on hearing and communication disorders for its philanthropic work.

Sertoma’s primary focus is on assisting the more than 50 million people with hearing health issues, and educating the public on the issues surrounding hearing health. Sertoma’s programs address both the treatment and prevention aspects of hearing health. Sertoma also sponsors community projects to promote freedom and democracy, to assist youth and to benefit a variety of other local community needs, as identified by the individual clubs.

HCOA was formed to expand the reach of Sertoma’s focus on hearing health, and to create greater capacity for partnerships across a wide range of stakeholders, including individuals seeking information for themselves or a family member, educators, community-based nonprofit hearing health providers, national nonprofits, professional organizations, audiologists, assistive device manufacturers, and governmental units.


The original study
Change in Prevalence of Hearing Loss in US Adolescents, Josef Shargorodsky, MD, MPH; Sharon G. Curhan, MD, ScM; Gary C. Curhan, MD, ScD; Roland Eavey, MD, SM, published in JAMA. 2010;304(7):772-778. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1124

Rates of Hearing Loss Rising in American Teenagers

The hearing loss story in the news
Yahoo/Associated Press story at

Sign up to receive free SAFEEars! materials

More from Hearing Charities of America
HCOA regularly develops and promotes action, awareness and educational campaigns related to hearing health. HCOA’s current campaign, A Sound Investment, seeks to raise awareness of a technology called induction looping. HearingLoop.org, Hearing Loss Association of America and the American Academy of Audiology are HCOA’s partners in this effort. Induction looping lets individuals with hearing aids tune-in and better understand audio communications delivered through sound systems, including public address systems, televisions and radios. Airports and churches are good examples of facilities where induction looping could make a positive difference in communities across the country.

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For more information:
Holly Walls
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