With just days until the big Fourth of July holiday, kids are literally jumping up and down in anticipation of upcoming fireworks displays and Independence Day parades. Among top priority for parents this summer holiday season is making sure our kids are safe when it comes to using fireworks, but many of us rarely stop to consider the damages that could result from loud noises during fireworks.

Jennifer Simpson
, the director of Purdue University’s audiology clinic, is taking time to remind parents of the potential for hearing loss during noisy fireworks displays. Research shows that loud sounds, such as explosions, can damage the sensory receptors that help sound travel to the brain. This damage is irreparable, as the cells cannot regrow.

Before heading out to fireworks displays this Fourth of July, Simpson recommends equipping the kids up with earplugs. Not only will this prevent permanent hearing loss, but it could also reduce the fear and anxiety some children experience when they hear loud sounds. The great thing is you can get a package of earplugs at the hardware store or your local sell-all department stores, like Walmart, Kmart and Target, and they’re incredibly cheap.

Earplugs? Who’d have thought? Finally a way to enjoy the fireworks without your ears ringing for days afterward.