Noise as a Health Hazard for Children, Time to Make a Noise about it

Indian Pediatr. 2016 Feb;53(2):111-4. doi: 10.1007/s13312-016-0802-7.


Noise, a modern day curse of advancing infrastructure and technology, has emerged as an important public health problem. Exposure to noise during pregnancy may result in high-frequency hearing loss in newborns, growth retardation, cochlear damage, prematurity and birth defects. Newborns exposed to sound above 45 decibels may experience increase in blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate; decreased oxygen saturation; and increased caloric consumption. Noise exposure in older children may result in learning disabilities, attention difficulties, insulin resistance, hypertension, stress ulcers and cardiovascular diseases. Sudden exposure to loud noise can lead to rupture of eardrum. The damaging effects of noise pollution are more noticeable in large metropolitan cities, the hubs of urban settlements and industrial growth. Another concern is noise pollution inside the hospitals (particularly intensive care areas) that can lead to serious health consequences both for caregivers and for children. The issue needs to be addressed by both researchers and policy makers on an urgent basis.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Health*
  • Environmental Exposure*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant Health*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Maternal Exposure*
  • Noise*
  • Pregnancy