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MP3 Player Safety Tips: Listen Safely While Using Your Portable

Keep safe and enjoy music on the move by following these MP3 player safety tips

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Photo © Camila Schnaibel

Photo © Camila Schnaibel

It might seem obvious that listening to your portable's digital music (via earbuds) while crossing a busy street is dangerous. However, there are also other situations you may not have considered which can be equally detrimental to your health -- such as eye strain, permanent damage to your hearing, or even electric shock! To see some of the major safety angles you should keep in mind while enjoying your digital music library on your portable, read this article for more information.

Safety Tips When Using Earbuds / Headphones

As mentioned above, crossing the street without being able to hear dangers around you (like approaching traffic) is obviously dangerous. However, there are also a lot of other potentially hazardous situations you should avoid too. Music can be quite a distraction (especially if it is loud) and so you should avoid listening to it when concentration is important. Examples include: operating any type of machinery, cycling, jogging, and other activities in a public place where hearing is a crucial sense.

Listening in the Car

it may seem safe to listen in your car using earbuds or headphones, but you will significantly increase the chances of an accident if you do. As well as using your eyes, you need to listen out for dangers while driving too. Examples of when your hearing becomes a crucial sense in order to drive cautiously or take immediate action include: sirens used by emergency services, car horns warning you of traffic dangers, and other street noises (like kids playing) -- all these events give you audio feedback on your surroundings.

If you want to listen to your digital music library in the car, then there are various car stereo accessories for the iPod, iPhone, MP3 Player, etc. Many cars these days have facilities to integrate MP3 players into their stereo systems by using wireless methods (like Bluetooth) or by physical connections (FM transmitters, USB ports for flash drives, etc). Additionally, if your car has controls on its steering wheel such as skip track, volume up/down, etc., then try to use this method rather than using one hand to drive while operating your portable player.

Protect Your Hearing

Prolonged exposure to loud music can permanently damage your hearing. According to research, the recommended maximum loudness level you should never go over is 85 dB. Children (particularly teens) are at the most risk of damaging their hearing by listening to loud music via earbuds / headphones. However, there are safeguards you can employ to prevent hearing loss. Volume-limiting headphones for instance restrict how loud the volume can go regardless of how much volume an MP3 player outputs. This is a great solution if you are worried about your kids hearing and want to protect their ears at all times.

Some portables have the facility to limit sound output. Even if your's doesn't, keep in mind that you should still be able to hear outside noises while listening to music -- if you can't, then turn it down a little. There are also apps available to download for various mobile operating systems (iOS, Android, etc.) that can be used to set volume limits on your device.

Limiting eye strain

Many MP3 players / media playing devices come with screens these days. If you need to use your portable's screen for an extended period of time (like watching music videos or using music apps), then consider turning the brightness down on your screen and taking regular breaks to rest your eyes.

Avoid electric shock

It may sound impossible but you can get an electric shock if you don't use your portable correctly and in an appropriate place. It's important to keep your portable away from sources of moisture that can cause an electric shock. This includes: heavy rain, drinks, showers, bath tubs, sinks, etc. It's also important to use your portable in a safe way and not to expose its internals or damage the battery which can cause a short-circuit, fire, etc.
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