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Too much noise

noise; hearing; safety; ears; pollution; respect; sound;


It's a noisy world

noise, noise, noise...The roar of traffic, the scream of jet engines and loud music at the shopping centre are just a few of the loud noises that we might be surrounded by every day. Have you noticed how hard it can sometimes be to hear what people are saying when you are out and about, in the playground, in a café, watching sport or even at home when it is too noisy? 

We all live in the same world so we need to remember that some people don't like loud noise while others seem to love it and there are times when everyone wants to have some peace and quiet.

At home

noiseOften people in a family will want to do different things. Some may be watching TV, others listening to loud music or playing computer games in their own rooms. If all the doors are open it can get pretty noisy at times and could even be annoying your neighbours. They have the right not to have to listen to what's happening in your house.

Some families are very noisy when they talk to each other or there may be a lot of shouting or yelling going on in the home. You may feel that you need to shout if you want to be heard. You may feel scared or angry when people shout at, rather than talk to, you.

noisy trucksYour home may be near a factory, quarry, a main road or freeway, or under the flight path for aeroplanes near an airport. All of these places might be too noisy for comfort.  

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) monitors industrial noise so that it doesn't get too much for people living nearby.

If you and your family are suffering from loud environmental noise then you can make a complaint to your local EPA, your local Council or, if you have noisy neighbours, the Police.

If there is a lot of environmental noise nearby maybe your house could have double glazed windows to keep out the noise.

At school

How hard is it to concentrate on your work if your classroom is a noisy place?

rules about noiseDo you have rules about noise in your school?

  • Maybe you have quiet times for working.
  • Maybe you have rules about answering questions without calling out.
  • Maybe you have time limits for discussions in groups.
  • Maybe you have agreed standards for noise levels for different activities in different areas of the school, eg. only whispering in the Library.

It's fun to be noisy at times but we need to respect the rights of others to a safe and quiet environment in school where people are doing so many different things during the day. This is particularly important when there are students in the classroom who have hearing problems.   

If your class is too noisy, that could affect other classes and make it hard for them to concentrate.

With your friends

Out in the playground or on the sports fields we have the opportunity to be noisy because there is lots of space and people can always move away.
But when we are out in the wider world we need to remember the comfort of others.

We need to speak and move around quietly when:

  • listening to music on your iPodtravelling on public transport
  • walking round shopping areas
  • visiting public buildings like the Art Gallery or Museum
  • visiting hospitals, nursing homes and clinics
  • going to the movies, concerts and theatres
  • listening to your ipod – if someone else can hear it then it is too loud for your ears and could be damaging your hearing, as well as annoying others around you
  • listening to sport coaches talk at breaks
  • someone is sleeping, eg a baby or workers who do shift work
  • someone is sick
  • watching games like tennis, golf, snooker, chess, bridge, lawn bowls, gymnastics, diving, weight lifting – and other competitions. It is especially important to be quiet at the start of races such as swimming or athletics.
  • talking on your mobile (anyway that's private isn't it?)

Loud noise is bad for your ear health

Our topic 'Ears - keeping your ears safe from noise' will tell you more about this.

amplifier's too loudProtecting your ears from loud noise is very important.

Have you been to a rock concert or a disco where the amplifiers were really belting it out and you could feel the beat in your body? Did your ears feel sort of blurry afterwards? Maybe you felt sick or dizzy? Very loud noises are not good for your ears.

Some people who have worked in noisy places or were exposed to very loud noise like explosions or gun fire suffer loss of hearing.

Stay alert when you are listening to loud music through earpieces while you are walking along. You may not realise what is happening around you and that could be dangerous.

Constant noise can lead to other health issues too like stress, tiredness and mental health problems.

Kids say

Some of the kids from Black Forest Primary school made comments and wrote some great poems about noise. There are too many to show you all of them here but here are some of the great ideas they had.

We love these noises.

  • "The roar of the crowd at the Grand Final match." John
  • "The sound of the sea in a shell from the beach." Jack
  • "The sound of crunching on toffee apples and the screams of joy and fear on a ride at the Fairground." Christina
  • "I like the sound of drums and the noise of a football being kicked." Harrison
  • "The sound when you eat a marshmallow and the pop of rice bubbles." Jess
  • "The noise of the rain on my bedroom roof." Nikkia
  • "The scream of seagulls enjoying a feast and the barks of dogs enjoying a swim." Alana
  • "The squawking birds at the crack of dawn, the crash of waves and the crunch of dead lawn." Chelsea
  • "The pop of an Ollie, and email you send." Sid
  • "The squeak of new shoes, the creak of old shoes." Alex
  • "The popping of bubble wrap." Isaiah
  • "The roar of a motor bike starting." Zak
  • "The sound of a baby breathing." Victoria
  • "Waves crashing against the cliffs." Natasha
  • "The gurgle of bathwater as it goes out." Kane
  • "The cheer that you hear when your team wins a game." Steve
  • "The squawk of the birds as they fly in from the coast. The scrape of warm butter as the knife runs across the toast." Daniel
  • "The computer connecting to the Internet." Stephen
  • "Air escaping from a balloon." Kosta
  • "The engine of a sports car and the noise of a train." Allister
  • "The jet engine taking the plane away and the sound of a tree, the swish, swash, sway." Valeska
  • "The pitter patter of a new born pup, the plop of a marshmallow into a cup." Kayla
  • "The squelch of my feet in mud." Mia
  • "Waves rolling into shore, and then making a big crash.
  • The light rumble of thunder then a blinding flash." Miranda
  • "Many loud conversations filling a room. The sound of sweeping the floor with a broom." Amelia
  • "The squeak of clean windows and engaging Velcro from brand new shoes." Natasha
  • "The sound of yawning puts me to sleep." Sam
  • "The click of a tongue, the hiss of a cat, The clash of a ball colliding with a bat." Cameron
  • "Somebody laughing at one of my jokes." Tim

Sounds we don't like.

  • "The screeching of tyres, the slow creak of a door." Mikee
  • "Heavy rain on a roof, even though it's water proof." Mia
  • "I hate the noise of people yelling and the whine of a mosquito." Nicky
  • bees buzzing"The sound of a dog howling in the night." Emma
  • "I hate the noise of roosters crowing." Callum
  • "Scratching on a chalk board and my alarm in the morning." Nathan
  • "A scared voice shouting, Mum!!" Me
  • "The buzzing of bees because I'm allergic to their stings."                    
  • "The constant sounds all around us as noise continues to surround us." Alex C.
  • "Noise can be good or bad but don't let it get too loud.
  • Ringing in your ears? Turn down the noise. It could be the last thing you ever hear." Ceinwyn

Courteney's poem is all about the sounds she most enjoys.
I like the quiet of the rehearsal room
before the dancers arrive.
The quiet pat of my point shoes
The goal for which I strive.
   The tap of my tap shoes,
    the comfort of jazz flats,
    all routines and music
    involving top hats.
The rustle of the curtain.
The excitement of 'Opening Night'.
All our class confirming
Our performance will be all right.
    The sound of people clapping
    We never want to stop.
    We just love to dance and dance
    and dance until we drop!

Rachel's poem 'Noise'
There are so many noises that I can hear
The laughing of a girl, the bouncing of a ball,
The beeping of a phone making a call,
The clapping of thunder, the pounding of rain,
The honking of a faraway train.
The scratch of a pencil as a picture is drawn,
The crow of a rooster at the crack of dawn.
The cry of a baby, the screech of tyres,
The sound of an electrician fixing the wires.
The crashing of waves, the cheers of a crowd.
The noises I hear are soft and loud.

Dr Kate says

Dr Kate
We are surrounded by noise every day which may add to the stress of our lives. Try to have quiet times during the day when you can relax and be free from too much noise. (Quiet noise like gentle music can help some people relax.)

Some interesting facts about noise

Noise can be measured by a special scientific instrument called a sound level meter. It is measuring the pressure of sound in the air (a measure of how loud the noise is).
It is measured in decibels or dB
Here are some examples.

* normal conversation 50–60 dB
* a loud radio 65–75 dB
* a heavy truck about 7 metres away 95–100 dB
* a jet aircraft taking off 25 metres away 140 dB

The scale which is used is logarithmic. This means that a small increase on the scale means a big increase in the loudness of the noise and its effect on your ears.

Ears start to hurt from noise at around 90dB.

The speed of sound is about 340 metres per second in air.

Noise pollutes our world making it less comfortable and more stressful for us.

Sometimes people say 'turn the sound down - I can't think!' Do you ever feel like that?

 It's a noisy world

Word game

'Noise' words - see how many you can guess. Some of the words can be found in this topic. Some words are 'noise' words (eg. banging) and others are names of things that make a noise (eg. engine).

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We've provided this information to help you to understand important things about staying healthy and happy. However, if you feel sick or unhappy, it is important to tell your mum or dad, a teacher or another grown-up.


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