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Acoustic intervention at preschools impact on children´s perception and response to high frequency sound qualities

Conference paper
Authors Kerstin Persson Waye
Irene van Kamp
Jeong-Lim Kim
Published in Proceedings of the 22nd International Congress on Acoustics, Buenos Aires, ICA 2016, 5 to 9 September, 2016
ISBN 978-987-24713-6-1
ISSN 2415-1599
Publication year 2016
Published at Institute of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Section of Occupational and environmental medicine
Language en
Keywords preschool, child, sound quality, noise, intervention
Subject categories Other Medical Sciences


At pre-schools personnel and children are known to be exposed to high sound levels. Tiredness and sound fatigue among the personnel are reported, while less is known about how children are affected. A previously developed interview protocol (INCH) was used to study the effect of an acoustic intervention at seven preschools. Before, 61 children aged 4-6 yrs were interviewed and 59 after. A reduction of the sound level in a range between 1 to 3 dB LpAeq was measured using stationary noise levels meters. The results were analysed using Generalised Estimating Equations accounting for repeated measure of the intervention. The results showed that a change in noise levels in the dining/activity room positively impacted on children’s perception of scraping and screeching sounds, frequency of reported tummy ache, and frequency of children reporting the teacher to speak with a raised voice. Perception of scraping sound per se, also impacted on angry reactions to scraping sounds, and children’s reporting on teachers speaking with raised voice. Although the intervention affected the noise levels only marginally, it seems to have influenced sound quality aspects related to the higher frequencies in the sound. The results are especially interesting given the new knowledge of children’s hearing.

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