4-H news: Noise control an important tool

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By Roberta Hunt

The days are growing longer, the temperatures are rising and it’s time for   4-H members to finalize their registration for summer camp. Washington County 4-H will be camping June 24 - 28 at Lake Cumberland 4-H Camp.  

Applications are available from the extension office and the deadline to pre-register is June 2.

The cost for camp is $170 and partial scholarships are available for those that qualify. Call the extension office at 336-7741 for questions about 4-H Camp.

The Lincoln Trail District 5 4-H Rally Day was held on Saturday, May 10, in Hardin County. Washington County was well represented with 4-H Fashion Revue and 4-H Talk Meet participants coming home with top awards. Celia Nance and Eden Deering both received blue ribbons in the 4-H Fashion Revue “Under Construction” that featured 4-H members from eight counties that had sewn their outfits.

In the 4-H Talk Meet, receiving champion in the 9-year-old category was Emma Smith with her speech, “The One and Only“. Emma is the daughter of Michael and Linda Smith. In the 10-year-old category, John Patrick Brown received reserve champion with his speech, “My Impressions of Canada“. He is the son of Chris and Julia Brown. Winning champion in the 11-year-old category was Logan Wilson with his speech, “Drama with a Side of Sugar.” Logan

is the son of Brandon and Nicole Wilson. In the 12-year-old category, Mary Medley received reserve champion with her speech “When I Grow Up.” Mary is the daughter of Tony and Julie Medley. Also receiving reserve champion was Sarah Downs in the 13-year-old category whose speech title was “Just LOL.” She is the daughter of Elaine Downs. In the 14-year-old category, winning champion was Alex Wharton with her speech “Oh No, Not Again!” Alex is the daughter of Steve and Susan Wharton.  

Emma Smith, Logan Wilson and Alex Wharton are now qualified to advance to the State 4-H Communications Day competition scheduled for July 12 on the University of Kentucky campus.  

Congratulations to all of the students and 4-H members that participated in the 4-H Talk Meet program this year in Washington County. Approximately 500 youth presented speeches this year.

Recently, I spoke to the students at one of the local schools about how noise over time can create permanent hearing loss. There are many ways we experience noise, especially in the summer months that we should be aware of that can contribute to hearing loss. Lawn mowers and trimmers are one of the noise “culprits”, as well as farm implements, music concerts and festivals, just to name a few. Wearing ear protection when lawn mowing or working in loud environments can go a long way in protecting your hearing for the future.
May is “Better Hearing and Speech” month. Here are some tips for creating a quiet home from the “It’s A Noisy Planet” website, which is part of the National Institute of Health.

• Set your television, video games, and music to the lowest volume at which they can be heard clearly. If someone in the room has trouble hearing, consider turning on your television captioning rather than turning up the volume.

• Create ways to muffle the noise of chores. An example is to close the door between family members and appliances in use, such as those in a workshop or laundry room.

• Buy quiet toys. If you buy electronic toys, choose those with volume controls, and use only the lowest volume setting. This will both lower your household noise levels and help protect your child from NIHL.

• When buying certain appliances — such as a fan, range hood or dishwasher — ask about its noise rating. Some ratings are given in “sones”: the lower the sone number, the quieter the unit.

• If your home is in a particularly noisy location, work to keep outdoor noises outdoors. Caulk cracks around windows and doors. Insert putty or expanding foam around pipes and wires where they enter the house.

• Close windows and doors against potentially harmful sounds, such as leaf blowers, lawn mowers, power tools and sirens.

• Use soft furnishings to soften noise indoors. The more cushions, curtains and wall coverings you have, the more noise will be absorbed.

• Place carpets and area rugs over hard flooring to help soak up sound. Thicker rugs are more effective at reducing noises that bounce off of hard surfaces.

By taking just a few simple steps, you can achieve a home that is filled with safe, peaceful sounds.

Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability or national origin.