EDMONTON — Bill Hodgetts doesn't want to be a party-pooper.
But the University of Alberta researcher has found that noise from bursting balloons can be unsafe for children's hearing.
The audiologist says popping a balloon next to someone's ear is as loud as firing a high-powered shotgun.
The finding is part of a study, co-authored by engineer Dylan Scott, recently published in Canadian Audiologist.
Long-term hearing loss
Hodgetts says kids typically find popping balloons irresistible, especially at birthday parties, but it may contribute to long-term hearing loss.
He hopes parents will come to consider hearing protection as important as putting sunscreen on their children before they go outside.