Children who live near busy roads are more likely to have problems with hyperactivity and inattention.
Researcher Carla Tiesler at the Helmholtz Zentrum German Research Center for
Environmental Health, studied 900 children living in Munich to investigate the impact of road traffic noise at home on 10-year-old children’s mental health and behaviour, including problems of hyperactivity or inattention and emotional problems such as being anxious, easily scared or unhappy.
Noise levels outside of each child’s home at the wall of the house were measured, and parents answered a questionnaire about their 10-year-olds’; behaviour. The study concluded that being exposed to higher noise levels was associated with significantly greater problems of hyperactivity and inattention. The researchers found that children who were exposed to the highest noise levels at home showed 28 per cent more symptoms of hyperactivity and inattention than those exposed to the lowest traffic noise levels.
Michelle Bosquet, a psychologist at Boston Children’s Hospital, says that noise pollution can have a dramatic affect on children’s behaviour and their mental wellbeing. Ms Bosquet, who was not involved in the German study, says that traffic noise can disturb a child’s sleep or concentration, which could be linked to
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