Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Children’s Carnival music much too loud


Mark Fraser

 Another Carnival has come and gone and, as in recent years, the Chil­dren’s Carnival, in my opinion, continues to be the brightest jewel in our faded Carnival—it’s saving grace.

Seeing our Children’s Carnival is a highlight every year and a joy to witness as I have done almost every year, for over 30 years now. This year was no different as I was present at four parades.

Increasingly, I have been concerned about the effects of the decibel level of the music to which these children are subjected. This includes the sound systems on the parade routes and the music trucks specifically for the children’s parades. It is not unusual to have trucks very close together blaring different songs. 

The scientific evidence about the negative effects of prolonged exposure to loud music on children abounds and is indisputable, yet year after year, our children are subjected to this thoughtless assault on their young bodies. 

Increasingly, more babies and toddlers are being brought into this environment, and because of their relatively undeveloped physiology, more damage can be done. 

I have seen and have many photos showing children holding their hands over their ears, in an obvious attempt to dull the assault. I wear earplugs and sometimes feel like my body is exploding from the inside out. 

We all know that the first order of the day when it comes to children is to ensure their safety and well-being. Are the parents/guardians, sponsors, EMA (Environmental Man­agement Authority), Carnival authorities, Government and all others who are mandated to provide a safe environment for these children not thinking about this integral aspect of the Children’s Carnival? Why are they not doing something about this?

In any case, the problem is easy to solve. All it takes is for the authorities to make sure that the music providers know what level they are to play their music at and someone has to make sure they comply with this order. Let’s stand tall and do what’s right for our children. They deserve nothing less.

Jenny Baboolal

via e-mail