Young Children Too Sleepy to Hear Fire Alarm


In news that will scare the pants off of Park Slope helicopter-parents, scientists are now saying that young kids will probably not be able to hear the sound of smoke detectors in their fiery homes. Scary! Now on top of having to grab the wedding album and finding the dog, parents will have to worry about escorting their kids to safety! Time reports: “The study featured asked 79 families to trip their smoke alarm after their child had been asleep between one to three hours.” 78 percent of the kids in the study slept through the 30-second alarm, which is horrible, but there is an even scarier statistic here.

Although 22 percent of the kids did wake up, “only half identified the noise as a smoke alarm.” So out of the 20 light sleepers, only half of them know what that warbling beep means. It gets worse: “…only half of those children knew that smoke alarms mean Get Out Now.”

We thought fire safety was one of the three pillars of early education: learning all four seasons, your address, and what the primary colors are! C’mon preschool teachers, step your collective game up!

Another surprising fact is this:

Younger kids between the ages of 5 and 10 made up 70 percent of the study participants; they were likeliest to sleep through the alarm. Just over half of 11- to 15-year-olds, or 56 percent, slept through the din, but 87 percent of the younger group did.

You would think that the 11- to 15-year-olds (who are going through their pre-teen-angsty-phase) would say “that fire alarm is so not even cool anymore, I’m going back to bed mom…god, she never understands me!” But luckily, they realize their safety is more important than their beauty sleep.

[Via Time]