Mum’s voice wakes children much faster than a screeching smoke alarm!
A new study tested how responsive sleeping children were to different types of smoke alarms: a smoke alarm that made a traditional loud screeching sound, and a smoke alarm that played a recording of that child’s mother’s voice telling the child to “Wake up! Get out of bed! Leave the room!”
The results in The Journal of Pediatrics were overwhelming: On average, children woke up and responded to the sound of their mother’s voice warning them about a fire within 2 seconds; the median time for a child to awake from a tone alarm was 156 seconds—nearly 3 whole minutes.
The authors note: “Maternal voice alarms woke 86 to 91% of children, prompting 84 to 86% to successfully perform the escape procedure within five minutes of the alarm’s onset. That’s compared to 52% of kids waking to the standard alarm and 51% escaping.”
The recording of mother’s voice was dramatically more likely to result in the child waking up from sleep and taking action during the event of a fire, compared with the ‘traditional’ screech of a non-voice alarm.
The study indicates that there is something unique in a child’s brain that actually enables them to hear their mother’s voice. So while it may sometimes feel like your child is drowning you out (at least during waking hours), it indicates a powerful connection between a child and mother even while children sleep.
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