This is a particularly distressing topic, because it is SO easy to prevent with a little education and taking the opportunity to do a little free giveaway at professional races, if a sponsor could be found.
I saw over 20 children today at the Beach at Mid-Ohio, the youngest was 2 years old, all without ear protection. I know that when I was growing up around racing, nobody thought much about it and as a result, I lost the top 10% of my high range in my hearing. I now religiously wear ear protection, and even then my ears sometimes ring at the end of the day.
While many of us corner workers carry extra ear plugs to give away to spectators for their children in our marshal packs, we just can't meet the demand and people just don't listen. The mother of the 2 year old child told me that her daughter didn't need ear protection because they were sitting up the hill and her hearing would be fine. REALLY????
Is there a way to find a sponsor to print their logo on a huge batch of foam ear plugs and then get those given to EVERY single child that walks through the gate at a professional race weekend like this weekend's race at Mid-Ohio? Can we do something to educate people that they NEED to protect their children's hearing at car races?
Heck, I'd be willing to do a PSA for this on my Radio Show! Seriously, people just don't get it and it drives me nuts thinking of the damage they do to their children's ears.