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Cinema is no place for babies

August 14, 2003

As a mother and pediatrician, I am quite concerned about the newest "Mommy and Me" trend ("Popcorn? No, a Pacifier," by Michael Quintanilla, Aug. 7). The description of children as young as 2 months being taken to the movies shocked me. Sound levels in movie theaters can exceed 100 decibels, equivalent to the sound made by a chain saw. These levels place tender ears at risk for high-frequency hearing loss, well before they are unavoidably exposed to other forms of environmental noise: traffic, airplanes and rock concerts. If, as a mother, you want to "stay current" by seeing new movies, by all means go, but please, do your child a favor: find a loving caretaker to nurture him or her in a safe and appropriate environment.

Deborah Lehman

Los Angeles

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