Children´s Perception of School Noise and the Evaluation of the Noise in School
Background: Nowadays, it is common to read about noise and annoyance in many places: hospitals, restaurants, shopping, but there is no reference to what children feel about the noise in school.
Objective: The study aimed to find out children´s perception of school noise and the evaluation of the noise in school.
Method: Cross-sectional study carried out in an elementary school with children from 9 to 12 years old. A semi-structured questionnaire about what students like/dislike at school, what they think and feel about noise in school was administered. The noise level was measured with a Type 2 noise level meter.
Results: 42 girls and 41 boys composed the sample. When asked what they like at school, 57.8% answered the silence; 73.40% thought that school is noisy, and 42.3% of them thought that the noise is loud. The majority referred to be in bad mood and to have short attention spans because of the background noise. In the cafeteria, the values varied between 84 and 90 dB (A); in court (physical education class) was between 66 and 86 dB (A); in the rooms of the 3rd and 4th grades were recorded the highest intensity, from 70 to 90 dB (A) and 74 to 96 dB (A), respectively. While the 5th grade showed the lowest intensities 60 to 84 dB (A).
Conclusion: Observations showed that most children have perception of the effects of environmental noise present in the school. Actions are required to reduce the noise and its impact on school activities.