Loud children no longer considered noise pollution

The German government on Wednesday made it more difficult to file complaints about the sound of children playing in residential areas by altering noise pollution laws.

Loud children no longer considered noise pollution
Photo: DPA

In a move designed to shut down a debate which has reached fever pitch recently, the cabinet backed a measure to clamp down on noise complaints near day care centres and playgrounds.

The clarification is designed to prevent residents from feeling that they have grounds for legal action due to the noise created by loud children.

“We are setting a clear legislative signal for a child-friendly society with this law giving privileged status to children’s noise,” said Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen.

A conservative senior citizens group was widely condemned last week after a high-ranking member said that the noise from playgrounds and nurseries was like the “hammering of a pneumatic drill.”

But the new regulation will make clear that “the levels of noise from child care facilities and playgrounds and similar facilities are, as a rule, not damaging to the surround environment.”

Paula Honkanen-Schoberth, head of the German Child Protection Association, welcomed the measure, saying children belonged at the heart of German society. “Forcing them to play behind noise barriers would send the signal that they are an unwanted disturbance,” she said.


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