Sound of mum's voice wakes up kids minutes faster than smoke alarm, shows study
This is incredible.
We know that children recognise their mother's voice before they've even been born.
It's now been shown that they can even identify that voice above other sounds while asleep.
It took sleeping children in a US study over five minutes to wake up to the sound of a smoke alarm - but just seconds when the alarm sound was replaced with the sound of their mum's voice.
Researchers found that kids aged between five and eight years of age can actually sleep through the high-pitched wailing sound that an alarm typically makes.
The kids had a much faster response time of four seconds when the sound of their mum's voice was played.
"The thing that was most remarkable to us was to see a child sleep five minutes through a very loud high-pitched tone, but then sit bolt upright in bed when their mothers voice sounded through the alarm," said the study's lead author, Dr Gary Smith, a researcher at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
"We didn't expect the difference to be so dramatic."
These results don't mean that it's not worth having a smoke alarm in the home, he added, as its sound will wake adults in the house who can then wake the children.
He hopes that the research will allow a company to design an alarm with a generic woman's voice that will work better for children.