Before you make your toy purchases, you must know about a few very noisy toys out there. Instead of bringing joy to your children, these toys could give them unwanted, permanent hearing loss. That’s right; many of the toys for children on the market ring in at more than 129 decibels (dB.)
That’s well above what the National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH) considers a safe level that won’t damage hearing. In fact, the set standard level for safe noise (that is, noises that lead to dangerous hearing loss) is 85 dB.
Each year, the Sight and Hearing Association, along with researchers from the University of Minnesota, tests toys and puts out a list of the top ten noisiest toys to help parents combat hearing loss in children.
Hearing Loss is Cumulative
While there certainly exist instances of sudden hearing loss, more often hearing loss is a cumulative problem. This is especially true with children. Often when people think of hearing loss, they imagine a one time, excruciating loud noise that immediately damages hearing. More commonly, the opposite is true: hearing loss occurs from being exposed to loud noises consistently, over time.
This is why it’s vital to begin protecting your children’s hearing when they’re young. When you go holiday shopping this year for toys, be sure you don’t make a purchase that rings in at louder than the recommended 85 dB. Using the following list from the Sight and Hearing Association to avoid these potentially hearing damaging toys:
2010 Ten Noisiest Toys
- Bell Riderz Block Blaster from Bell Sports, Inc. - 129.2 dB
- Cars Shake ‘N Go Ramone from Mattel, Inc. -.119.5 dB
- Transformers Optimus Prime Cyber Sword from Hasbro - 110.1 dB
- True Heroes Sonic Battle Blasters from Geoffrey, LLC - 110 dB
- CAT Mini Mover from Toy State Intl Ltd. - 104.8 dB
- Rocket Boost Iron Man 2 from Hasbro - 103.2 dB
- Road Rippers Rush & Rescue Fire Truck from Toy State Intl Ltd.-101.6 dB
- Interaction Morris from Learning Curve Brands, Inc. - 98.7 dB
- Proto Bat-Bot Figure from Mattel, Inc. - 98.6 dB
- CAT Honk & Rumble Wheel from Toy State Intl Ltd. - 96.6 dB
(Courtesy of the Sight and Hearing Association. View and print the 2010 Noisy Toys List.)
There are also steps you can take to be sure the toys aren’t too loud for your children.
- If you find a toy that seems loud but it’s not on the list, check it out yourself to be sure it operates at a safe noise level. If it’s too loud for you, it’s definitely too loud for your child!
- It’s always a safe bet to opt for toys with volume controls and mute buttons.
- For toys with headphones or earbuds, if you can hear the sounds when sitting near your child, the toy needs to be turned down.
Remember, hearing loss is cumulative. It’s vital to begin to protect your child’s hearing now! If you think your children is experiencing hearing loss, search from over 4300 independent hearing centers right here on Healthy Hearing.