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Experts Warn of Noisy Toys

Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists warn of the dangers of noisy toys on childrens hearing

Ottawa (December 10, 2007) - During a press conference on Parliament Hill today, the Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (CASLPA) urged government to include further study on noise as it relates to toy safety and revise current legislation. With the holiday season just around the corner, toy safety is a pressing matter.

In light of recent discussions and public and governmental concern surrounding toy safety, there are many items to be considered by Health Canada. We want noise to be one of those issues, said Dr. Linda Rammage, President of CASLPA.

CASLPA voiced concerns over the current Hazardous Products Act which bans toys emitting noise levels exceeding 100 dB measured at the distance that the product ordinarily would be from the ear of the child using it. CASLPA believes this level is too high and is asking government to include noise in their current review of toy safety.

The International Standards Organization (ISO) states that all toys except close-to-the-ear toys shall not exceed 85 dB. (2005) According to Dr. Rammage, the current Canadian Act permits a noise level which is too high and it does not take into account the typical use of toys. Field tests conducted for a 2004 study by Option Consommateurs revealed that the majority of toys (53%) designed for the 03 age group were in fact held much closer to the ear than the distance specified in the current laws measurement protocol.

Audiologists and speech-language pathologists also warned parents to be cautious when purchasing noisy toys for their children. It is essential for parents to know that excessively noisy toys have the potential to harm their childrens hearing if they are not played with as intended, said Chantal Kealey, Manager of Audiology and Supportive Personnel at CASLPA.

As a rule of thumb, said Kealey, if you have to raise your voice above the noise level of a toy to be heard, than the noise is too loud and could be causing damage to your childs hearing.

Parents and consumers are encouraged to visit CASLPAs website for a list of safety tips to consider when buying toys.

www.caslpa.ca/english/resources/noisytoys.asp

About CASLPA

With more than 5,000 members, is the only national body that supports and represents the professional needs of speech-language pathologists, audiologists and supportive personnel inclusively within one organization. Through this support, CASLPA champions the needs of people with communications disorders. Visit CASLPA at www.caslpa.ca

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