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December 12, 2007

Hearing loss an unintended Christmas present

Toys are tops on the wish lists of most kids. But before you fulfill their wishes you should find out how noisy the toys are. The noise of some toys rivals the noise of a jet plane on take-off. This can damage the child's hearing.

Hearing loss an unintended Christmas present

To protect your children, you should listen to a toy before buying it. The noise from toys can be devastating to the hearing of little girls and boys.

Some common infant toys, including some rattles, musical toys, toy phones and toy guns are dangerously noisy and should, literally, be kept out of the reach of their intended users.

In the hands of an adult, a noisy toy may seem loud but harmless, because the adult holds the toy at arms length. But always be aware, that to an infant with much shorter arms and an immature and sensitive hearing, the noise from a toy held close to an ear may do serious and lifelong damage.

Noisy like a power tool

Some examples of toys threatening children's hearing:

  • Toys designed to amplify the voice are measured at up to 135 dB (comparable to a jetliner at take-off).
  • Musical toys, such as electric guitars, drums and horns, emit sounds as loud as 120 dB.
  • Certain rattles and squeaky toys are measured at sound levels as high as 110 dB (comparable to a power tool in the playroom).

Children are unaware of the consequences of playing with noisy toys. It is up to their parents to keep down the noise levels and protect the children's hearing.

Source: The U.S. League for the Hard of Hearing

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