The U.S. League for the Hard of Hearing warns against loud toys. If it is loud, hurts your ears or causes ringing in them, do not buy it.
Here are examples of baby and infant toys to avoid for the sake of your small children's hearing:
- Certain rattles and squeaky toys are measured at sound levels as high as 110 dB (comparable to a power tool in the playroom).
- Musical toys, such as electric guitars, drums and horns, emit sounds as loud as 120 dB.
- Toy phones for small children have been measured between 123 and 129 dB.
- Toys designed to amplify the voice are measured at up to 135 dB (comparable to a jetliner at take-off).
- Toys producing firearm sounds emit volumes as loud as 150 dB one foot away from the noise source (causing physical pain).
Prolonged exposure to these noise levels will cause irreversible hearing damage, and even brief exposure carries a risk of permanent harm.
Source: League for the Hard of Hearing, 2003.