The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is in full swing! Malls are full of shoppers, presents are gathering up under the tree and children’s anticipation of playing with their new toys is growing! Every year we hear of the dangers that exist with toys…but did you know that some of the toys currently on the market have hearing loss dangers?
For 12 years non-profit Sight and Hearing Association along with researchers at the University of Minnesota conducts a study of the noise levels on the toys directly off the retailers’ shelves in their Noisy Toy Study. The study aims to inform consumers of the potentially dangerous sound levels they are exposing their children to.
What’s the top offender of 2009? The Iron Man Mobile Headquarters Vehicle by Jada Toys. The popular toy was measured at a blaring 119.5 dB — loud enough to risk hearing damage in less than eight seconds! Fisher Price’s Learning Letters Mailbox, meant for a 6-36 month old, topped out at 113.9 dB; and a book called Sesame Street Help Along Sing a Song measured 112.1 dB. All of those toys are loud enough to risk hearing damage in less than one minute.
For all the toys on the list, any of them listened to at a close level for a long duration of time could lead to Noise Induced Hearing Loss.
In order to protect your child from Noise Induced Hearing Loss, the association has the following tips:
- Listen to a toy before you buy it. If it sounds loud to you, it’s too loud for your child.
- Report a loud toy. Call the Consumer Product Safety Commission at 800/638-2772 or the Sight & Hearing Association at 800/992-0424, or contact us by e-mail at ReportAToy@sightandhearing.org.
- Put masking or packing tape over the speaker on the toy. This will help reduce the volume.
- Buy toys with volume controls.