Are Toys Too Noisy?

iphone-apps-hearing-testWhen children are young, noises that may appear tolerable to adults are not always suitable for children. Adults need to go extra lengths to protect their children’s ears, as exposure to loud noises can damage a child’s ears over time. Taking extra cautionary measures now will ensure your child’s hearing health for the future.

There are many toys out there that make noise and pose a threat to children. Examples of toys that pose a noise danger include:

  • Talking dolls
  • Vehicles with horns and sirens
  • Walkie-talkies
  • Musical instruments
  • Toy guns
  • Mp3 players

The Center for Hearing and Communication states that today’s noisy toys indicate on the packaging that they Conform to the Safety Requirements of ASTM F963 (American Society for Testing and Materials). The Safety Requirements states, “Toys shall not produce impulsive noises with an instantaneous sound pressure level exceeding 138dB when measured at any position 25cm from the surface of the toy. (This is louder than a jet taking off or the sound of a jack-hammer).”

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, “Some toys are so loud that they can cause hearing damage in children. Some toy sirens and squeaky rubber toys can emit sounds of 90dB, as loud as a lawn mower.” The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association also states that if a child holds a toy directly to their ear, the toy can expose the ear to as much as 120dB of sound.

So what can parents do?

Listen to Your Child’s Toys

Before giving your child a toy, make sure to listen to it while holding it no more than 12 inches from your head. It’s also important that parents should monitor its use to make sure it’s low.

Control the Volume

Look for toys which contain an on and off switch or volume control.

The Tape Trick

Cover a toy’s speaker with masking tape to muffle the sound or remove the batteries.

Use Headphones

Child friendly headphones should be included with mp3 players and handheld video games. These types of headphones limit volume and are much safer than earbuds.

Read Warning Labels

Parents should avoid buying toys that have a warning that they should not be used close to the ears.

Overall, as a rule of thumb, you should be careful when exposing your child to loud noises. As always, a good idea is to also limit the amount of time spent on the noisy activities listed above.

Written by: Sharan Kaur, FizzNiche Staff Writer

“Noisy Toys.” American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Web.
“Noisy Toys.” Web.
“Noisy Toys.” Center for Hearing and Communication. Web.

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