Noisy toys may damage children's hearing

By Helen Jacobs

December 7th 2007 at 10:23AM
Noisy toys may damage children's hearing

Some toys could cause hearing damage if not used properly, according to research conducted by the University of California.

The study found the sound level of more than a third of 17
musical and noise-make toys examined reached 100 decibels or more, which is the equivalent to the sound of a chain saw.

At the top of the list was the High School Musical Rockerz Jammin Guitar which measured 106 decibels. Coming in at 100 decibles at full volume were Cheetah Girls In Concert Collection Doll, Hannah Montana In Concert Collection Doll, VTech V.Smile Baby, CAT Motorised Dump Truck and Tickle Me Elmo.

Jeff Carroll, team leader, says parents must use common sense especially for younger children who may not distance themselves if the sound is uncomfortable.

"For some of the louder toys, if a child were to take that and hold it out against their ear for a matter of minutes, they could potentially do some long-term hearing damage,” Carroll said.

"What we're trying to push here is not that the toys themselves are bad or shouldn't be purchased or taken off the market or anything like that. It's more education and supervising your child and making sure they understand what's safe and what's not," he said.

"There's no magic when it comes to the safety of sound. If it's
uncomfortable you're probably doing damage."