When parents purchase Christmas gifts they’re often on the lookout for sharp edges, choking hazards or toys with mature, violent content. But another hidden danger to consider is loud toys.
According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, some toys are so loud they can cause hearing damage in children, with some toy sirens and squeaky rubber toys hitting 90 decibels — as loud as a lawn mower.
We are always inviting people to come in for free hearing tests at any of our locations across the country and we strive to educate the public about hearing safety. But it’s one thing to see an obvious danger if you’re working on a construction site – it’s another to see a threat when visiting a toy store.
The 2012 Sight & Hearing Association Annual Noisy Toys List found 12 of 20 toys tested increased the risk of hearing loss in less than 15 minutes. Two of the worst offenders on this list were Disney Pixar Toy Story Talking Figure Buzz Lightyear from Mattel, Inc. (111 dB) and Nickleodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Leonardo’s Electronic Sword from Playmates Toys (109.2 dB). They will be publishing their 2013 list this month.
Just updated: Here is the 2013 Noisest Toys List!
Here is a news report from 2008 covering the risk of loud toys.
A tip from our hearing-health specialists: Trust your instincts. If the toy sounds too loud to your ear, then find something else to put under the tree this year.