Are sound toys safe?
Do you find some toys too noisy? The sounds made by many toys for babies and children are so loud that they often reach dangerous levels. Small children and infants have sensitive hearing and often cannot protect themselves from loud noises.
Loud noises can affect a child's development in many ways. It can cause hearing loss, increase fatigue, reduce a child's ability to pay attention, even cause stomach upset. Hearing loss directly affects a child's speech and language development. This can include delays in language development, articulation errors and even incorrect word learning when background noise interferes with their ability to process information correctly.
Hearing can be damaged by a single event, such as an explosion or repeated exposure to high noise levels. This damage is cumulative, often permanent, and mostly preventable. Damaged hearing can affect a child's development, making it difficult for him to learn and socialize.
Using toys that make sound
Be careful when allowing older children to use noise-producing toys around infants. The toy may not be very noisy in an infant's hands, but an older child with more strength and coordination can easily produce much more noise.
Remember that under the age of 18 months, a child's hearing is at its most sensitive. At this age, a child cannot easily get away from or protect themselves from loud noise. That's why it's important to buy age-appropriate toys.
For babies , try to buy a toy that emits noise at about the same level as a conversation - that's about 60 dB . The toy should be at a sufficient distance from the child's head.
There are toys on the market that produce a noise level similar to that of a chainsaw, such as a gun. When used near the ear, the noise level should be kept below 60 dB to avoid hearing damage . Whistling squeeze toys produce a very high level of noise, so we recommend that you do not hold them in front of your child's face or ears.
If possible, turn off the sound in toddler toys or remove the batteries. Instead, talk to your child about the toy or give them time to explore the toy on their own. There are decibel measuring apps that you can download to get a general idea of how loud a toy is and whether it might be safe.