Scientists urge caution when buying noisy toys
Researchers from UC Irvine's Department of Otolaryngology measured the noise levels of two dozen popular toys in stores and bought the 10 loudest for accurate measurement in a soundproof booth at UC Irvine Medical Center. They found that all exceeded 90 decibels, and some reached 100 or more, equivalent to the noise of a chainsaw, a subway train or a riding lawnmower.
In general, sound toys are safe if used correctly.
However, problems can arise if a noisy toy is held too close to the ears. Children are very sensitive to loud and high-pitched sounds. Hearing loss due to noise damage is permanent and currently incurable. Therefore, parents should be careful.
Unprotected exposure to sounds above 85 decibels for an extended period can lead to hearing damage. Two factors contribute to this: the volume and the duration of the noise. The louder the sound, the less time it takes to cause hearing loss.
When buying a child's toy, pay attention to the placement of the speaker - a speaker under the surface of the toy is a better choice than toys with a speaker on the outside. The material of the toy itself absorbs a certain amount of noise. Take a little test. Hold the toy like a child and listen to its sound. If it hurts your ears, it's probably too loud for the baby.
University of California - Irvine. “Researchers urge caution when buying noisy toys.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 Dec. 2011.www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111216174444.htm.