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Are Christmas Gifts Damaging Your Child’s Ears? And 2 Tips To Protect Ears

Armen Hareyan's picture
Protect Ears from Toys

Did you know that some Christmas gifts produce more ear-damaging decibels than a screaming ambulance siren?! Health experts warn that some Christmas gifts may be damaging your child’s ears and offer two useful tips on how to keep this from happening.


Remember how the Grinch who stole Christmas complained about the noise, noise, noise of Christmas? As it turns out, he may have a point―it’s not always a “Silent Night” when it comes to Christmas. Every year thousands of children and their parents are exposed to ear-damaging decibels on Christmas morning when holiday present excitement usurps common sense as noise-making electronic toys are turned on in a cacophony of celebration.

Health experts point out that what few parents realize is that those toys are a major contributor to what they refer to as noise induced hearing loss. According to the American Hearing Research Foundation, noise induced hearing loss is a permanent hearing impairment resulting from prolonged exposure to high levels of noise of which recent studies have shown an alarming increase in hearing loss in the young.

To give you a frame of reference of what is okay and what is not, a whisper is about 30 decibels, normal conversation is about 60 decibels, a gunshot is about 167 decibels and a firecracker is about 180 decibels. In comparison, many noise producing children’s toys run around 150 decibels—more than enough to cause irreparable damage long before those AA batteries run out.

For more about how this may be a problem in many homes this Christmas, NBC’s Today offers this safety warning video that could make you think twice before buying certain toys for your kids this holiday season.

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Could Noisy Toys Damage Your Child's Hearing?

Two Tips for Protecting Young Ears

Noise Tip #1: Baffle It―It’s probably already too late to return that noise maker for one that is gentler on the eardrums. One simple recommendation is to just place a square of tape over the speaker grill of the toy to muffle the blast. Choose a color that matches the toy and your child will probably not even notice it’s there.

Noise Tip #2: Measure It―Here’s another smart use of your smart phone: Search for a decibel measuring app that will help you determine whether that toy is just too loud to buy. But why stop there?! Use the same app on all of your child’s toys and use some good parenting decision making to determine when too much is really too much and it’s time to retire that toy or modify it so that it really is a safe toy.

For more about Christmas time safety, here is a video that shows how Christmas fires get started and what you can do to prevent one.

Reference: NBC Today “Could noisy toys damage your child's hearing?”