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Top 20 Hearing Loss Causing Toys This Christmas

Tim Boyer's picture
Disney Cars 2 Shake 'N Go! Finn McMissile, Fisher-Price, Inc.

(EmaxHealth) Will your child or infant have a “Silent Night” this Christmas all because his Christmas toys contributed to his hearing loss? Well, that’s the concern of the Sight and Hearing Association as they bring you this year’s Noisy Toys List of 2011 in time for the holiday season. Hearing loss caused by noisy toys this Christmas ranks equally among other toy hazards including choking, lead paint and harmful plastic chemicals.

Facts about hearing loss

One of the more surprising facts of hearing loss is that the rate of hearing loss is higher with the young than it is with the elderly. Research shows that roughly over 5 million children from 6 to 19 years of age have permanent hearing damage resulting from two primary sources: loud music and toys.

Noisy toys are an especially serious problem involving hearing loss because children ages 0-2 tend to hold the sound-making toy up against their tiny sensitive ears. Furthermore, the effects of noisy toys on hearing loss are not immediate; but rather, are cumulative and thereby go unnoticed by parents until it is too late.

Government recommendations are that toys should not exceed decibel levels (dB) above 85 at specified distances away from the ears. However, many toys produce much higher levels of noise above 85 decibels and there are no safeguards aside from constant monitoring to ensure that your young child is using the toy appropriately.

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To protect your child from hearing loss due to noisy toys this Christmas, the Sight & Hearing Association offers the following tips:

• Listen to a toy before you buy it. If it sounds loud to you, it's too loud for your child.
• Put masking or packing tape over the speaker on the toy. This will help reduce the volume.
• Report a loud toy. Call the Consumer Product Safety Commission or the Sight & Hearing Association.

The following is a list of the top 20 hearing loss toys this Christmas. Note that 19 of the 20 have decibel levels of 100 or greater when held near the head. In comparison, a chainsaw held just three feet away has a decibel level of 110.

1. Disney Cars 2 Shake ‘N Go! Finn McMissile, Fisher-Price, Inc. (124 dB)
2. Disney Princess Play-a-Sound Follow Your Dreams, Publications Intl, Ltd. (118 dB)
3. Hot Wheels Super Stunt Rat Bomb, Toy Quest (116 dB)
4. Disney Cars 2 Shake ‘N Go! Professor Z, Fisher-Price, Inc. (114.1 dB)
5. Toys Story 3 Matchbox Garbage Truck, Mattel, Inc. (113.2 dB)
6. Combat Rangers MP5 Tactical Force Rifle, Kidz Toyz, Inc. (112 dB)
7. Sesame Street Play-a-Song Move to the Music, Publications Intl, Ltd. (111.8 dB)
8. Sesame Street Bert and Ernie’s Great Adventures Treasure Hunt, Publications Intl (110.8 dB)
9. Sid the Science Kid Gotta Know Microphone, Hasbro (110 dB)
10. Sesame Street Let’s Rock Elmo Guitar, Hasbro (109.5 dB)
11. The Home Depot Deluxe Power Chainsaw, Geoffrey, Inc. (109.2 dB)
12. Disney Pixar Toy Story 3 Big Roarin’ Rex, Fisher-Price, Inc. (108.5 dB)
13. CAT Honk & Rumble Wheel, Publications Intl, Ltd. (107.7 dB)
14. Disney Pixar Cars Play-a-Song Radiator Springs Sings, Publications Intl, Ltd. (106.4 dB)
15. Tonka Toughest Minis (fire/police), Funrise Toy Corp. (106.1 dB)
16. CAT Press & Roll Machines, Toy State Industrial Ltd. (105.2 dB)
17. Black & Decker Junior Chainsaw, Creative Designs Intl, Ltd. (103.6 dB)
18. Road Rippers Rush & Rescue Helicopter, Toy State Industrial Ltd. (103.2 dB)
19. Star Wars Talking Plush clip-on Darth Vader, Underground Toys (100.1 dB)
20. Dora Tunes Microphone, Fisher-Price, Inc. ( 99.5 dB)

Reference: Sight and Hearing Association