Your child may be enjoying their new favorite toys they got from All Things Kids during the holidays, but audiologists warn that some toys can cause noise-induced hearing loss. Below we review how loud sounds cause damage, which toys are the loudest and how to play with a loud toy safely.
About Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
Within the inner ear are sensory hair cells called stereocilia. These cells are responsible for converting soundwaves into electrical energy that travels via the auditory nerve to the brain to be interpreted as sound.
When dangerously loud sounds pass through the ears, it can damage or destroy these hair cells. Once damaged, these cells do not regenerate, and the result is permanent noise-induced hearing loss.
Any sound over 85 dB can cause this type of damage with enough exposure. For reference, that is about the volume of passing highway traffic or a busy café.
Loudest Toys of 2021
Sight & Hearing compiled a list of the loudest toys of 2021 and their decibel outputs when held 0 inches away:
- Disney Moana Squeeze and Scream HeiHei: 109.7 dB
- DJ Mix & Spin Studio: 107.8 dB
- Outdoor Discovery™ Hoot n’ Holler Animal Caller: 104.5 dB
- 4-in-1 Ultimate Learning Bot: 103.6 dB
- Baby Einstein™ Neptune’s Friends Play-a-Sound® Book: 102.6 dB
- Light & Sound Garbage Truck: 99.5 dB
- Peppa Pig™ Learn & Discover Book: 98.4 dB
- Laugh & Learn® On-the-Glow™ Coffee Cup: 96.0 dB
- Dino’s Delightful Day Book™: 94.5 dB
- Rock & Bop Music Player™: 94.3 dB
- Scout My Peek-a-Boo LapPup: 92.7 dB
- Bright Beats™ Juniors BeatBo™: 91.4 dB
- Paw Patrol™ Rescue Mission Dashboard: 91.1 dB
- Crawl Along Musical Unicorn: 89.6 dB
- Cocomelon Musical Yellow School Bus: 89.2 dB
- Peek-a-Roo™ Panda-Roo and Baby™: 89.1 dB
- Fun Sounds Hammer: 88.4 dB
- Little Learner™ Roll ‘n Glow Robot: 86.6 dB
- Peanuts Snoopy Goes to Space Book and Flashlight Set: 86.0 dB
- furReal Snackin’ Sam the Bronto: 84.7 dB
- Little Learner™ My First Little Bot: 84.6 dB
- Pets Alive Poppy the Booty Shakin’ Pug!: 84.5 dB
- PJ Masks Time to Be a Hero Learning Tablet: 82.8 dB
- Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon Baby Tuk Tuk Toy: 78.4 dB
How to Play with a Loud Toy Safely
Fortunately, even if your child’s toy is on this list, it doesn’t mean your child shouldn’t play with it anymore; it just means that you should take some precautions.
- If your child won’t notice or care, you can take the batteries out of the toy.
- If your child is old enough to understand and follow instructions, you can tell them to hold the toy at least 10 inches from their face, or keep the toy at arm’s length.
- You can place a piece of packing tape over the speaker. According to one study, placing packing tape over the speaker of popular toys reduced the sound pressure level from an average of 103.9 dB to 87.9 dB.
For more tips or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, call Tejas Hearing Aid Center today.