Toy noise - the hidden harm in Christmas gifts that spark gradual hearing loss



Christmas has gone, the fat goose gobbled up, but the kids are going deaf: it's a toy story told by experts and one parents need to hear.

With over 300 shopping days until Christmas 2019, there is still plenty of time to get children's gift lists in line with recommendations about the dangers posed to little ears by noisy toys, warnings that international organisations such as the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing regularly shout loud but inevitably not loud enough for some.

Kids love bright lights and all kinds of peeps, blasts, and jingles, especially babes and tots who have a habit of holding their toys close up to their ears. Anything above 80 dB can start a progressive deterioration of hearing, says the AG Bell Association.

So, what toys will do the damage? The Minnesota-based association Sight and Hearing publishes an annual list based on its own tests. For the 2018 Santa Claus shift, this group found that 16 of the 24 toys it tested for its "21st Annual Noisy Toys List " registered more than 85 dB. "The top two infant toys, Bright Starts™ Safari Beats Musical Toy and Spin & Sing Alphabet Zoo by LeapFrog tested at 102.1 dB and 102 dB, which can damage hearing in less than 15 minutes when placed at a child's ear," points out Sight and Hearing.

The American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association (ASHA) recommends parents listen first to a toy's sound before purchasing it. Other recommendations include ensuring the toy has a volume control feature, or simply covering a toy's speakers with packing tape to dampen its sound output.

Source: La Razón