The Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing (ACDHH) in Phoenix has released its 2016 list of the top 15 noisy toys this upcoming year. Noisy toys are categorized as any toy that reaches a sound level of 85 dB or higher consistently. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 85 dB is the maximum volume a child should be exposed to for no more than eight hours. Sounds more than 100 dB can damage hearing in less than 15 minutes.
“Every parent wants to keep their child safe and out of harm’s way,” said Sherri Collins, ACDHH executive director. “But they may not realize the danger that a toy’s noise level can pose to a child’s hearing. We want to raise awareness of these dangers to help keep children’s hearing intact.”
Noise is actually the number-one cause of hearing loss. By first grade, less than one percent of all children have hearing loss, but by the time they are teenagers, 20 percent of all children will have some level of hearing loss. Some toys with sound or noise components could be the cause for this loss.
ACDHH researched some of the season’s most popular toys and found many that are too noisy and considered dangerous.
Topping the noisy toys list:
- Bruin Press ‘n Go Horse – 115.8 dB near the ear, 74.6 dB at arm’s length
- Bruin Press ‘n Go Cow – 110.5 dB near the ear, 79.4 dB at arm’s length
- Tonka Lights & Sounds Toughest Minis Ambulance – 108.9dB near the ear, 83.3 dB at arm’s length
- LeapFrog Fridge Phonics Magnetic Letter Set – 106.6 dB near the ear, 81.1 dB at arm’s length
- Tonka Mighty Motorized Fire Truck – 105.7 dB near the ear, 86.7 dB at arm’s length
- Tonka Toughest Minis Recycling Garbage Truck – 105.3 dB near the ear, 84.2 dB at arm’s length
- Woofer Hound Dog Guitar – 104.6 dB near the ear, 79.8 dB at arm’s length, on low volume
- VTech Lil Critters Soothing Starlight Hippo – 103.9 dB near the ear, 76.5 dB at arm’s length
- LeapFrog Melody the Musical Turtle – 103.8 dB near the ear, 71.9 dB at arm’s length
- Fisher-Price Alvinnn!!! & The Chipmunks Chipmunk Funk Guitar – 102.0 dB near the ear, 73.0 dB at arm’s length
- Disney Frozen Musical Lights Elsa doll – 101.9 dB near the ear, 81.0 dB at arm’s length
- Fisher-Price Think & Learn Code-a-pillar – 101.5 dB near the ear, 74.4 dB at arm’s length
- Me Reader Disney Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Electronic – 8 Book Library – 97.0 dB near the ear, 68.1 dB at arm’s length
- VTech Alphabet Activity Cube – 96.4 dB near the ear, 72.3 dB at arm’s length
- Road Rippers Rush & Rescue Fire Engine – 95.7 dB near the ear, 81.0 dB at arm’s length
“Keep in mind that you need to consider the way your child will use the toy” said Collins. “Children aren’t using these toys at arm’s length, they hold the toys close to their body and move them around, which means the noise levels are often closer to their ears.”
ACDHH recommends parents refrain from purchasing these noisy toys and instead consider safe alternatives. Some tips for purchasing a safe toy are determining if the toy seems loud to you don’t purchase it. If the toy has volume control, ensure it is always set to the lower level.
This list is not meant to be all-inclusive and there are free apps that are available to test the sound levels of any toy you may be considering.
Established in 1977 to improve the quality of life for deaf and hard of hearing residents, ACDHH serves as a statewide information referral center for issues related to people with hearing loss and aspires to be a national leader in communication access, support services and community empowerment throughout the state. The purpose of the organization, and its commissioners, is to ensure, in partnership with the public and private sector, accessibility for the deaf and hard of hearing to improve their quality of life. For more information visit https://www.acdhh.org/.