Exercise Caution When Buying Noisy Toys

You may  prefer to buy musical toys for your loving kids or for gifting purpose in festive seasons. Have you ever notice its loudness or give a thought that it may cause harm to ear of your children. If not then it’s a time to think about it to save our loved ones from getting deaf.

A new study published in UCIrvine Today suggested that you must be cautious while purchasing noisy toys, as its misuse may risk permanent hearing damage in children. Many noisy toys let out sounds at high decibel levels enough to cause permanent hearing impairment if not used properly. Such hearing loss persists life-long and presently not curable.

Researchers from UC Irvine’s Department of Otolaryngology conducted study at UC Irvine Medical Centre, where they tested the noise levels of twenty four popular toys available in stores. They also purchased and examined ten toys with loudest sound for evaluating their exact impact in a soundproof booth. All toys were tested for sound levels at different distances such as speaker location and 12 inches. They noticed that all toys emitted sound at 90 decibels and some could let out at 100 or more decibel that was equivalent to the noise of a chain saw, subway train or power mower.

According to researchers, generally toys are safe if used properly as they designed or hold at a suitable distance. But mostly children don’t use toys as they were designed or not hold at proper distance, and in such situation their high decibel sound levels can turn out serious. Hence parents must guide their kids about proper and safe use of toys.

Dr. Hamid Djalilian, associate professor of otolaryngology and director of neurotology and skull base surgery said “Children are very sensitive to loud and high-pitched sounds. Unfortunately, hearing loss from noise damage is permanent and not currently curable.”

American Academy of Otolaryngology granted that unsafe exposure to sounds more than 85 decibels over extended period can cause hearing damage. It depends on two contributing factors loudness and duration of sound. A loud sound takes very little time to cause hearing loss.

Researchers suggest before buying noisy toy for kid, you must hold a toy just as children possibly hold it and hear its sound. If it distresses your ears, then it’s probably too loud for a child. Also select a toy having speaker positioned under the item instead than on top.

Here is the list of some toys with their decibel level at different distances tested by researchers.

[box type=”info”]Toys tested / Decibel level at the speaker / Decibel level 12 inches from the speaker (Approximate length of toddler’s arm): [/box]


  • Road Rippers Lightning Rods / 108 / 68
  • I Am T-Pain microphone / 101 / 64
  • Tonka Mighty Motorized Fire Truck / 100 / 69
  • Marvel Super Shield Captain America / 98 / 69
  • Whac-A-Mole game / 95 / 69
  • Tapz electronic reflex game / 95 / 65
  • Sesame Street Let’s Rock Elmo / 95 / 74
  • VTech Magical Learning Wand / 94 / 69
  • Toy Story Buzz Lightyear Cosmic Blaster / 93 / 60
  • Green Lantern Colossal Cannon / 92 / 67



Dr. Minakshi Welukar

I am Pune based medical doctor (M.B.B.S) and certified medical writer from InfocusRx, Hyderabad, working as a family physician and freelance medical writer for health magazines and websites. Five years of clinical experience faced me to handle variety of patients to get best possible results, keep up-to-date knowledge about new medicinal advances and build-up medical specialist and social contacts.

One thought on “Exercise Caution When Buying Noisy Toys

  • December 23, 2011 at 10:30 am

    That is one cool toy ! It would be awesome to have one .


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