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Loud toys to avoid this holiday season

Every year, the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing tests popular toys just before the holidays to determine whether any are loud enough to potentially damage a child’s hearing.

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 a day, and sounds louder than 100 dB can damage a child’s hearing in less than 15 minutes. Noise is the number one cause of hearing loss, according to the ACDHH, and nearly 15 percent of children ages 6-19 have some degree of hearing loss.

Loud noises, ACDHH warns, also can increase fatigue, decrease a child’s ability to pay attention and reduce short-term memory. Toys on their “2020 Toys to Avoid” list for the holidays  include:

  • Leap Frog Scrub and Play
  • Smart Sink (103 dB)
  • Vtech Turn & Learn Driver (101 dB)
  • Fisher Price Sing & Learn
  • Music Player (98 dB)
  • Leap Frog 100 Animals Book (98 dB)
  • Nickelodeon Baby Shark Musical Playpad (98 dB)
  • Jada Police Hero Patrol
  • Lights & Sound (95 dB)
  • Leap Frog Fridge Phonics (94 dB)
  • Vtech Helping Heroes
  • Fire Station (93 dB)
  • Adventure Force Mighty Dragon (92 dB)
  • Leap Frog 100 Words Book (92 dB)
  • Vtech Peppa Pig Learn
  • & Discover Book (91 dB)
  • Vtech Brilliant Baby Laptop (90 dB)
  • Vtech Magic Star Learning Table (89 dB)
  • Fisher Price Leave a Message
  • Smart Phone (89 dB)

If these toys are on your child’s must-have list, or if you already own these toys, ACDHH suggests turning down the volume and taping over the volume control or applying waterproof tape to the speaker to help mute it. Parents can conduct their own decibel test with smartphone apps such as Decibel X or Too Noisy Pro.

“It is important to consider how the child will use the toy,” Sherri Collins, executive director for ACDHH, said in a statement. “Children aren’t always using these toys at arm’s length as they may be intended. It’s also important to consider the decibel levels of other sounds around the child in addition to the toy, such as the television, kids yelling or other loud toys all making noise simultaneously. They can quickly add up and cause hearing loss.”



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