How exciting was it to watch your child open the gift you chose special for them at 3 Trolls Games & Puzzles over the holidays? While your child may love playing with it, there’s a chance the toy could cause damage to their auditory system, experts warn. Below we cover how to know if a toy is too loud, which toys were the loudest of 2021 and what to do with a loud toy.
How Loud Is Too Loud?
Any sound above 85 decibels (dB) can cause permanent damage with enough exposure. For reference, that’s about as loud as passing highway traffic or a busy café. If your child’s toy seems louder than this, you should take some precautions. Keep in mind if you’re listening to the toy at arm’s reach, it is likely louder to your child, who holds it closer to their face due to their smaller arms.
Within the inner ear are tiny hair cells called stereocilia. These hair cells convert 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 cells. Once destroyed, they do not regenerate, and permanent sensorineural hearing loss is the result.
Loudest Toys of 2021
The organization Sight & Hearing compiled this 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
What to Do with a Loud Toy
Of course, just because a toy is loud doesn’t mean you have to take it away. It just means you should take some precautions, such as:
- Taking out the batteries if your child won’t notice or care.
- Telling the child to hold the toy at least a foot from their face, if they’re old enough to understand and listen.
- Putting a piece of packing tape over the speaker. One study found that 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 information or to schedule an appointment, call Massachusetts Hearing Group today.