Toys that could damage your child's hearing

December 05, 2013

UC Irvine Health otolaryngologist Dr. Hamid Djalilian and his team tested more than two dozen popular toys to determine which had the highest sound levels in three scenarios: at the ear with no tape over the speaker, at the ear with tape over the speaker and at a child's arm's length (approximately 30 centimeters) with tape over the speaker.

Djalilian suggests a couple of things parents can do keep down the volume on toys:

  • Put occlusive tape or super glue over the speaker to mute the sound
  • Put tape over the volume control, preventing your child from increasing the volume to unsafe levels

Sound is measured in decibels (dB). Noise-induced hearing loss can result from a single exposure to a very loud sound (120 dB or more), or by listening to loud noises at or above 85 dB for an extended period of time.


Toys for children under three years old
decibels
without tape
Decibels
with tape
Decibels at arm's length with tape

Thomas & Friends Light-Up Talking Percy
108 78
72
Leap Frog Chat & Count
106
95
67
Leap Frog Lil' Phone Pal
106
85
69
Fisher Price 1-2-3 Crawl-Along Snail
103
82
70
Sesame Street Let's Rock Grover Microphone
101
98
75
Sesame Street Elmo Guitar
101
82
73
Bright Starts Chuck & Learn Barn (Pig)
99
88
86
Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Music Player
97
90
69
Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Guitar
97
86
69
B Your Turns
90
85
71

Toys for children over three years old

dB
without tape
dB
with tape
 
dB at arm's length
with tape

Fisher Price Skate & Spin Dora & Boots
119
89
86
Sofia the First Time to Shine Sing-Along Boombox
111
92
85
Disney's Doc McStuffins On Call Cell Phone 
 106 96
78
Leap Frog Scribble & Write
105
84
78
Disney's Minnie Twinkle Bows Play Vacuum Cleaner
105
cannot tape
82
Tonka Mighty Fleet Fire Truck
104
83
79
Tonka Toughest Minis UTV Police 101 94
84
Road Rippers Ambulance
101
87
81
Jakk's Pacific The Little Mermaid Musical Necklace
101 91
73
Road Rippers K-9 Units
99
85
78
Road Rippers Helicopter (engine noise)
97
88
73

Toys for children over eight years old
dB
without tape

dB
with tape

dB at arm's length
with tape

Bop It! Smash
125
90
84
Twister Dance Rave
110
107
80
Legend Smoke N' Barrel
108
92
80
Bop It! Tetris
103
73
76
Bop It! Carabiner Edition
98
78
67

 

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