Toys that could damage your child's hearing

November 20, 2014

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
Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Click N Learn Remote
101 95 
66
Vetch Spin & Learn Color Flashlight
98 84 71
Vetch Go Go Smart Wheels
97 75 64
Bright Starts Click & Giggle Remote
96 84 62
Leap Frog Chat & Count Smart Phone
96 90 57
Thomas & Friend Light Up Talking Percy
93 85 67
Vetch Little Smartphone
91 81 58 

Toys for children over three years old

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

Space Raider Glow Space Gun
115
93 
74 
Playskool Heroes Heat Wave The Rescue Robot
107 
98 
71 
Power Rangers Mega Cannon 
105 81 
65 
Road Ripper Mustang GT
103 
91 
64 
Space Raider Armor Band
103 
78 
70 
Rockin’ Doc Sing Along Boom Box
99 
87 
64 
Dora The Explorer Singing Star Guitar 98 85 
63 
Dora & Friends Sing It Together Microphone
98 
89 
62 
Despicable Me Fart Blaster
97 74 
56 
Woofer Just B. Just You. You Guitar
97 
89 
64 
Frozen Cool Tunes Sing Along Boom Box
94 
78 
60
Dora and Friends Play It Two Ways 94  74  57 
Wing Warrior Batman 93 84  61 
First Act Discovery Microphone & Amplifier 92  86  64 

Toys for children over six years old
dB
without tape

dB
with tape

dB at arm's length
with tape

Twister Dance Rave
107 
101 
73 
Fisher Price Disney Princess Magical Music Maker
100.5 
82 
64 
Simon Swipe
98 
84 
74 
Hot Wheel RC Hyper Racer
98 87 
76
Darth Vader Ultimate Fix Light Saber
96 72 
64 
Bob It Tetris 96  83  56 

 

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