The holiday shopping season is winding down, but let’s face it, many parents in Lake Charles haven’t yet completed buying gifts for their kids. Toys are certainly on their Dear, Santa lists, but some of them might be hazardous to your childrens’ hearing. Ho-ho-how do you know which toys to avoid? We can help!
The Dangers of Noisy Toys
Noise is the most common cause of hearing loss in Lake Charles and throughout Louisiana. It’s frequently the result of participating in activities such as listening to music through earbuds or headphones, attending concerts or sporting events and riding dirt bikes or other noisy vehicles without wearing proper hearing protection. Few of us think of toys as being dangerous (unless they have small parts that might be swallowed by young kids), but the reality is, many popular toys are noisy enough to cause hearing damage to little ears. Any sounds louder than 85 decibels (dB) can be harmful to hearing. If you think flashy electronics are the only ones to blame, guess again; even traditional childhood favorites that kids have been playing with for generations can be dangerous, including:
- Cap guns (105-110 dB)
- Whistles (106 dB)
- Keyboards (104 dB)
- Drums (103 dB)
Even some baby rattles (102 dB) can be hazardous to hearing!
Toys to Avoid in 2019
Your Lake Charles audiologist recommends avoiding the following toys this holiday season. Their peak dB levels are noted in parentheses; measurements were taken as if the child had their ears pressed directly against the speaker. Granted, this won’t always be the case, but if you have kids, you know it happens sometimes.
- Black & Decker Junior Leaf Blower (113.8 dB)
- Marvel Avengers Infinity War Infinity Gauntlet Electronic Fist (108.5 dB)
- My Little Pony Singing Rainbow Dash (108.4 dB)
- Vtech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Minnie Convertible (107 dB)
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi Bladebuilders Electronic Riot Baton (106.3 dB)
- Woofer Hound Dog Guitar (106.2 dB)
- Marvel Avengers Infinity War Mission Tech Iron Man (106.1 dB)
- Fisher-Price Sing & Learn Music Player (105.6 dB)
- Fisher-Price Bright Beats Spin & Crawl Tumble Ball (104 dB)
- Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Puppy’s Busy Activity Home (103.7 dB)
- toys Meowsic Keyboard (103.4 dB)
- toys You Turns Steering Wheel (103.3 dB)
- Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Sort Snail Pail (103 dB)
- Marvel Black Panther Slash & Strike Erik Killmonger Figure (101.6 dB)
- Fisher-Price Shimmer & Shine Tummy Rubs Nazboo (100.7 dB)
- VTech Pull and Discover Activity Elephant (100.3 dB)
- VTech Drill & Learn Toolbox (99 dB)
- Spider-Man Homecoming Super Sense Spider-Man (99 dB)
- VTech Sort & Discover Drum (98.8 dB)
- Playskool Friends Sesame Street Tickle Me Elmo (90 dB)
Should a well-meaning but ill-informed grandparent or other family member or friend give your child a toy that is too noisy, you don’t have to pretend it “got lost;” try covering the speaker with masking or packing tape to muffle the sound, or teach your child to set a limit on the volume if there is an adjustable control knob (and make sure they only play with this toy in your presence).
For some noise-free gift ideas for your child, contact an audiologist in Lake Charles. But hurry…you only have a few more shopping days left!