Loud toys can damage children's hearing, study says

IRVINE, Calif. (KABC) -- When it comes to finding the toys kids will enjoy, sound is often a big factor in the fun. But too much of it can be dangerous for kids' ears.

Doctors at UC Irvine tested nearly 30 toys using a sound meter to read decibel levels.

The loudest toy tested - the Space Raider Glow Space Gun - measured 115 decibels.

"Definitely could damage the ear even if one is exposed to for short periods of time," said Dr. Hamid Djalilian, a UCI health otolaryngologist.

Djalilian said it only takes about 15 minutes for sound at 100 decibels to cause hearing damage.

"Most of the toys we tested, if they're held at about a foot from the ear, then they wouldn't cause any significant damage to hearing. However, if toys were held against the ear, which is often done by children, then that's when it can cause damage," Djalilian said.

Doctors say stress noise damage as a child is permanent. They recommend placing strong tape or superglue over the speaker to mute the sound.

Parents can also test the product at the store with free smartphone apps, such as Decibel Meter.

Djalilian also recommends supervising children when they're playing with toys to make sure they aren't placing them against their ears.

Below is a list of a few of the toys tested at the ear with no tape in decibels:

Toys For Children Under Three Years Old
  • Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Click N Learn Remote - 101

  • Vetch Spin & Learn Color Flashlight - 98

  • Vetch Go Go Smart Wheels - 97

  • Bright Starts Click & Giggle Remote - 96

  • Leap Frog Chat & Count Smart Phone - 96

Toys for children over three years old
  • Space Raider Glow Space Gun - 115

  • Playskool Heroes Heat Wave The Rescue Robot - 107

  • Power Rangers Mega Cannon - 105

  • Road Ripper Mustang GT - 103

  • Space Raider Armor Band - 103

Toys for children over six years old
  • Twister Dance Rave - 107

  • Fisher Price Disney Princess Magical Music Maker - 100.5

  • Simon Swipe - 98

  • Hot Wheel RC Hyper Racer - 98

  • Darth Vader Ultimate Fix Light Saber - 96

A full list can be found here

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