It’s always important to consider safety when choosing a toy for a child in your life. While we often think about things like whether or not something is too sharp or too heavy, we might overlook whether or not it’s too loud.
Certain toys can reach loud enough volumes to damage a child’s hearing and lead to problems like noise-induced hearing loss.
What Is Noise-Induced Hearing Loss?
As the name suggests, noise-induced hearing loss is a type of sensorineural hearing loss caused by exposure to loud noise. Vibrations from loud noises can damage the hair cells of the inner ear, which help the brain receive and process sound. These cells cannot be repaired or regenerated, so the damage, and therefore the hearing loss it causes, is permanent.
How Loud Does Sound Have to Be to Harm Hearing?
Contrary to what you might think, it’s not only extremely loud noises that can cause hearing loss. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Noise above 70 dB over a prolonged period of time may start to damage your hearing. Loud noise above 120 dB can cause immediate harm to your ears.”
On the lower end of the spectrum, that is roughly equivalent to the volume of a dishwasher, washing machine or city traffic. Toys like music boxes or robotics can reach those levels, while certain toy guns can reach volumes well above 100 dB.
Advice When Shopping for Children’s Toys
The next time you’re shopping for toys online or at Goofy Turtle Toy Store, keep the following tips in mind to prioritize your child’s hearing health:
- If the toy sounds too loud to you, it’s too loud for your child.
- Avoid purchasing toys that have a warning to keep away from your ears, as children can very easily forget or disregard that information.
- Consider putting masking tape over the speaker of certain toys to reduce volume.
- For certain louder toys, make the rule that they can only be played with outside and when using proper hearing protection like earmuffs or noise-canceling headphones.
Getting Your Child Checked for Hearing Loss
While hearing loss is more common in older adults than children, it can occur at any age. If you have concerns about your child’s ability to hear, schedule an appointment for a hearing test. An audiologist can determine if their hearing issues are temporary or permanent, as well as recommend the appropriate treatment options, such as pediatric hearing aids.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact Kampsen Hearing today.