Some toys make sounds that can damage your child’s hearing. Learn how to protect your child.
When you think about children and loud noises, you probably think about music, earphones, and teenagers. The World Health
Organization and International Telecommunication Union 2019 document, WHO-ITU
Global Standard on Safe Listening Devices and Systems [PDF], recommends that manufacturers of devices like
smartphones and personal audio players include information that explains safe
listening (for adults, a total of 40 hours of weekly exposure to volume levels
no higher than 80 dB is recommended; for children, the level is 75 dB).
But noise is something to think about for children of all ages. Some toys make sounds that can damage your child’s hearing. Toy sirens and squeaky toys can be as loud as 85 dB, which is as loud as a lawn mower. Adults working around sounds this loud would have to wear ear protection.
Many children make the sound danger even worse by holding the toy near their ear. If your child does this, a 90 dB sound can grow to be as loud as 120 dB. This is as loud as a jet plane taking off. It can be painful and cause hearing loss.
You should check out any toy that makes noise. Before buying a new toy, listen to it. If it sounds loud, don’t buy it. If you have toys at home that make noise, you can
- take the batteries out to stop the noise.
- put duct tape over the speaker to make the sound quieter, or
- get rid of the toy.
Looking for a toy for your child or someone else?
The Sight and Hearing Association has a list of the noisiest toys. They update this list every year, just in time for the holidays.
To find an audiologist near you, visit