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Warning to parents about noisy toys

Innocent-looking toys can be a potential hazard to children’s ears, according to Sears Hearing Aid Service Center of Waxahachie.
Toys that make noise aren’t as safe as you think, according to Ron Ensweiler, owner of Sears Hearing Aid Service Center of Waxahachie.
Ensweiler encourages residents to visit the Sight & Hearing Association’s Web site – www.sightandhearing.org – to find facts about noise induced hearing loss, as well as to view its recently released annual Noisy Toys Study that lists toys to avoid. For the 11th year, the nonprofit organization and researchers from the University of Minnesota tested toys – taken right off retailers’ shelves – for potentially dangerous sound levels. All of the toys measured more than 90 dB directly at the speaker of the toy, and 12 of the 18 are meant for children 3 years or younger.
“Some of the toys on this year’s list can cause hearing damage in minutes,” said Ensweiler. “Although there are U.S. regulations governing the sound level of toys, toy manufacturers aren’t required to comply. During holiday shopping, we want to warn parents about how harmful noisy toys can be to their children and others.”
This year’s list of dangerous toys includes:
• Cars Shake ‘N Go Mater by Fisher Price at 120 dB – loud enough to risk hearing damage in less than eight seconds
• Little People ABC Letter Sounds, a puzzle, at 114.5 dB
• Disney High School Musical Rockerz Boomin’ Drums at 113.5 dB
For comparative purposes, the sound of a jet plane taking off is approximately 120 dB, a rock concert at approximately 110 dB, a snowmobile or chainsaw at approximately 100 dB and shop tools or a lawn mower at approximately 90 dB.
Sounds that are 85 dB or louder can permanently damage your ears, according to Ensweiler. The louder the sound, the less time it takes to cause damage. For example, a sound at 85 dB may take as long as eight hours to cause permanent damage, while a sound at 100 dB can start damaging the nerves in the ear after only 15 minutes of listening. According to guidelines by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, part of the Centers for Disease Control, the permissible exposure time (the amount of time you should listen) is cut in half with every five decibels louder than 85 dB.
Because of a child’s shorter arm span, toys are often potentially more dangerous to hearing because children hold them closer to their ears. In the Sight & Hearing Association study, the toys were repeatedly tested at distances simulating how a child might hold the toy, directly near the ear and at arm’s length, at about 10 inches away. A soundproof acoustic chamber was used to ensure accurate measurements.
“It is our recommendation that in any situation, whenever possible, a parent should try to make sure their child does not hold a toy to their ears,” Ensweiler said.
For more information , contact Ron Ensweiler at 1-866-859-3581.

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Posted by on Dec 23 2008. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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