Health & Food
Noisy toys can exceed safety guidelines
UC Irvine researchers are warning parents about the dangers of high-decibel holiday toys. Some of the hottest selling items exceed national safety guidelines. This doesn't mean owning one of these toys will make your kids go deaf. But used improperly, prolonged high-decibel exposure can cause hearing damage.
From toys you give to older kids, to the ones newborns sleep with, researchers are sounding the alarm about improper use of high-decibel toys.
"A couple of them were up in ranges that I really didn't expect to see," said UC Irvine researcher Jeff Carol.
Carol took a high-tech sound level meter to local stores and measured the peak loudness of hundreds of toys. Topping the list was Disney's High School Musical Rockerz Jammin Guitar.
"That one came in at 106 decibels. That's about as loud as a lawn mower or maybe standing right next to a subway," said Carol.
Two other Disney products -- the Hannah Montana and Cheetah Girls in Concert Collection Dolls also made the list.
A Disney spokesperson says, "Disney requires our licensees and manufacturers who make our products to meet every safety standard, including noise control. We are investigating these products."
Learning Curve's Bob the Builder Deluxe Talking Tool Belt came in at 96 decibels. Fisher Price's ever-popular Tickle Me Elmo peaked at 100 decibels.
Fisher Price responds, "We are extremely judicious in establishing appropriate volume levels in our toys. We carefully self-regulate to a very conservative decibel range for average play distances, depending on the type of toy."
Fisher Price also went to say comparing their toys to OSHA standards is misleading, since their guidelines assume sustained exposure.
Hearing experts understand that, but say cumulative exposure to noise can add on to a child's hearing loss later in life.
If you keep the toys at arm's length, the decibel dangers drops dramatically.
Researchers just wants parent to be aware.
"None of these toys are inherently dangerous," said Carol. "What we're emphasizing is education on proper use of the toy."
Toys Sampled -- Decibel Level
- High School Musical Rockerz Jammin Guitar -- 106
- Cheetah Girls - In Concert Collection Doll -- 104
- Hannah Montana - In Concert Collection Doll -- 103
- VTech V.Smile Baby -- 103
- CAT Motorized Dump Truck -- 102
- Tickle Me Elmo -- 100
- Transformers Trans-portable Activity Center -- 99
- Tonka Lights and Sounds Hummer -- 97
- Bob the Builder Deluxe Talking Tool Belt -- 96
- Bosch Toy Chainsaw -- 95
- Tickle Me Cookie Monster -- 94
- Little People Dump Truck -- 92
- Cabbage Patch Kids Babies -- 91
- Leap Frog Learning Lily -- 90
- Tickle Me Ernie -- 90
- Playskool Gloworm -- 85
- Little People School Bus -- 80
health & food, denise dador
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