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Group urges parents to consider noise levels before buying toys for children

LISTEN: Noisy toys

PHOENIX — A valley group wants you to keep your child’s hearing in mind as you shop for toys this holiday season.

According to the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, 1 in 5 children in America has some sport of hearing loss. Often times it is noise induced.

The Commission’s Executive Director Sheri Collins said that when you’re buying a toy, keep in mind how loud it could be.

“We don’t recommend a noise that is over 85 decibels,” she said. “Anytime after 85 is very loud for those children’s ears.

“When the kids are playing, those toys are really close to their ears,” Collins said. “They’re playing and interacting with those toys, so that sound level is really close to their ears.”

Collins brought three toys to demonstrate live on the air during KTAR’s Arizona’s Morning News Weekend show on Saturday. She also brought along a meter that issued a reading on how many decibels of noise that each toy was producing.

The “Frozen” Cool Tunes Sing-a-Long boom box was the quietest, with the noise level well under 85 decibels.

Two other toys didn’t make the grade.

The Fisher Price “Laugh and Learn” plays the Alphabet Song and checked in at 100 decibels. The “Press and Go” Horse from Babies R Us played “Yankee Doodle Dandy” at 104 decibels. Collins described it as “very, very loud,” when children hold it close to their ears.

Collins said you can use your smart phone to find out if the toy you’re buying is over the 85 decibel limit.

“With the technology today, you can download lots of apps,” she said. “There are several sound meters that you can download. You can then take your phone and bring it close to the toy to actually measure their sound level.”