Irvine, Calif., Dec. 4, 2007 The High School Musical Rockerz Jammin Guitar and the Cheetah Girls In Concert Collection Doll may be what kids want most this holiday season, but if parents arent careful about how these and other popular toys are used, a season of joy might turn into a lifetime of hearing loss for their children.
In measuring the loudness of many desired toys, University of California, Irvine researchers warn that many emit sounds at decibel levels high enough to cause permanent hearing damage if not used properly. The researchers tested the loudness of popular toys and found that a number of them reach decibel levels of 100 or more, equivalent to the sound of a power saw, subway train or power mower.
This doesnt make these toys unsafe, they say.
All the toys we tested are safe when used as they are designed, said Jeff Carroll, gradate researcher in biomedical engineering who tested 17 toys. But kids dont always use toys as they were designed, and some of their sound levels can be dangerous. So its advisable for parents to offer greater guidance for their proper and safe use.
The High School Musical Rockerz Jammin Guitar, which is recommended for children age 3 and up, topped the list at 106 decibels, followed by the Cheetah Girls In Concert Collection Doll (104 decibels), Hannah Montana In Concert Collection Doll (103 decibels), VTech V.Smile Baby (103 decibels), CAT Motorized Dump Truck (102 decibels) and Tickle Me Elmo (100 decibels). Sound levels were measured approximately one inch from the speaker on each device, much closer than they should be used.
According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), prolonged exposure to loud sound can cause permanent hearing damage. For comparison, OSHA notes that its safe to listen to a 100 decibel sound for up to two hours a day, while NIOSH recommends less than 10 minute
|Contact: Tom Vasich|
University of California - Irvine