Coos Bay (KMTR) – During this holiday shopping season, a warning is being sounded by a doctor in Coos Bay about some popular—but loud—toys on sale.
The Sight and Hearing Association tested 24 noisy toys and found most were louder than 100 decibels. That is as loud as a chainsaw.
Doctor Todd Landsberg, an audiologist with South Coast ESD, says over time that level of noise could lead to permanent damage to the ear.
“Hearing loss is one of those things that, once you develop it, there's no turning back,” says Dr. Landsberg. “We don't have the ability right now to regenerate those areas that have been damaged.”
A lot of the toys the association tested are very popular, with brand-names like Disney, Hot Wheels and Sesame Street.
Dr. Landsberg says parents don't need to panic or boycott the toys. He says hearing loss happens gradually over time and kids can still play with the loud toys they love, without damaging their hearing if its done with some common sense.
“Like a lot of risk, we just have to be informed that there is a potential for hearing loss,” he says.
The Sight and Hearing Association has a few tips for protecting a child's hearing:
- Listen a toy before you buy it. If it sounds loud to you, it may be too loud for your child.
- Put masking tape over the speakers to reduce the volume.
- While shopping, look for toys with volume controls built in.