The Living Sounds Blog

Noisy Toys

When I was a young mom I was always amazed and concerned about all the loud toys my children would receive as gifts. I often wouldn’t even put batteries in the toys (this only worked when they were really young) because I felt they were too loud.

The Sight & Hearing Association (SHA) releases an annual noisy toys list each year and I always scanned that list to make sure I wasn’t exposing my children to too much noise.

Some of these toys can result in a hearing loss in less than 15 minutes. This year out of 18 toys that SHA tested, seven of them had noise levels above 100 decibels (dB).

Toys must meet an acoustic standard set by the American Society of Testing and Materials where they must not be above 85 dB at 50 cm from the surface of the toy. 50 cm is longer than the length of most adults’ arms. How many children are content with playing with their fun new toy from an arm’s length away?

If there is a noisy toy that you know your child really wants or that they receive as a gift, a little trick you can implement is to place clear packing tape or glue over the speaker of the toy. It will help reduce the sound level enough to make the toy safe for your child’s ears. Another thing you can do when shopping is to look for toys with a volume control.

This past Christmas the top five noisiest toys were:

1.       Disney Baby Einstein/Take along Tunes                         114.8 dB at 0 inches and 88.1 dB at 10 inches away

2.      Twister Dance Rave                                                               107.9 dB at 0 inches and 83.5 dB at 10 inches away

3.      B. Meowsic (Piano)                                                                 106.8 dB at 0 inches and 87.9 dB at 10 inches away

4.      Doc McStuffins – Talkin’ Check-up Set                           102.8 dB at 0 inches and 76.5 dB at 10 inches away

5.               Road Rippers – Road Rockin’ RickyTM                101.2 dB at 0 inches and 83.8 dB at 10 inches away

If you would like to receive a pdf copy of the complete 2013 Noisy Toys List, please contact SHA at

Valerie Stroeder, BC-HI
Board Certified in Hearing Instrument Sciences
Registered Hearing Aid Practitioner

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