Educational toy brand Click-A-Brick has praised the efforts of groups who are warning parents about the dangers of overly loud toys this Christmas season. Among those groups is the Sight and Hearing Association, which puts out an annual list of toys for parents to beware of while doing their Christmas shopping.
Now in its nineteenth year, the list serves as a reminder and warning to parents that toys that make a lot of noise are not good for their children’s developing ears. The loudest toy on this year’s list, which contains 17 toys that emit sounds louder than 85 decibels, reached 104.4 decibels.
Local Birmingham, Alabama station ABC 33/40, which did a story about the annual list, brought in audiologist Sabrina Lawley who says if a toy is too loud for parents, it is likely too loud for their children to be playing with, as it will have adverse effects on the child’s development, especially early in life.
“If it’s affecting their hearing then it will probably affect their development because if they have hearing loss at that time, then that’s going to be affecting their learning,” Lawley said.
Because children tend to hold toys close to their faces, she adds, loud toys can affect them even more. Lawley suggests parents test toys in stores using a downloadable decibel measuring app and muffle the effects of any loud toys by putting a piece of clear tape over the speaker or area where the noise emanates from, if possible.
Co-founders of educational toy Click-A-Brick Jason Smith and Georg de Gorostiza say they are glad to see the Sight and Hearing Association warning of the dangers of loud toys, which can often be overlooked by parents, and are equally disappointed to see toy companies not taking into account the affect their loud toys can have on developing children.
“We are happy to see the Sight and Hearing Association raising awareness of this issue, which doesn’t seem to get a lot of attention,” Smith said. “Children’s hearing is especially vulnerable while they are developing. There are so many things that can negatively affect hearing throughout a person’s life, so it’s important to protect children’s ears, especially as they are in their formative years.”
“And while parents obviously should be vigilant in protecting their kids from dangers like overly loud toys, we’re also quite disappointed to see that toy makers aren’t doing more to ensure their toys are safe in this regard. Toy safety goes beyond just choking hazards. Loud toys pose a real threat to kids. Here we have yet another reason for parents to stay away from the talking, electronic toys and instead give their children something that will help with their development rather than potentially harming it.”
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