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Hot Holiday Toys May Cause Hearing Damage

This 'Let's Rock' Elmo toy can cause hearing damage in young children.

A new study shows that some of the most popular toys this holiday season could also be harmful to your child‘s hearing.

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, recently measured the noise levels of toys being sold this holiday season. Using a soundproof booth, they found that ten toys exceeded 90 decibels, and several reached more than 100 — equivalent to the noise of a chainsaw, subway train or power mower.

Michelle Escobar, an audiologist at Peyton Manning Children‘s Hospital, says unprotected exposure to sounds above 85 decibels for a prolonged period of time can lead to hearing loss.

“It can occur gradually over time,” she says, “and so that‘s why it‘s really important to pay attention to how loud the sound is, and how long the child is playing with it, if it is a loud sound.”

Escobar says adults should test noisy toys prior to buying them. If the toy hurts your ears, it‘s probably too loud.

Some of the toys that exceeded 90 decibels in the study were the Tonka Mighty Motorized Fire Truck, Marvel Super Shield Captain America, a Whac-a-Mole game, Sesame Street Let‘s Rock Elmo, and Toy Story Buzz Lightyear Cosmic Blaster.

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