Before you hit the stores for those last-minute gifts, be aware that some toys pose safety hazards to your children. The United States Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) recently released their 27th annual Consumer Protection Report. It contains safety guidelines and examples of toys that are potentially dangerous.
One of the categories in the report is on toys that are considered excessively loud. Studies show Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) accounts for one-quarter to one-third of all hearing loss cases. NILH can be caused by a one-time exposure or by repeated exposure over a long period of time. The American Academy of Pediatrics uses 85 decibels (dB) as a threshold for dangerous sounds. Some of the toys listed are at or near this level. Careful consideration should be used before purchasing.
The article offers these suggestions:
• If a toy seems too loud for you, then it is probably too loud for your child.
• Put tape over the speakers of the toys you already own that are too loud
or, if possible, remove the batteries.
If you come across a toy that raises concern, please report it to the CPSC website, at www.saferproducts.gov.