Family holidayMany of us think of noisy toys simply as annoyances to adults in the room that may have to hear them while children are playing.

However, toys with excessive noise levels can actually damage the sensitive ears of the young people on our shopping lists. Over time, exposure to noise can result in permanent hearing loss. Studies have found that nearly 15 percent of youth between the ages of 12 and 19 have some level of hearing loss in at least one ear.

Physicians Hearing Center in Dothan, Alabama offers the following suggestions and tips for giving gifts for the children on your list this holiday season:

Easy Way To Quiet Toys

To easily quiet a noisy toy, cover the noise source with Scotch tape (or packing tape for larger areas). This simple, quick fix can reduce noise levels as much as 50%, helping protect the ears of children and nerves of parents or grandparents.

Toy Safety Standards May Not Be Enough

As mandated by the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM), sound levels made by toys must not exceed 85 decibels (dB) when positioned 19 inches from the ear. A child holding the toy close to their ear is subjected to higher noise levels, which presents a danger to their hearing. Sounds above 100 decibels can hurt hearing in fewer than 15 minutes.

Toys to Avoid

There are many toys that can exceed the acceptable noise limits, especially when used improperly. Here are some of the toys you won’t want under the tree this holiday season (decibels recorded as if the toy’s speaker was next to the child’s ear):

  • Black and Decker Junior Leaf Blower, 113.8 dB
  • Marvel Avengers Infinity War Infinity Gauntlet Electronic Fist, 108.5 dB
  • My Little Pony Singing Rainbow Dash, 108.4 dB
  • Vtech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Minnie Convertible, 107 dB
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi Bladebuilders Electronic Riot Baton, 106.3 dB
  • B.toys Woofer Hound Dog Guitar, 106.2 dB
  • Marvel Avengers Infinity War Mission Tech Iron Man, 106.1 dB