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Study reveals noisy Christmas toys can damage hearing

Many toys available this Christmas could damage your childs hearing according to the UK-based charity Deafness Research UK.

Working with researcher Dr. Brad Backus from University College London (UCL), the charity tested the noise levels produced by a selection of toys available to buy this Christmas.

Almost all (14 out of 15) of the toys tested produced noise levels above the recommended safety limit of 85dB(A) when held close to the ear. Half of the toys tested had levels above or very near recommended safety limits when measured at 25cm - about an arms length away.

The most dangerous toys by far were found to be toy guns. A mechanical toy machine gun, a plastic tommy gun, and a cap gun were tested and all were found to have noise levels that exceed recommended limits, making them the most dangerous toys available on the high street. These guns have the potential to cause serious damage to your childs hearing and could cause instant hearing loss.

The research was commissioned by Deafness Research UK, the countrys only charity dedicated to finding new cures, treatments, and technologies for deafness and hearing loss. It was carried out by Dr. Brad Backus, a research fellow at UCLs Ear Institute. 15 noise-emitting toys were tested including those aimed at children from 3 months up to 15 years-old. All the toys tested are available this Christmas and they include bestsellers such as Pixar Cars Lightening McQueen, Fireman Sams Action Jupiter and Tomys Spin nSound remote-controlled car*.

For toys, 85dB(A) is the recommended safety limit for noise exposure, prolonged exposure to anything above this level has the potential to cause damage to hearing. 14 of the 15 toys were found to have average noise levels of between 84dB(A) and 115dB(A) when held close (2.5cm) from the microphone. Only one, a VTECH mobile phone for babies, was found to have a noise level below the safety threshold.

When tested at 25cm, a
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Contact: David Reid
david.reid@deafnessresearch.org.uk
44-020-767-98953
Deafness Research UK
11-Dec-2006


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