Toys With All the Bells and Whistles Can Damage Hearing
WebMD News Archive
Ilecki points out that anything over 90 decibels can potentially harm the
ears -- especially if listened to for an extended period of time.
He says it used to be a safe generalization that hearing loss caused by
nerve damage was confined to adults. "But now there is so much more noise
-- even more than 20 years ago," Ilecki says, and that puts everyone at
"An important message is that although some hearing losses are
reversible, that is not the case with noise-induced hearing loss," Ilecki
says -- and even worse, it's hard to spot. "I'm afraid that at the early
stages symptoms would be so subtle you could not detect it behaviorally -- only
He advises that parents whose children have noisy habits -- whether they are
permanently hooked to headphones or have season concert tickets -- to have the
children's hearing checked. "The good news is that this is something that
is totally preventable," Ilecki says. "You're the master of your own
destiny; once you know the relationship between noise and hearing loss you can
As for those holiday toys, Sutton says, if you can't talk over it, can't
hear over it, or if it causes any pain or ringing in your ears -- don't use
- Children's eardrums are more sensitive to noise because their hearing
canals are shorter than those of adults.
- Some toys can cause hearing damage, including musical instruments, stereo
systems, video games, whistles, and toy phones.
- Anything over 90 decibels can cause harm to the ears, and noise-induced
hearing loss is not reversible.