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Noisy Toys Can Damage Children’s Hearing 

Toy safety is always on parent’s minds this time of year. That includes keeping your kids safe from toys that could be too loud. An expert at a hearing center in Bangor has a few tips on how to protect your childs hearing. Amanda Samoluk, Director of Audiology at The Warren Center, has done research on how noisy toys affect children’s hearing. “When I think of noisy toys, I think of cap guns and musical instruments, drum sets, those kinds of things,” she says. “When I was doing some research on it, some of the noisiest toys were rattles and stuff for infants even.”According to Samoluk, sounds that are 85 decibels or higher can permanently damage your hearing, but she says there are more factors than just how loud a toy is. “It depends on how long you play with the toy rather than how loud the toy is itself,” says Samoluk, “so it’s kind of a ratio between time and volume. You know it’s exposure, it’s cumulative over our lives starting at infancy and up, so that’s the part that really counts is that time frame.”There are some things parents can do to help protect their child’s hearing. “Look for stuff that has volume switches, stuff you can turn down,” says Samoluk, “I would look for stuff that you can take the batteries out of. Listen to them and see what you think as far as loudness. I also use tape on my toys. Put a little masking tape or duct tape on the speaker.”A few precautions today can mean everything to your child’s future. “Noise induced hearing loss is the only kind of hearing loss that is preventable and that’s why we advocate that. “We have noisy lives anyway so any little bit can save our ears really adds up in the long run.”