ABC 15 Smart Family - Noisy Toys

Uploaded by AzCDHH on 06.12.2010

Let's focus on family health this afternoon.
Did you know according to a Harvard study,
one in five US teens are showing some degree of hearing loss
during the years of 2005 through 2006.
Well with the holidays creeping up,
and kids wanting noisy toys, MP3 players, musical toys,
and a ton of other noisy toys,
how can we protect our kids' hearing?
Well this is why Michele Michaels who is with
The Arizona Commission For the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
is joining us on Smart Family to kind of educate us
and show us some proactive ways on how we can prevent
our children from having any more hearing loss.
So welcome Michele to our show.
Well thanks for having us on today.
Well I appreciate it; you've go some interesting information
so who would have thought that toys
could actually have our kids lose some hearing there?
But one of the cool things about toys is that they make noise.
One of the bad things about toys is they make noise.
'Cause too much noise is bad for our ears.
So kids, prolonged exposure to loud noises causes hearing loss.
Well I have to say, nowadays there's your ipod,
you have all these individual devices that you put in your ears.
I'm sure that that's definitely causing some hearing loss.
Yeah, it definitely is.
We know that at the age of six,
about six out of every thousand children has hearing loss,
but at the age of 16, it's about 20 percent or 200 out of a thousand.
So something's happening between that age of six and 16
that is causing hearing loss in our kids.
And also, as children, when they're young,
their hearing is by far much better than ours.
Much better; they can hear a much higher frequency,
and much more sensitive hearing,
so it's really important to protect their hearing from the get go.
Okay, so why don't you tell me what we can do as parents
on knowing what toys we should buy them and what toys we shouldn't.
When you're out there shopping
and you're looking for a toy, listen to the toy,
and if it sounds something like this:
It's about time you got here!
That's okay, but if it goes:
I'm Buzz Lightyear, space ranger.
He's still okay, but did you hear that real high?
Uh huh.
That gets high and then this thing,
I've got my decibel meter here.
Okay that's what that is, a decibel meter.
And that goes up to 90 to 100 decibels.
That's above 85; 85 is your threshold.
Okay, so you don't want anything higher than 85.
You don't want to get above 85 because that's dangerous.
And things like this; oh I love this guitar,
and you said you have one, right?
Uh huh.
One hundred decibels.
Really? I actually have this guitar.
Yeah, 100 decibels; 15 minutes at 100 decibels
you have hearing loss.
So what you're basically saying is that as parents,
if we hear these toys and we think they're too loud for us,
it's pretty much a precursor that it's probably going to be
even louder for your kids and could do some damage.
So what's one more advice that we can do as parents.
So listen to the toys before we give them to our kids.
What's one more thing we can do to help with that?
If you're talking to your child and the child can't hear you,
that's a danger zone.
So just make sure you turn down the volume on the TV
when you're playing the DVD players.
If you rip these over to an MP3 player, check that volume.
Is it too loud to you? It's too loud to them.
Figure out, maybe take the batteries
out of toys that are too noisy.
And then look for ones that are just very gentle and very easy,
little light voices, that's cool, that's very safe for the kid.
And one other thing I was reading about
was that you can also, if the speakers are too loud
on a particular toy like this guitar, you can put tape over it
to kind of muffle the sound.
Yeah, with an older kid you can put some tape over it.
A little baby, you don't want in the mouth, right?
But sometimes you can open them up and put some cotton down in there.
Okay, great, well Michele, thank you so much for joining us.
I appreciate that, some good advice there.
So when it comes to your kids and toys,
definitely get them some toys if you can,
but make sure to watch with the sound to protect their ears.
So if you want more information on hearing loss,
you can get at
Go to the Lifestyle tab and right there
you'll see the Smart Family Section.