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Toys may damage children's hearing


Jeff Carroll, UCI Graduate Researcher, Biomedical Engineering & Otolaryngology (On-Camera):

So, what we're looking to do is measure the safety of different devices that are commercially available on the market. We're looking at measuring toys. A lot of them are set up to be things like MP3 players or hook into a television, a lot of them are just toys that produce sound on their own, and a lot of them are very loud. You know, anybody who has kids knows that, so we're just trying to measure them to see how safe they're going to be for different age ranges.

There's two main problems with MP3 players. If the sounds are too loud, you can have temporary and then permanent hearing loss. Sounds that are somewhat comfortable for a short period of time, if listened to long enough can cause permanent damage and that's why we really emphasize education.

So, video games present and interesting challenge because often louder sounds add to the heightened experience of the video game. Again, our recommendations would be similar to all toys and all sounds that the louder the sound, the shorter the duration it's safe and the softer the sound, the longer you can listen to it for a safe period of time.

Click here to read UCI's original press release on this research.