How to reduce the irritation of noisy toys

March 7, 2015

Loud and noisy toys can be a major distraction, and beyond annoying parents, they may actually be harmful to your children. Here's how to manage.
It’s not always easy to choose toys our children will love. Despite our best efforts and intention, we can't control the quality of toys or gag gifts they sometimes receive.

How to reduce the irritation of noisy toys

High decibel levels

According to Speech-Language and Audiology Canada (SAC), the number of decibels permitted by Health Canada for toys is 100. It appears, however, that’s still too high. For years, the SAC has attempted to amend the regulation standard to a lower maximum 75 decibels.

The risks of repeated and prolonged exposure to high sound levels has been linked to noise-induced hearing damage and increased stress in children (not to mention their parents!).

Moreover, the trend in sound effects and sound machine toys is booming. With no end in sight, the biggest toy makers are challenged to keep up with the demand.

Is all this noise really necessary?

Certain music and sounds stimulate babies and children. They provide all kinds of benefits and are great fun. They aren’t all bad.

How do you integrate noise-emitting toys and games into daily life without fear of damaging our children's hearing (and without losing your mind)? Here are some recommendations to reduce the impact of noise polluting of toys.

Make smart consumer choices

Avoid toys whose sole purpose is to make noise. Shy away from plastic musical instruments, animals that hoot and holler and fire trucks with a piercing siren. When you choose toys with sounds effects, go for toys that engage the child’s interest in other ways than just making noise.

Control the volume and press the stop button

If you can’t stop the noise or turn down the volume, forget it. These two control features make a big difference when it comes to keeping or throwing out a toy.

Monitor and set limits

When your child plays with noisy toys or headphones, make sure they don’t wear it on their ears for too long, and limit the length of time they can play with it.


Explain your view and concern surrounding noisy toys in a way they can understand. Let them know of the dangers and risks involved and encourage them to remember these tips before buying them gifts.

Take a breath

Finally, you sometimes have tot accept and surrender to the fact that there will always be noisy toys in their play trunk. Let them have their fun, relax, and after a while, ask them nicely to stop or introduce a new game for them to play. It's a good compromise—don’t you think?

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