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How loud is too loud for children's toys?

How loud is too loud for children's toys?

Consumer Affairs Minister Judith Tizard is reminding Christmas shoppers about the dangers of noisy toys.

"A recent complaint to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs about a toy mobile phone with a very loud ring is a timely reminder for people shopping for children's toys in the days leading up to Christmas," said Judith Tizard.

"The toy was brought to the attention of the Ministry by a vigilant parent concerned about the loudness of the phone's ring. Within days the importer had the product tested, and along with retailers, withdrew it from sale.

"Babies and toddlers don't automatically pull away from a painful sound. They're not often able to tell you if a sound is too loud or not, so parents and caregivers need to be their ears for them. I congratulate the parent who raised concerns about this product.

"It's a pity that the products were in the market in the first place, but I think it is important to acknowledge that the supplier acted quickly to remedy the situation."

The product involved is marketed as a toy Mobile Electronic Phone, and has JIN HUA in a circle on its front.

The toy was available from discount-type stores. It comes in a range of colours and the packaging is predominantly pink with green. Consumers who have purchased this toy should take it back to the retailer for a refund or discard it safely.

"If you have any doubts, take it back to the supplier. Or you can contact the Ministry of Consumer Affairs by looking in your phone book for the nearest office that deals with 'Product Safety'," said Judith Tizard.

How loud is too loud? -- Toys for children under 18 months should not be louder than 75 decibels. For children over 18 months, and even as old as 14 years, the sound from toys should not exceed 85 decibels.

How can you tell if a toy is louder than 85 decibels? -- The timer alarm on many stoves and ovens is around 102 decibels. Some adults' cellphones are around 95 decibels set at the loudest ring. Play a toy near one of these and compare the sounds.


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