Family holidayIt’s said that “it’s the thought that counts” when it comes to giving gifts.

For those with, buying for someone with or simply concerned about hearing loss, part of that thought may be on how the item could affect one’s hearing or their day-to-day life. Audiology & Hearing Aid Solutions offers the following tips for what to buy and what to leave on the shelf this holiday season.

Noisy Toys to Avoid

Because good hearing care habits start when we’re young, it’s helpful to consider how noisy toys are before purchasing them for your children or grandchildren. The Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing assembles a list each year of gifts that may be too loud for children to safely use. This year, the list includes 20 toys louder than 85 decibels (dB), the level at which prolonged exposure to can cause hearing damage. The American Society of Testing and Materials also states the toy’s sound should not exceed that level when the child’s ear is 50 cm (20 inches) away. Keep in mind many children do not play with toys in the recommended fashion. 

Topping the list of too-noisy toys was the Black and Decker Junior Leaf Blower. This toy for kids who want to help mom and dad with the yard work reaches 113 dB. It’s simply too loud for a child to use safely.

The ACDHH offered several suggestions for safe toys, such as the Transformers Bumblebee Greatest Hits FX (85 dB), and the Hasbro furReal Snifflin’ Sawyer (75dB).

For children who experience hearing loss, instead of loud gifts that will be annoying to adults and dangerous to children, opt for safer options such as:

  • Hearing device decorations that can add personality and enjoyment to a youth’s hearing aids or cochlear implants.
  • Books about hearing loss such as El Deafo; I am the Boss of My Hearing Loss, and Cosmo Gets an Ear
  • Hearing aids for an American Girl doll – buy one with hearing aids or the doll hospital staff can personalize a doll the child already has with fitted devices.

Gifts to Get Those With Hearing Loss

Of course, there are many items that would be perfect to give your loved one with hearing loss this holiday season. Here is a look at a few of our favorites:

Granddaughter giving gift to grandmother.

  1. TV accessories: Watching TV with hearing loss can be frustrating, both for the individual and their family that must deal with the volume turned up. TV listening devices such as TV Ears let the person adjust the volume without disturbing others in the room. Another option for better TV viewing is a soundbar, which can greatly improve the sound quality from the set. Models like the ZVOX AccuVoice AV200 use built-in hearing aid technology.
  2. Hearables: These new devices aren’t necessarily marketed to those with hearing loss, but their benefits cannot be overlooked. The wireless devices worn in the ear can greatly improve music and phone call listening experiences while featuring health benefits such as heart rate monitors. Check out models such as the Bragi Dash and Jabra Sport Pulse.
  3. Alarm clocks awaken with vibration or brightness: Those with hearing loss may not be able to hear the typical alarm clock. Those that vibrate (such as this model from Sonic Alert) or use colored sunrise simulation (like this clock from Philips) may help them make it to work on time.

The greatest gift that anyone can have is communicating with loved ones.  If you or a loved one have not taken the steps to be proactive with your hearing, schedule a complimentary hearing evaluation at one of our six locations in Northern New Jersey. Call 888-573-6412 or send us a message