THE noise of some of the most popular Christmas toys can be as loud as a chainsaw and risk permanently damaging toddlers' hearing, a report has warned.
Researchers from the University of California, Irvine tested the levels of two dozen separate toys and took 10 of the loudest to a specialist soundproof laboratory.
All of the 10 exceeded 90 decibels and several reached 100 or more, which is equivalent to the noise of a chainsaw or an underground train.
Among the toys tested were the Tonka Mighty Motorised Fire Truck, Marvel Super Shield Captain America, Whac–A–Mole game, Sesame Street Let's Rock Elmo and Toy Story Buzz Lightyear Cosmic Blaster.
Dr Hamid Djalilian, from the University of California, said problems could arise if a noisy toy was held too close to a child's ears.
"Children are very sensitive to loud and high–pitched sounds. Unfortunately, hearing loss from noise damage is permanent and not currently curable."
Dr Djalilian said that someone buying a noisy toy for a child should hold the toy as a youngster would and listen to its sound.
"If it hurts your ears then it's probably too loud for a child," he said.