Inner ear damage in children due to noise exposure from toy cap pistols and firecrackers: a retrospective review of 53 cases

Noise Health. Jan-Mar 2003;5(18):13-8.


This retrospective study presents the findings of inner ear damage documented in 53 children exposed to impulsive sound emitted by toy weapons and firecrackers. There were 49 boys and four girls aged between four and fourteen years. Thirty-nine children were affected unilaterally while fourteen had bilateral hearing loss (total of 67 ears). Most of the hearing loss (>70%) was sensorineural high frequency hearing loss, while only nine out of the 67 injured ears had sensorineural mid frequency hearing loss. Seven children sustained a traumatic ear drum perforation. Dizziness or tinnitus was reported by twenty children, with pathological ENG findings in four of them. This paper re-emphasizes the possibility of inner ear damage in children from exposure to noisy toys.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Audiometry, Pure-Tone
  • Bone Conduction
  • Child
  • Child Welfare
  • Dizziness / diagnosis
  • Dizziness / etiology*
  • Dizziness / prevention & control
  • Electronystagmography
  • Female
  • Firearms*
  • Hearing Loss, Noise-Induced / diagnosis
  • Hearing Loss, Noise-Induced / etiology*
  • Hearing Loss, Noise-Induced / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Play and Playthings / injuries*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Safety
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Speech Reception Threshold Test
  • Tinnitus / diagnosis
  • Tinnitus / etiology*
  • Tinnitus / prevention & control
  • Tympanic Membrane Perforation / diagnosis
  • Tympanic Membrane Perforation / etiology*
  • Tympanic Membrane Perforation / prevention & control