21 Aug Why you need to install Puff the Magic Dryer
Normal washroom hand dryers are too loud for young children
That’s why we’re committed to creating a positive hand washing experience for children where hand dryers are not too loud for children. That includes creating their very own hand dryer: Puff the Magic Dryer.
But why does a children’s hand dryer have to be any different from other dryers on the market?
Well, our business is based on the realisation that encouraging good children’s hand hygiene begins with making public washrooms an appealing place for small children.
Too often washrooms in public places are designed solely for functionality, and even then only with adult users in mind. And a washroom can be loud, disconcerting and even scary for small children. We know from personal experience. But don’t just take our word for it.
Research is the key
A paper published in Paediatrics & Child Health last year proves our point. Of 44 hand dryers tested in real-life settings in Calgary, Canada, the loudest installed dryer exceeded 100 dBA (that’s a measure of decibels, the unit for sound).
These results were not one-offs. For each hand dryer tested in the report, 20 measurements were recorded, reflecting the noise at five heights and from two distances – with and without hands present. So this was a comprehensive analysis of how the machines work in practice.
Would it surprise you to learn that the loudest results recorded were loud enough to result in hearing loss after about fifteen minutes? That’s according to the Canadian body the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
In fact, under current legislation in Canada, any toy that emitted sounds at that level would be banned from sale. Yet children routinely stand at these dryers.
This extreme result was not unique, one dryer in the study was measured at 120 dBA, a level that can cause pain and ear injury.
These shocking results were highlighted not by a manufacturer, or even a consultant audiologist, but by a seventh-grade student, Nora Keegan, who we think is an inspiration.
“I thought maybe they only measured at an adult’s height or only a men’s height, so I decided to test children’s heights as well as women and men’s heights,” she said.
Nora discovered that typical industry testing was conducted at a distance of 18 inches from the wall – but a child’s shorter arm length means that they are typically standing closer to the dryer, and that – together with the smaller shape of a child’s ear – means that they experience noise in a different way to adults.
For her research, which began as a school project, Nora visited public restrooms in local schools, libraries, shopping malls and restaurants. She took her readings using a decibel meter, setting it up using a ruler and a measuring tape to ensure consistency.
If a dryer then is designed and installed for children, it will not just look great but it will also be quieter than standard, and it will be installed at the optimum height. That’s Puff the Magic Dryer.
Our products are also sustainably sourced, and designed to be refurbished or easily recycled at the end of their useable life. To find out more about how we’re supporting children’s hand hygiene around the world, contact us with any questions.