It’s gift giving season once again. Do you make your own gift list for kids or just randomly shop for cute items at the mall. While toys are always a part of your Christmas shopping list every year just remember to be wary of the toys you pick from the store shelf. Experts have warned that some toys may contain lead-based paints which are harmful to health. Only lead test kits can verify the presence of lead in toys.
On choosing musical instruments as gifts, make sure to pick the ones that are easy to play since the receiver would be kids.
If you are planning to buy toys as Christmas gift for your young children and godchildren, please read this safety tips first before heading to your favorite department store.
Characteristics of a good toy:
- Suitable to the child’s physical capabilities, mental and social development;
- Appealing and interesting to the child; and
- Well constructed, durable and safe for the child’s age.
Do’s and Dont’s in Toy Safety:
- Check labels on the packaging and observe precautions appearing in the labels to ensure the safety of the child;
- Ensure that the child will play with a toy suited for his age under adult supervision;
- Dispose plastic packaging accordingly. Keep it out of reach of children;
- For children under age three (3), do not buy the following toys:
- balls with a diameter of 1.75 inches or less so as to prevent choking;
- that easily breaks into small parts or pieces (glass or brittle plastics);
- containing small detachable parts or pieces which could become lodged in the throat;
- with sharp points and edges;
- with electrical parts, unless supervised by an adult;
- with parts that could pinch or entrap fingers, toes or hair;
- with parts put together by straight pins, sharp wires or nails that are exposed and easily detached. (http://www.doh.gov.ph/)
Aside from this safety tips, please be wary about toys that may contain lead paint. Sometimes mommies tend to pick more colorful toys because they appeal to the eyes of very young children. But, we must be aware that some colorful toys may contain lead-based paint that could pose serious health problem to children.
An epa approved lead test kit can help you detect lead-free toys. The kit contains lead test swabs that instantly alerts consumers to the presence of lead in consumer products.
Lead can cause irreversible damage to the nerve, kidney, heart and reproductive system. Lead poisoning is often fatal to children.
Just to show you how serious lead poisoning is the US FTC recalled at least 20 million toys containing poisonous lead in 2008.
For local inquiries about toys safety please call the Bureau of Health Devices and Technology (BHDT)-Department of Health at 743-8301 local 3408 or at 711-6824.