7 Unsafe Toys that make for the worst Birthday Present

On every birthday party I am amused with just how much thinking goes into the children’s dresses and decor. That the mothers out do each other in looking like the prettiest doll at the party, is equally interesting, for lack of a better word. What I am appalled at is, how little consideration goes into choosing the gift. The gifts are big, bigger and biggest but not necessarily safe, safer or safest.

The last-minute gift grabbing means going to neighbourhood toy shops which are over-flowing with cheap plastic gifts with dangerous sharp edges. And if the birthday kid survives all this, the doll’s plastic hair might choke her or the small magnetic parts might pull the last breath out of him.

So the next time you are headed for a party, please spend some more time and effort in choosing child-safe toys as gifts. And no matter what, stay away from the following dangerous toys:

Magnet Toys: Do you know those really popular magnet toys can be more dangerous than your child walking alone on a busy road. Accidentally swallowing a loose magnet and then another one could cause parts of the intestine to draw together. This could create holes in the abdomen and result in severe, life-threatening complications.

Face Paints: Stop and think. You wouldn’t have these cheap face paints close to your skin for fear of a pimple, while you might be gifting an innocent child severe brain damage, skin cancer and more. Many face paints are known to contain lead. Britain is already in the middle of a major health alert caused by the import of highly toxic face paints. The guilty company has been ordered to pay Euro 15,000 for risking Public health. In India, there is no one else to do the homework for you. It’s all up to you.

Dangerous Plastic Toys: I am all for saving money. I am the one who’d rather make a trip to the local market and pick up a Hero Cycle for Rs.2500 for my kids instead of a branded cycle for Rs. 9000. There is only superficial difference between the two.

But when buying plastic toys that are clearly dangerous toys for children, I would opt for the costlier one provided it is free of Dioxins, Phthalates and Bisphenol-A (BPA). Hmm, if these chemicals don’t ring a bell, their effects should. They are known to cause cancer, development delays, harm to hormonal, reproductive and neurological systems. Teethers, backpacks, baby toys, pacifiers, mosquito repellant arm bands, these chemicals could be hiding in any of them. So do your homework and steer clear of toys that will not display what’s gone into their making.

Toys with sharp edges: You might as well be gifting septic needles if you’re not careful. Someone gave my kids alphabet blocks, the edges could have put a knife sharpener to shame. In their mind they had made a good choice, blocks and alphabets to get the kids’ motor skills rocking. But I wish they had given thought about child safety too. Choose toys with smoother edges and child safe surfaces. Yes there are dangerous toys you need to avoid.

Stuffed Toys/Dolls with that wild, synthetic hair: Synthetic hair can choke or give an allergy to the child. If you wouldn’t want to put the doll in your mouth, why are you giving the innocent child that risky option and that dangerous toy?

Fancy Swings: I have a swing in my family room, that is how much I love this happiness-creator. But it does not flip over, collapse or come close to strangling anyone. Thank goodness for that because the market is flooded with such dangerous toys and products. If the swings are not well manufactured then there is a danger of:

– The child slipping through the gaps
– Getting tangled up in the harness
– Loose screws resulting in a fall and serious head injuries

In fact some years back even a reputed company like Graco had to recall their swings. See picture.

Darts: Like really? Maybe you should get up to speed with child-safety before you aim at buying these dangerous toys as gifts for kids. If you do want to help the kids take pot shots and better their aim, concentration and accuracy, safer products are available. Check out this Early Learning Centre game for instance.

These are a few of the gifts I have had a close encounter with since I became a mother. So please when you accept that invite for a party, stop and think. Wrap safe choices with your blessings and wishes.

Wouldn’t you want others to be careful when it comes to your child?

Comments (3)

Tash Posted on Feb 10, 2015

The article was an eye opener.. Kids and chemical exposure is dangerous..thanks

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Dc Posted on Feb 10, 2015

In our times we had wooden toys hopefully safe. But now with all the chemicals in ourfood, clothes, toys does pose a lot of danger to the kids

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Divya mittal Posted on Feb 09, 2015

Yes I agree that all these toys are dangerous..... but there are many others like one with lights and loud music or sound. The laser or even normal car light in toys is not safe. The antennas coming out from remote control cars ... kids computers and laptops with small display are not good for their eyes.

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Charu Chhitwal

Charu Chhitwal, Founder KetchupMoms has daring tastebuds, a love for travel and an owl for her soul. It’s little wonder then that she loves to write and share her tips and tricks on traveling, food,

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