A NON-profit group promoting children’s access to non-toxic and safe toys has raised the alarm over the sale of cheap replicas of lethal weapons that may cause injuries among children, especially if used without adult supervision.
The EcoWaste Coalition expressed alarm after buying toy weapons with sharp points and edges, including imitation “balisong” (fan knife), hunting knife and Naruto weapons such as “kunai” (dagger), “shuriken” (hand blade ) and “tanto” (sword).
The group recently bought the weapon toys from toy retailers and wholesalers at M. De Santos and Tabora Streets in Divisoria for P55 to P120 per pack of 20 or 30 pieces. These weapon toys are being sold to children for P5 to P10 each by ambulant vendors or toy shops near public elementary schools and in some neighborhood sari-sari stores.
Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner of EcoWaste Coalition said the toys are cheap and affordable but could cause injuries to children who would play with it. “Toys with sharp points and edges are potentially dangerous as these could tear a child’s sensitive skin or cause injury to a child eyes,” he said.
Like Ninja weapon toys which were inspired by Naruto, a Japanese manga series, are attractive to young children who are fascinated by action heroes. However, some of these toys have pointed parts and sharp edges that can harm an unsuspecting child or his playmates.
Aside from the accidental cuts, stabbing, and eye injuries, the EcoWaste Coalition also aired concern on the impact of such toys on the development of aggressive and violent behavior among children.
To keep children safe and to discourage aggressive and violent behaviors, the group advises parents to consider these tips:
* Carefully read product labels and shun toys lacking the required labeling requirements such as age grading, cautionary warnings and usage instructions;
* Select age and developmentally-appropriate toys;
* Shun toys with sharp edges or points, small parts, long strings, small and loosely attached batteries, and toxic components such as lead-containing paint;
* Read the instructional literature and teach your child how to safely play with purchased toys.
* Supervise children under your care when they engage in indoor or outdoor play.
The group also drew attention to the importance of choosing toys and childcare articles that are notified or registered with the Food and Drug Administration, which have undergone quality and safety verification procedures