Parents must purchase toys considering kid’s age: experts

| Updated: December 15, 2022 19:22:10

File photo (Collected) File photo (Collected)

Parents should be careful while purchasing toys for their children to continue their normal growth avoiding toy-related hazards, experts suggested.

"Parents should be cautious to select toys ... toys are for fun and are an important part of any child's mental and physical development. But each year, scores of kids are treated in hospital for toy-related injuries", said former Director of Shishu Hospital Professor Dr Manzoor Hussain.

He said, “Though it is not possible to avoid the toy-related risks 100 per cent, parents can be on the safe side by purchasing toys considering the age mark level on the packet of the toy,” reports BSS.

“In modern countries, parents are very much conscious while buying toys but here the minimum awareness is missing among a large number of the parents,” he added.

“It is not possible to diagnose the main reason for the health hazards as the toxic chemicals of toys hamper the body slowly,” said the expert.

A couple was buying toys for their four years, old baby, from Baitul Mokarram market. They have no idea about the age mark. When they were asked about the age tag, they gave a blank look and said they have no idea about the matter. They said, “We used to buy toys as per the requirement of our daughter”.

In the Bashundhara City shopping mall, a man was buying metal cars for his 11 years old boy. He said, “I know about the age tag but I have no idea about the toy-related hazards. Moreover, manufacturer companies do not put any age tag on the small toys. Normally I buy toys considering the age level but I also buy those which attract me. Sometimes I used to purchase cheap toys for him as he used to break his toys.”

"A child's exposure to poisonous chemicals like lead, cadmium, bromine, chromium and other elements can lead to many adverse effects, including bone softening, kidney problems, liver toxicity, estrogenic (Estrogens are a group of hormones) effects and more", Dr ABM Abdullah said.

National expert on Chemical Safety Dr Shahriar Hossain said different types of toys in the market contain high concentrations of toxic heavy metals that are dangerous for children and can cause brain damage, learning disabilities, hormone problems, and cancer of the young children.

A study said plastic toys are the most contaminated and lead is the highest concentrated metal in different categories of toys. Many international brands of toys also contain lead, cadmium and chromium. Local clay and wooden colour toys found high concentrations of lead and chromium.

"Due to the frequent hand-to-mouth movement, we often see in young children that it creates a pathway for toxic chemicals in toys and other items to enter their bodies. If children swallow or chew a toy containing unsafe levels of metals, they can suffer significant and sometimes permanent damage to their physical and mental health", said the child experts.

"Make sure a toy isn't too loud for your child. The noise of some rattles, musical or electronic toys can be as loud as a car horn - even louder if a child holds it directly to the ears - and can contribute to hearing damage", said ENT (ear, nose and throat) expert Dr Pran Gopal Dutta.

Dr Dutta, also the former Vice-Chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University said, "Loud noise in toys can weaken the immune system and sleep disturbance of children".

To avoid the risks, the experts stressed on creating awareness among parents and effective regulations from the government.

The experts said, besides creating awareness among parents on toy hazards, manufacturing companies should also be stopped producing lead-containing toys.

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