The Department of Health (DOH) addresses the public to shop wisely for toys to give as gifts this holiday season. A safe toy is defined by the DOH as one that is suitable to the child’s physical capabilities, mental and social development, durable, and safe for the child’s age.
“We must not only look at the value but also the quality of the item. Aside from being appealing and suitable for a child’s age, toys should be safe.” Health Secretary Janette P. Loreto-Garin explained.
For newborns to one year old, DOH suggests toys such as rattles, large and brightly colored balls, washable stuffed dolls or animals with big and clearly defined faces. [pq]Toddlers or children ages two to three years old are recommended with toys such as wooden animals, dolls, sturdy kiddie cars, modeling clay, and rocking horses.[/pq]
“Always check labels on the packaging and observe precautions appearing in labels. Ensure that the child will play with a toy suited for his/her age under adult supervision. After unwrapping of gifts, dispose plastic packaging accordingly and keep it out of reach of children.” Garin added.
DOH advised that the following toys are not recommended under three years old: balls with a diameter of 1.75 inches or less so as to prevent choking, toys that easily break into small parts or pieces (glass or brittle plastics), toys containing small detachable parts or pieces which could become swallowed and lodged in the throat, and toys with sharp points and edges.
In addition, the health chief warned on toys that may contain harmful chemicals such as lead. In order to ensure that toys do not contain hazardous materials, toy manufacturers, importers, and distributors are required to secure Certificate of Conformity from Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the toys they sell or offer. These establishments take due diligence in ensuring that toys are toxic-free. Consumers are strongly advised to buy their toy gifts from legitimate toy establishments.
“Salubungin natin ang Pasko at Bagong Taon nang ligtas, masaya, at puno ng pag-asa. Tiyakin natin na ang ireregalong laruan ay magbibigay ng saya at hindi disgrasaya.” Garin concluded.
– DOH Philippines