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Concern As Parents on Children Toys Safety – Mattel Toy Recall
The newspapers, the TV channel, the Internet, the parent forum and the conversation in the office hallways talk about the recent Mattel toy recall. As the mother of my 5 year old angel, I am extremely concerned by this message. My mother told me this news during the first recall about 2 weeks ago. I dismissed it thinking it only happened in China. But deep down my mind is racing and pulling out my collections of the newest toys that my husband, my co-workers in China bought for my daughter. Yes, there are Barbie toys, a lot.
Just yesterday, in Singapore’s leading newspaper and TV channel, the news of Mattel Toy’s recall was highlighted. Quickly, I did a metal check and realized that 30% of my daughter’s toys (given as gifts by parents, friends, my parents) are from Mattel. Ranging from Barbie, Polly Pockets, Dora and a few other Disney characters. My heart is beating fast, I’m starting to worry seriously.
Turning on my internet, I started surfing Mattel’s website for more information on the recall. The link pointing to the Singapore callback was up but listed as under construction (Yuck, that’s not good!). I consult the Mattel Care hotline (available only during office hours). The phone has been busy all day.
I’m frustrated. I am extremely concerned as news of the Dora toy recall was mentioned in our newspaper but not on the Mattel website. It’s contradictory
Since I subscribed to the Fisher Price (Matel subsidiary brand) newsletter for toys and updates, I was surprised that Mattel CEO Bob Eckert sent emails to his list of broadcast of Fisher Price members to inform him of their recall.
Either way, I’m willing to send these toys back to Mattel. However, how am I going to tell my “princess” that she won’t have her toys to play with? 30% of his toy (2 full boxes) and 1 large Dora house! My parenting instinct tells me to tell her nicely and leave her emotionally ready to willingly part with her toys.
So I took her aside, showed her the diary (which luckily has pictures of Barbie and other toys). I told him that some “bad” people used bad paint and magnets in these toys. Bad things on these toys will hurt her and make her sick. Mom is therefore worried about her health. I specifically use these words “Mom loves you and doesn’t want to see you sick. If those paints on the toys make you sick, I’ll take them off.” She began to understand what I meant. She said, “Yeah, I don’t want to be sick. I can’t go to Sunday school and rollerblade when I’m sick.” So I said “So no Barbie dolls and Dora toys because mom wants to put them away.” She replied and nodded with a “Yes”.
So it was good for me. My “princess” was very understanding and she took it well.
As for me, nothing is more important than the health of my daughter. I’m sure the rest of the parents also share this too.
However a few tips to share with parents when choosing toys.
1. Choose well-established brands.
Most of these companies are more responsible and will take action if something happens or they will tighten their quality control process.
2. Choose age-appropriate toys.
3. Check the ingredients used to make the toys and the countries where they were made.
Yes, nearly 80% of toys are made in China.
Example: wooden brick toys. Those made from non-toxic paint from Israel can cost S$80 per bucket versus S$8 at a store in Singapore (made in China) or RMB8 in China. only 36 months.
4. For a special occasion such as birthday, Christmas or Children’s Day, you can provide a list of toys or gifts who want to buy something for your children. This can prevent duplication of the same toys or too much of one type of toys over others.
5. Identify if the toy can help the child
– Pure creative play (example: finger puppets)
– Innovation (Example: set of beach or garden tools for exploration)
– Problem solving (Puzzle; starts with 2,3,4,6 pieces grows to 12-24-64 pieces as they get older)
– Role play (doll house, disguise)
Play different characters (dad or mom, rabbit, kitten or tiger etc.)
Either way, a toy given to a child should not be viewed solely as a pacifier or convenience tool for busy parents. Every item given to a child, especially when younger than a baby or toddler, should be selected with care and consideration. Toys are a very important part of children’s activities, especially when they are young. So choose with consideration and a lot of thought.
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