Shop wisely and well for the toys you will be giving as gifts this holiday season, the Department of Health (DOH) urged the public on Saturday.
“We must not only look at the value but also the quality of the items. Aside from being appealing and suitable for a child’s age, toys should be safe,” Health Secretary Janette Garin said in a statement.
A safe toy is defined by the DOH as one that is suited to a child’s physical capabilities, mental and social development, is durable and fit to the child’s age.
For newborns to one-year-olds, the DOH suggested toys like rattles, large and brightly colored balls, washable stuffed dolls and animals with big and clearly defined faces.
Toddlers and children aged two to three may be gifted with wooden animals, dolls, sturdy kiddie cars and rocking horses.
“Always check the labels on the packaging and observe the precautions appearing on them. Ensure that the child will play with a toy suited for his or her age under adult supervision. After the unwrapping of gifts, dispose of plastic packaging accordingly and keep them out of reach of children.” Garin said.
Among toys not recommended for children under three years old are balls with a diameter of 1.75 inches or less, toys that can easily break into small parts or pieces (glass or brittle plastic), toys with small detachable parts or pieces, and toys with sharp points and edges.
“These toys could easily be swallowed and could cause choking,” the DOH said, as it also warned against toys that may contain harmful chemicals such as lead.
The DOH advised consumers to buy toys from legitimate toy stores.