Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - November 19, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
District The letkbridge Herald Local news Second Section Monday. November 19. 1973 Pages-13-24 Some toys dangerous but so are some parents Gov't paper offers advice To 'aid parents in choosing not only but also suitable toys for their here is a summary of a federal government paper written by S. J. Dowswell of the product safety branch. The paper suggests toys appropriate to various age groups and makes special reference to hazards toys pre- sent to the various groups. From birth to four parents have the greatest op- portunity to place their child in a safe environment because it is basically immobile. Babies suck on everything iuncluding toys and crib slats. The infant's play is related to development of its five senses and tips on suitable toys suspended mobiles or bright toys hung above the crib to help the' child focus its eyes and encourage reaching and grasping. sturdy rubber squeak toy with firmly secured squeaker or a flexible teether. help to investigate the world through sight and touch. Because the self- protective gag reflex is not yet developed and the baby puts everything in its avoid teethers with small mouth guards or which come toys with small parts that separate and toys such as plush bunnies with long ears that could get jammed down the windpipe. Large plush toys can. suffocate an infant without the-ref lex to push ob- Parents overshoot child's capacity I. Annual toy rush is on mother and daughter ambling down the aisle dwarfed by toys stacked 10 feet high. RICK ERVIN photos with sharp corners or edges should be avoided because the infant has little motor control and can conceivably stab himself in the eye with any object grasped in his hand. From four to seven the child gains mobility and is safest in a playpen or crib. It learns to use its thumb sit unsupported and hold its head erect. playpen with wooden slats should have the slats set closely enough together so it is impossible for the baby's head to be caught or wedged between them. The finish should be smooth and non- toxic. Mesh pens should have netting that will not allow an arm or leg to be poked through md get trapped. washable stuffed dolls or animals with firmly attached eyes but without parts such as ears or arms that might non-breakable cups or other smooth objects to chew on. rubber or washable squeak ays and .large unbreakable on a strong cord are iuitable play objects. Federal legislation requires that the hair of dolls and manes of toy animals must not flame when brought into contact with the flame of a match for one second. The eyes of toys must be suf- ficiently strongly attached to withstand a 20 pounds for five minutes. From seven -to 12 the now mobile child can walk with a little help. rails must be high enough to prevent the child falling out and securely fastened to prevent accidental release. Federal regulations will specify that sides must require two separate and simultaneous actions to be released. and large un- breakable wheel toys are good additions to the toy box. the hours spent in crib or babies in this group love toys that can be taken part like nests of blocks. Everything still goes in the mouth so non- toxic toys and cups are good choices. the baby is still apt to toys with sharp cor- ners or edges are bad. All pull- and-push toys must have a protective tip on the handle to prevent puncture wounds and the tip must withstand a pull- ing force of 10 pounds. is how the report describes children of one to two years in the stage. become fascinated with sand and and re- quire constant parental super- It says toys are a child's tools to achieve and grow but that it dors not know how to use them safely. in their -children in this group enjoy toys to pull and particularly if they make sounds. peg boards provide an outlet for their energy and growing skills and simple soft vinyl dolls have great appeal. Blocks with rounded corners fascinate them while unbreakable sand and water toys help the child to learn about water and weight relationships. cars and wagons help the child to explore and enjoy motion. Toys such as wagons with folding brackets or braces must have a safety stop or locking device to pre- vent accidental collapse. The report says that children aged from two to the of the ac- experience 23 per cent of all child accidents and that boys in this age group ac- count for 61 per cent of ac- cidents. Two-year-olds have 75 per cent more accidents than any other age group. riding toys and low rocking horses are a delight to climb on and off as well as ride. ladders and climbing equipment are appropriate. play has progressed to building roads and struc- tures. Small tables and chairs with round corners and balls or large crayons are popular. At three to four children enter an stage.wherei.life-liketoys.and situations are important to their imaginative play. carpet dolls with easily fastened fur- garden trains and tractors are all appropriate toys. w art- materials and construction sets or musical instruments are appropriate Federal legislation requires that the hair of dolls and the manes of toy animals not flame when brought into contact with the flame of a match for one second. and books with lots of pictures are important. dexterity is suf- ficient to allow tricycle riding and children should be taught to ride on the sidewalk and watch for cars in driveways. four six children ejoy physical activity with sleighs and toboggans. They should be carefully instructed on traffic rules. They are more creative and less imitative so they can take better advantage of modelling blunt- ended scissors. Children of six to eight years can read and write and appreciate certain dangers related to such things as knives and electricity. Suitable toys include carpenter and construction roller electrical kites that con- duct electricity are puzzles and sewing materials and handicraft kits. Athletic equipment is impor- tant. nine to twelve children develop proficiency in a particular sport or musical or begin a Suggested toys include senior construction model embroidery and knitting drawing and painting toy engines. Children over 12 en- joy science education kits such as biology and chemistry sets. By AL SCARTH Herald Staff Writer Parents appear to be the biggest safety hazard children can encounter when it comes to toys. While consumer groups and government have managed to declaw dangerous playthings and detoxify poisonous there are few defences against perilous parents. Safety in toys has gone so in that protective devices risk spoiling the fan. A city pre-school teacher points to a toy oven that won't open until it has cooled down. Young fingers are protected from burns but cake comes out like a dry piece of toast.1' She says children enjoy the toy a few times and then get bored waiting perhaps as much as 20 minutes to see the product of their labors. your wife wouldn't want to wait that long. The emphasis on safety is necessary but it spoils the Another example of a toy casualty caused by safety .concerns is a hammer and nails outfit she has found very instructive in past and perfectly safe when used un- der supervision. The set taken off the market came with a baseboard and strips of wood with pre-drilled holes. Any number of objects could be fashioned by tacking the strips to the backing. This teacher says consumer groups have waged a campaign in the field of toy safety and there is not much left in the hazards such as dangerous wiring. 1 'Toys are the least dangerous thing in the home. At least two kids in every class of pre-school and grades one to three have been hospitalized with serious in- juries but it is other things than toys that are One of the big danger fac- tors is the doting ac- cording to the product safety branch of the. federal con- sumer affairs department. parent must know the capability of the child. The proud'parent tends to feel that his or her child is more ad- better co- ordinated and more intelligent than the average. The tendency is therefore to purchase a toy that is too ad- vanced for the the branch said in an August cir- cular. It also warns that parental supervision is essential to in- sure toys are properly used. toy can be hazardous if it is used improperly. Toys for older children should be kept away from younger children. chemistry set may be fine for a but could be tragic in the hands of a The branch says that regulations can remove hidden hazards and reduce risks of injury but cannot provide a safe environment. is the responsibility of the parent or guardian of the City toy department managers say that not only safety but the toy when parents don't concern themselves with its use. And one manager reports a large return of supposedly inoperative toys after Christ- mas which are actually in perfect working order when used as.instructed. 40 per cent price spread Price differentials as high as 40 per cent exist between the same toys at five Lethbridge department stores. The careful shopper can recognize a 41 per cent saving on one popular child's dump truck while price differences on a number of other toys range from 10 to 25 per cent. Eight items were the majority of them recommended by the voluntary Canadian Toy Testing Council as good buys. The Tonka brand Mighty Dump truck cost at one store. The price plummeted at other stores from to to to a total spread of 41 per or The Big Jim Sports Camper by Mattel demonstrated a 25 per cent spread from to to to a total drop of An Admirals game by Parker for older children could cost the shopper or a total difference of 22 per cent or Kenner's Easy Bake Oven ranged in price from to to a 15 per cent spread. Mattel's Putt-Putt Railroad for young children cost and a total difference of or 16 per cent. Three of the sturdy Fisher Price toys showed variations in price of 14 per cent down to seven per cent. The Play Family House could cost or a spread of The Play Family Camper cost or and the Play Fami'y Village or Ingrid of checks one of the newest toy crazes the talking doll. Dolls both female and male do just about everything these days. They eat and even require diapers. Aaron 1407 Lakemount sits safe in his crib. Wooden crib or playpen slats should be set together closely enough that it is impossible for baby to get his or her head through. The finish should be smooth and non-toxic Leah 1518 14th St. picks a tune on the toy xylophone during a trip to a department store's toyland. Children aged two and three have 75 per cent more accidents than any other age the government paper requiring parents to be on their toes. Darrell Leah's older gives a toy bulldozer a going over. His age group like imitative toys such as carpet dolls with easily fastened garden trains and tractors.