We live in a time where millions of children spend all day away from their families in facilities that have big screen TVs to amuse them, and they have caregivers for whom English is not required. This is also the time when parents buy ever-increasing numbers of electronic gizmos to occupy their children’s time – sometimes to “make them smarter,” or to “make them buzz off,” so that busy, busy parents can have some “well-earned down time.”
Whether its TV, computer games, or hand-held devices, more and more parents are inundating even babies with all of this mass-produced “input.” A recent study reported that about 40% of families with babies and young children keep the television on at all times. “Always on” TV damages the children’s ability to play imaginatively and to develop language skills. Obviously, it reduces the number of nurturing interactions between parents and children, too. Continue reading
As we head into Thanksgiving, and the beginning of the biggest shopping season of the year, it’s time to take a stand regarding the kind of toys we buy our kids. Case in point:
1. Mattell, Inc. recalled 675,000 Barbie® Accessory toys because the paint on the surface of the accessories contained excessive levels of lead. Lead can cause learning and behavior problems and even death.
2. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled roughly 4 million arts and crafts toys called Aqua Dots because several children in the United States and Australia were hospitalized after swallowing some of the toy’s beads. The beads had a chemical coating that evidently was related to GHB, the “date rape” drug.
3. An additional 175,000 Curious George plush dolls made by Marvel Toys were recalled because of lead on the toys’ plastic faces.
This past summer, the toy industry recalled more than 22 million toys because of serious danger issues. The common denominator seems to be that all these toys are made in China. China is the world’s number one producer of toys, due to cheap labor and manufacturing costs. While the world’s governments lazily deal with tougher controls to intercept dangerous toys before they hurt our children, how about we parents taking control and only purchasing toys made in the U.S.A. this holiday season? We should be supporting our own economy anyway.
If you don’t know how to find toys made in the USA, here’s a start – a parent single-handedly took up the charge and created a website that links to USA-made toys. toysmadeinamerica.com/.
If you want detailed information on toys that have been recalled by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, you can find a list of all the latest recalls at http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/category/toy.html.