The newspapers, TV station, internet and parents forum and office corridor conversation are talking about the recent Mattel toy recall. As a mum to my 5 year old angel, I am extremely concern about this message. My mum told me this news on first recall some 2 weeks ago. I brushed it aside thinking this happened only in China. But at the back of my mind, my mind is racing and pulling out my collections of the most recent toys which my husband, my colleagues in China has bought for my daughter. Yes there are Barbie toys, lots of it.

Just yesterday, on the Singapore main newspaper and TV station, news of Mattel Toy recall was highlighted prominently. Quickly, I did a metal check and realized that 30 % of my daughter’s toys (given as gifts from relatives, friends, my parents) are from Mattel. Ranging from Barbie, Polly Pockets, Dora and some other Disney characters. My heart beats fast, I am becoming seriously worried.

Turning onto my internet, I started surfing Mattel website for more recall information. The link pointing to Singapore recall was up but stated as under – construction (Yuks, this is no good!). I check on the Mattel Care hotline (available only during office hours). The phone has been engaged the full day.

I am frustrated. I am extremely concern as the news of Dora toy recall was mentioned in our newspaper but not on Mattel Website. This is conflicting

As I have subscribed to Fisher Price ‘s (subsidiary brand of Mattel) newsletter for toys and updates, I was surprised that Mattel CEO Bob Eckert sent emails to its Fisher price membership mailing list informing of their recall.

Anyway, I am prepared to sent these toys back to Mattel. However, how am I going to tell my “princess” that she will not have her toys to play with? 30% of her toy (2 full boxes) and 1 big Dora house ! My parenting instinct tells me that I have to tell her camly and let her emotionally prepared to part with her toys willingly.

So I pulled her aside, show her the newspaper (which fortunately has pictures of Barbie and other toys). I told her some “bad” people use bad paint and magnets in these toys. The bad things on thse toys will hurt her and cause her to be sick. So Mummy is worried about her health. I specifically use these words “Mummy loves you and do not want to see you sick. If these paints on the toys will cause you sick, I will take it away.” She started to understand what I meant. She said ” Yeah, I do not want to be sick. I cannot go Sunday school and roller blade when I am sick.” So I told her” So no Barbie dolls and Dora toys as Mummy wants to put it away.” She replied and nodded with a “Yes”.

So it was good for me. My “princess” was very understanding and she has taken this well.

As for me, nothing is more important than the health of my daughter. I am sure the rest of the parents also share this too.

However some tips sharing with parents when choosing toys.

1. Choose Brands that are well established.
Most of these companies are more responsible and will take actions if anything happen or they will tighten their Quality Control process.

2. Choose toys that are relevant to children’s age.

3. Check the ingredients used to make the toys and the countries where it was manufactured.
Yes nearly 80 % of the toys are manufactured in China.

Example: Wooden brick toys. Those made from non toxic paint from Israel may cause S$80 per pail versus S$8 from a store in Singapore (made in China) or RMB 8 in China Once, my princess got wooden blister on her finger when playing one of this when she was just 36 months.

4. For special occasion like birthdays or Christmas or children’s day, you can provide a list of toys or gifts who want to buy something for your kids. This can prevent duplication of same toys or too much of one type of toys versus others.

5. Identify if the toy can help the child in

– Pure creative playing ( Example: Finger puppets)

– Innovation ( Example: Beach or garden tool set for exploration)

– Problem solving (Puzzle; starts with 2,3,4,6 pieces goes onto 12-24-64 pieces as they grow older)

– Role play (Doll house, dressing up)
Acting different characters (Papa or mama, rabbit, kitten or tiger etc.)

Whatever it is, a toy given to a child should not be viewed just as a pacifier or a tool of convenience for busy parents. Each items given to a child, especially when they are younger as babies or toddlers, must be selected with care and considerations. Toys are very important part of children’s activities especially when they are young. So choose with considerations and much thoughts.

Source by Pamela Cheong