DHAKA, Aug 23, 2016 (BSS) – Health experts and doctors have sought to caution parents and guardians against toxic contamination in kids’ toys saying playthings often appear poisonous for minor children.
"A child's exposure to poisonous chemicals like lead, cadmium, bromine, chromium and other elements can lead to many adverse effects,” National Professor Dr M R Khan told BSS.
He added the poisonous impacts of toys could cause disorders like bone-softening, kidney problems, liver toxicity and estrogenic effects or cancer and hamper the kids’ learning disabilities.
Khan, the elderly doctor who earned the repute of being a top pediatrician in the country, said due to the frequent hand-to-mouth movement, the minor children easily swallow toxin contained in their toys.
"If children swallow or chew a toy containing unsafe levels of metals, they can suffer significant and sometimes permanent damage to their mental health as well,” he said.
Health environment expert Hossain Shahriar supplemented Khan saying different types of toys found in the market contained high concentration of toxic heavy metals which was dangerous for children.
He added that plastic toys in some cases were found to be contaminated and beyond general perception “plastic too could contain lead”, which is considered highly toxic.
“Many toys contain lead, cadmium and chromium. Coloured clay-made toys are found to have high concentration of lead and chromium,” Shahriar said.
Director of state-run Shishu Hospital and pediatrician Professor Dr Manzoor Hussain said parents should be careful in purchasing toys for their kids though it might appear difficult to entirely avoid toy-related health.
“Toys are important for children’s mental and physical development but toys often appear hazardous,” Hussain said.
He said every year scores of kids are treated in our hospitals for toy-related injuries while under the long term impact of contaminated toys, children’s growth could be hampered and body organs could be exposed to troubles.
Leading ear, nose and throat) expert Dr Pran Gopal Dutta said toys causing too much noise could be a reason for children’s hearing impairment and weakened immune system.
"Loud noise in toys can weaken the immune system and sleep disturbance of children . . . make sure a toy isn't too loud for your child,” said Dutta, a former vice chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University.
Pediatricians said parents in advanced countries generally were conscious while buying toys “but here in our country that awareness is largely missing among most parents”.
In Bashundhara City shopping mall, a man was buying metal cars for his 11 year-old boy. As approached for comments about his ideas on toxicity in toys said “I know about the age tag on toys but I have no idea about the toy related hazards”.
“Normally I use to buy toys considering age level but I also buy those which attract me . . . but I really have little idea if those contain toxin,” the young father said.
The health experts, however, said besides creating awareness among parents on toy-related hazards, manufacturing companies should also be stopped from producing toys containing high toxin.