Editor’s Scratchpad

Sunday, September 2, 2001

Fast-food toys are
as safe as crack seed

Toys given out by fast-food companies have been recalled on the premise that if the toys break, children could put the small parts into their mouths. Since most children will stuff anything in sight into their mouths, such recalls are meaningless.

I've seen expensive toys dismantled with little parts strewn around. Kids can choke on them, too. They can suffocate in plastic bags, stick grapes up their nostrils, puncture eardrums with pencils and poison themselves with products stored under the kitchen sink. Although most parents teach children that toys don't belong in the mouth, nose, ears or eyes, that won't stop a child from experimenting.

I recall the joy of finding "treasures" in boxes of cereal or Cracker Jacks. Poor children, in particular, delight at the discovery of such a toy. Let's let fast-food outlets off the hook for trying to brighten a child's day and have parents decide whether to accept the free trinket and under what conditions the child can play with it.

Charlotte Phillips

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