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As a child, I remember talking to my toys. Sharing my happy and sad moments with my favourite doll was a routine. At times, I even used to sneak my cute doll in the school bag to show it to my friends. That doll was more than a toy for me. It was more like my friend, which listened to my endless stories patiently. Also, seeing many young mothers around me, I also used to hold the doll in my arms like my own baby.

I actually laugh when I think about my crazy childhood. But, as children, we all do such stuff. Don't we? And soft toys definitely play a very important role in this most beautiful phase of our lives. Firstly, they are very cute and cuddly, so they naturally appeal to every child. Children feel emotionally secure and loved, when they are in the company of their favourite toy. Moreover, as most of the children talk to their toys, it helps them develop better language skills. However, there is nothing educational about a soft toy, but children will always see their toys as special friends.

Since I always shared a special bond with my toys, I thought my little one would also enjoy their company. But my thought-process was put to question, when the other day a colleague (who is herself a young mother like me) showed me a newspaper article that talked about kids as young as 3 years old being treated in hospitals due to toy related injuries. That made me question – Are soft toys really soft for kids? I had definitely heard of certain plastic toys being injurious to kids' health but this information was completely new to me. In fact, a long and informative discussion with her suggested me many safety precautions that I must adhere to whenever my child is playing with soft toys. After all, my baby's health is my utmost important concern. Below are few precautionary measures that came out of that discussion.

DOs:

– Always buy toys from reputed baby stores and other popular brands
– Since the texture of the soft toy attracts a lot of dust, it is advisable to wash it on a frequent basis to keep the kid healthy
– Stay away from 'second-hand-toys' passed from friends or family that might carry germs and end up affecting your kid's health
– Try to be around the kid, when she is playing with a soft toy. This is to ensure that she doesn't put the toy in her mouth
-Take off all detachable buttons or other accessories that might choke the kid

Also, while browsing through net, I found few more suggestions that would be useful to all parents. They are:
– Ensure the toy is not too heavy. This kind of toy might prove harmful for your child if it falls on her
– Magnets in toys might become health hazards. A fallen magnet could be swallowed by a child. So, be cautious before buying such a toy
-Toys with rough edges or sharp protrusions must be strictly avoided

More so, I would genuinely appreciate if you have any suggestions/ feedback to share.

Here's hoping that with constant sharing of information and experiences, we will be able to provide a healthy and safe child childhood to our little angels.

Happy Parenting!!

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