MANILA, Philippines – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued reminders for parents and guardians who are buying toys as Christmas gifts.
FDA spokesperson Joyce Cirunay said manufacturers and importers are required to get a certificate of conformity from the FDA and a license to operate from the local government unit.
Cirunay advised consumers to avoid buying toys in sidewalks or bangketas as these products may contain hazardous elements like lead or have not passed certain standards of safety.
The FDA gave out some tips for consumers before buying Christmas toys: know the age of the child; toys must be age appropriate; make sure that electrical components of certain toys do not pose a hazard or danger to kids; check the safety labeling of toys as some may have small components that might be ingested by toddlers; and avoid toys with sharp edges as these may cause injury.
When asked if toys' packaging should now include some sort of a certification that it passed FDA scrutiny, Cirunay said it will be done in the future as the implementing rules and regulations of recently signed toys and games safety act is still being finalized.
But Cirunay admits there are toys in Divisoria and bangketas that are dangerous to children due to excessive amounts of toxic elements like lead.
But the FDA cannot yet determine the specific kind of toy as the field inspection is not yet finished.
Earlier last month, non-government organization Ecowaste issued a warning against colorful toys that pose a hazard to children. Ecowaste even tested these toys using their XRF, an equipment that measures toxic elements on toys.