Diatribe: In Defense Of Buckyballs.
Children of the Seventies might remember Klik Klaks. It was a simple toy featuring a small ring with two cords of approximately ten inches in length that each had a solid, somewhat heavy acrylic or plastic ball, at its end. They were fun! You could really get them going, bouncing off one another, and make the loudest racket a parent ever heard. I wanted one really badly but my parents wouldn’t let me have one until I was “older”. I finally got my Klik Klak and quickly learned that, not only were they a lot of fun and a great way to release some energy, they could be quite painful. After several bruises on my arms and one particularly gruesome shot to the face, I lost my Klik Klak privileges.
Toys should be age-appropriate and, more importantly, play should be supervised. While the government has since become more involved in the safety standards of children’s toys, the responsibility for the youngsters’ safety must belong to the parents.
Some things are not meant to be played with. Buckyball Magnets, for example, were never intended to be used by children. I love my Buckyballs … they’re fascinating. Touted as “The World’s Best Selling Desktoy”, the addictive magnetic balls grew to be quite popular among the conference-call set and were on their way to replacing “doodling” as the most non-productive workplace pastime when the Consumer Product Safety Commission recently filed a lawsuit to halt the production and sale of the magnets, citing several injuries to children that swallowed the small magnetic balls. )Buckyballs Magnets were never intended to be used as a toy and were packaged with an appropriate warning.)
Hopefully, this is just another in a serious of frivolous lawsuits that will quietly die a quick death. The little magnets are no more dangerous than pebbles in the playground or shells at the beach. If parents that can’t keep magnets out of their kids’ mouths are up in arms over Buckyballs, they shouldn’t be allowed to have knives in their kitchens, own dogs that might bite, take baths in tubs filled with water or go outdoors. Children need to be supervised more than desktoys need to be banned.
We can’t ban everything that fits into the mouth of a child and we shouldn’t ban Buckyballs Magnets.
Kids are kids and sometimes they get hurt. The Children of the Seventies got burned by Shrinky Dinks, chewed the eyeballs off their stuffed bears and stabbed themselves with the pegs from their Lite-Brites and lived to play another day.
Have you ever been injured by a toy?
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