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Trustinglife's avatar

Why does the stuffed animal I bought for my baby nephew say it's only for ages 5 and up?

Asked by Trustinglife (6603points) May 9th, 2009 from iPhone

I bought a stuffed animal for my 10-month-old nephew. It’s very cute. But the tag says “Ages 5 and Up.” What the heck? Why would it say that?

I thought stuffed animals were good for kids. What’s going on here? Is there some threat I should be aware of? Thanks.

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15 Answers

hearkat's avatar

There may be decorations and pieces sewn on that could choke a younger child if they come off (little kids put lots of things in their mouths). Other concerns are moving or dangling parts that a child could get tangled up in and injured or even strangled by. These tragedies happen far too often, and toys then get ‘recalled’. So please heed the warning, because it really is better to be safe than sorry.

FAGIN's avatar

Sometimes in life things beggar belief and this is one of those times.

Trustinglife's avatar

Really? A teddy bear? I know it’s going in the mouth, like everything else, but it’s hard for me to imagine a part coming off and him choking.

You really wouldn’t give the bear to him?

oratio's avatar

I trust my own judgment. My kid had teddy bears in that age, though he was more interested in spoons and the tea strainer. As long as you check a kid and know what it’s holding and chewing I think it’s up to personal judgment. Responsibility lies with the parent though, so I guess it’s up to them. I won’t let my kid drink and eat anything with sugar substitute, since it’s messing with the insulin in his little body. Others do.

I would give him the bear, if his parents agreed.

casheroo's avatar

My son has always had plenty of toys that were for older children. Unless you are concerned your nephews parents will leave him unsupervised with the toys, which I highly doubt they ever would, then it’s no big deal. Also, any toy we received that we felt we should hold off on giving to our son, we just put it in the closet until he was old enough to enjoy it.

elijah's avatar

Another reason might be because you aren’t supposed to put stuffed animals into a crib (or even excessive blankets) because a child can smother themselves with it. If a child ends up face down in a big smooshy bear it could be trouble. I would give him the bear, and just make sure no small things are able to be pulled off. The parents should check toys often for loosening pieces.

justwannaknow's avatar

It is also a concern that the toy can fall over the little ones face and they not be able to push it off and smother. It does not need to be very big for this to happen.

cwilbur's avatar

The standards for toys given to infants are higher than the standards for toys given to older children. “Only for ages 5 and up” might mean that the toy doesn’t meet the standards for infants, or it might mean that the manufacturer didn’t want to spend the extra effort and time to get the toy certified as safe for infants.

Use your judgment. Usually the reason stuffed animals are not certified is because of the eyes or other similar attachments. And bear in mind that the manufacturers are concerned by the 1 in 10,000 cases where something happens that the parents think is justification for a lawsuit.

Supacase's avatar

Any buttons or plastic bits on the stuffed animal will end up in your nephew’s mouth and, if he works on it enough, could come off and possibly choke him. It is very possible it only has sewn features, which would make it safe in that respect. Check the seams and make sure he can’t work the stitching off so the stuffing comes out – my daughter did that many times.

No stuffed animals in the crib, for sure, but he can enjoy it at other times of the day with an adult there to make sure Teddy doesn’t try to give baby a kiss. :) He can play with it but, just as with anything at that age, not unsupervised.

crisw's avatar

I make stuffed animals, and the main point of concern is the eyes (noses as well if they are plastic.) Most stuffed animal eyes are “safety eyes,” which are fastened on with a washer and should not come off. However, some toys have sewn-in eyes which will come off if pulled hard enough.

cak's avatar

You know, we received those for our son and he’s fine. It’s common sense, and the age warning is for common sense reasons. If it (the toy) was questionable, we just put it on something he couldn’t reach and later, when he was ready, we would let him play with it.

Both of my children have stuffed animals they were given as infants – and they are now 15 & 6…and alive. It’s okay, really. Just know that it might not be played with right away, or used as a night comforting toy. In fact, I still have my very first, well-worn bear and I’m 38.

It’s okay to give the toy, with lots of love.

Disc2021's avatar

Because of the dangers crisw mentioned – and the company does it to cover their asses in case someone would try to sue. Same reasons why when you get coffee at McDonalds or somewhere, on the cup there will be a “HOT” caution label.

It doesn’t mean that you can’t give it to your nephew or that you’re inconsiderate if you do – it’s just their way of saying use discretion with children under 5 – that way you can’t turn around and say ” You guys didn’t warn me!” if he should get hurt with it.

augustlan's avatar

If there are any plastic parts, ribbons, or if it is stuffed with pellets or beans of some kind it is not safe for small children. Another factor might be that it is made of highly flammable material. Pretty much everything for infants is made flame-retardant. Until the child stops putting everything in it’s mouth, I wouldn’t give it to them.

Trustinglife's avatar

Thanks for explaining the reason for the cautionary warning. I’m going to see my nephews in a couple days. If you were in my situation – you’d already bought two stuffed animals for him with these warnings – would you give them to him? I would definitely talk to his mom, first, but would love to hear a few more perspectives – what you would do if you were in my shoes?

Disc2021's avatar

Personally, I would talk to the parents, explain the labeling and just tell them to use their own discretion. If worse comes to worse, do what was described earlier – put them in a high unreachable spot as decoration and when he grows a little they’ll be toys.

I always took stuffed animals to be decorations anyway – other than something comfy to sleep with.

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