Aug 20, 2007 at 08:36pm IST

Watch what your child puts in the mouth

New Delhi: For five-year old Vividha, toys mean the world to her. But of course, what's making news now is the danger that lurks within.

Toxic chemicals in the paint, plastic and metal used in the toys are a real and present danger for children in India. The reason being - only a small fraction of the toys sold adhere to any safety standards. Mattel has just recalled some of its products from the market with safety concerns, but it's a hugely unregulated market in India flooded with cheap unbranded imports.

"The problem is these import toys don’t have their names and address so parents should avoid buying these,” says President, Toys Association of India, Paresh Chawla.

But it's not just lead in toys you need to worry about. Your children are exposed to other toxic chemicals like cadmium and mercury as well, from things lying around the house - like batteries, pencils, even metal.

"Basic diseases could affect the brain and the kidneys,” says Paediatrician, Max Hospital, Dr Nitin Verma.

Until minimal safety standards are enforced, matters lie in your hands. Watch out for what your child puts in the mouth. And if your child shows signs of anaemia and frequent headaches, get a blood test done and visit the doctor.