Violent toys, video games can be destructive

Be wary of the social or emotional risks of certain toys, as many send violent or inappropriate messages.

Dr. Joel Steinberg, a pediatrician at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says, “Parents should be very careful in selecting toys that may encourage violent behaviors, such as toy guns, knives, bows and arrows, or computer games and violent videos.”

Youngsters who play “violent video games” are not participating in real-life experiences. Players who run into a roadblock may destroy it, and that’s not appropriate in real life, the physician says.

Dr. Steinberg offers these other holiday-shopping tips:

• Purchase toys that are age-appropriate. Toys too advanced may frustrate your child.

• Be sure the toys aren’t designed so a child can break them and choke on small parts.

• Test a noise-making toy next to your ear. If the sound is too loud or irritating for you, then it’s likely to be harmful to your child.

• Pull-toys with strings more than 12 inches in length could be a strangulation hazard for babies and toddlers.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in pediatrics.

Media Contact:">Kristen Holland Shear

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