I was shopping for a rattle for baby grandson Edward. Everything I looked at was made from squishy plastic or fabric. The things on offer were brightly coloured but only made a very muted sound when shaken. Noisy, squeaky toys don’t seem to exist any more.
Here’s a beauty.
It’s wooden and has a large metal bell inside wooden slats. It can be shaken or rolled along and makes an agreeable noise. It belonged to my youngest son, James, so is circa 1981. All the things that make it a true rattle now seem to be regarded as unsafe for children. I’m all for protecting our children from things that may harm them but have things got a wee bit out of hand? What would the guardians of child safety have to say out it?
Wooden: Wood is hard. Child might belt themselves or another child on the head.
Bell: Metal can have sharp edges. Little fingers might get cut. If the pea comes out of the bell the child could swallow it or push it up their nose. Even worse, if the bell comes out of the frame the child could swallow it.
Growing up, the boys had a trampoline in the garden. They loved jumping on it. The only rule was one boy on the trampoline at a time. It was David’s (father of Ed) favourite past-time.
I think this kind of trampoline is on the way out. In the photo you can see the gaps between the springs that attach the mat to the frame. The only injury that the boys suffered was when David became dehydrated and vomited. Bad mother had forgotten he was on the trampoline and he jumped from lunch-time to dinner with no break.
Springs: A child could fall down the gap between the springs and trap their leg. Springs must be covered
Protective net: New trampolines must be enclosed so that a child can not fall to the ground.
I hate to think what the guardians of child safety would say about the home-made billy cart that had no brakes and went down the hill very fast or the tree- house -a wooden pallet wedged 10 foot up a tree. It had no sides on it so I’m not sure what there was to hold on to. A branch maybe? All I know is three boys made it safely through childhood, despite the perils of their toys.