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Guangdong bans replica knife toys from schools

By Quan Zhanfu | China Daily | Updated: 2023-11-03 09:41

A "radish knife" toy sold in Hefei, Anhui province. CHINA DAILY

Schools and kindergartens in Guangdong province have been asked to ban the recently popular toy knives known as "radish knives" and other similar items as they may pose a threat to students' well-being, according to a notice issued by the Department of Education of Guangdong Province recently.

Resembling a small plastic switchblade, "radish knives" have become popular among young students for their fidget spinner-like action whereby a small flick extends a plastic blade about 5 centimeters in length. Though the blade is plastic, it could still pose a danger if pressed against the skin.

The rising popularity of these toys has raised concerns among parents regarding their potential to incite violence and pose risks to children's safety.

The notice emphasized the need for schools and kindergartens at all levels to enhance safety education and raise awareness among students about the hazards associated with toys such as "radish knives". Schools are encouraged to instruct students to refrain from purchasing, carrying and playing with such items.

Primary and secondary schools and kindergartens are explicitly prohibited from allowing these dangerous toys to enter their premises, with an added focus on monitoring nearby stores. Any discovery of these dangerous toys being sold in stores should be promptly reported to local market supervisory authorities.

Parents are also urged to be vigilant about the potential threats these toys pose to their children and should take responsibility in choosing suitable toys and daily essentials.

To address the growing popularity of "radish knives", experts and officials have expressed concerns about minors' perceptions and behaviors.

Xiong Bingqi, director of the 21st Century Education Research Institute, highlighted the importance of children's learning to identify and perceive their surroundings correctly and cautioned against mistakenly believing that knives can be treated like toys, leading to dangerous consequences.

Chen Yinjiang, deputy secretary-general of the China Consumer Protection Law Society, pointed out that the marketing and promotion of such toys with violent connotations may be more harmful than the toys themselves, potentially violating relevant laws. Therefore, relevant authorities have been advised to tighten supervision and rectify the situation.

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