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Webkins or, Toxic Stuffed Animal Toys for Kids & Online Games: Are They Safe and Harmless to Your Children?

Updated on September 25, 2014
LoryRich profile image

Lory, a development economist, did research projects on energy/anti-pollution topics for a national research agency in the Philippines.


Kids' safety first concerning toys and games

Young kids and kids at heart do love toys and games. And as doting parents, we want to make our kids happy and we are just too glad to indulge their whims for the latest craze of toys for kids that are available in the market. Of course, we want to give them the best and we relent because we realize that toys and games can help in the child’s normal development and growing up years. However, do we adequately check the safety features and impact of these seemingly harmless playthings and games? How confident are we that the toys for kids or even the off line and online games they play are safe and, at the very least, do not impinge on their physical, mental and/or emotional health?


Safety tips

Refrain from buying plastic toys.-

Plastic is the usual material used for many types of toys, including dolls , cars, even educational toys, among many others. The most common type of plastic is the PVC or polyvinyl chloride which is a petroleum-based material where the toxic substance called phthalates, is found. Studies showed that this substance is probable human carcinogen and can cause kidney and liver problems. The possible transmission is through the child’s mouth. Although a number of countries and states have already ban the production especially of toys for kids containing this toxic substance; yet, better not to buy any of these plastic toys, just to be on the safer side.

Avoid toys that have the possibility of lead content and choking hazards.-

To prevent any possible problem in the future, don’t buy painted or coated toys at all unless it is free of lead as indicated in the label. A large number of toys are made from unsafe materials that are unsustainable and are, eventually, dumped in a landfill. In 2007, the use of lead paint on China-made toys caused a massive recall of these items from the market. While most manufacturers and retailers have since then complied with major recalls, be on the safe side by not assuming that all toys for kids being displayed by stores are free of lead paint.

Don't hesitate to recycle or dispose of painted toys that are showing signs of deterioration even on the surface. Check the most recent advisories from your country on the matter, it any. In the U.S., go to the website of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to see if any of the products you have at home have enough warnings on safety.


Go for toys that are made of solid wood, not pressed wood or plywood, with nontoxic finish.-

As much as possible, makesure that the solid woods utilized to manufacture the toys for kids were harvested using selective logging practices which ensure forest regeneration. Although, quite difficult to find, certification are granted for sustainable wooden toys.  In the US, the Forest Stewardhip Council (FSC) is an example of an agency that issues this kind of certification. Natural finish with beeswax and natural oils are the best choice. Be wary also of toxic materials that are used to glue wooden toys together.


Make sure your kids play with safe and nontoxic playground equipment.-

The issue with certain outdoor playground equipment is the toxic preservative used in the wooden materials. Arsenic treated playground materials are dangerous, too. Safer materials, which are more expensive, include products from recycled plastic, rubber or wood which are FSC-approved. In case you suspect that your child could have been exposed to unsafe playground equipment, be sure to wash especially their hands thoroughly after playing.

Choose online games or computer games that are fun to play but are educational, thought provoking and with certain social relevance.-

In this computer age, children are more likely to be hooked to sedentary computer activities. It is always advisable to limit their computer time to two hours a day. Introducing to your kids interesting online games is a recommended option. A good example would be United Nation’s free downloadable online game called Food Force. Players play the role of aid workers whose mission is to feed the starving people of a country devastated by a war. A number of good cooperative games (as against adversarial) are also available online. These are games promote certain values but played with lots of fun, too.

You may consider going back to traditional games to be enjoyed by the whole family together.-

Example of these favorite games are: chess, dominoes, scrabble, charades and checkers. Of course, when it comes to physically challenging activities that may involve more members of the family, sporting games will be the best, i.e, tennis, bowling, soccer, etc..

Virtual pet like a Webkins pet could be an option. -

Webkins pets are also commonly spelled as Webkinz. You start by purchasing a plush character toy, which is often an animal. Attached to that animal is a tag, which has a secret Webkinz code. This code can be entered in online and it allows a similar, virtual pet to be adopted. Through the use of online games, quizzes, and other fun activities, your child can earn virtual cash, which will be used to care for their pet.

If you are pondering on whether a Webskin pet is good for your kids, here’s a list of certain advantages that you may want to consider.

  • They Are Affordably Priced- a Webkinz plush pet has a price tag of around $15 or less, depending on where you will buy. This is a good deal considering that most electronic toys for kids nowadays are highly priced at about $30 or more.
  • You’re buying two toys for the price of one - In addition to getting a stuffed, plush animal, your child also gains access to a fun, yet safe virtual world. As it was previously stated, most Webkins plush pets sell for around $15, with the secret code. Although, each secret code lasts for one year only and then another will have to be purchased.
  • Ideal for children of all ages- According to the Webkinz website, their site is designed for children aged six and up. This means that a large number of children can have fun, safely on the website. With that said, the secret code does not actually have to be used. If you have a young child, like a toddler or a preschooler, they may just want to play with the cute plush animal.
  • The online, virtual world is fun - your child can earn KinzCash, which can be used to help take care of their pet. There are a number of different ways that your child can earn "cash," to pay for their adopted pet's care. These ways are all fun. Your child can play games, perform jobs, and take quizzes. You may actually be surprised how much fun it is for your child to do all of these things.
  • Webkinz can also be used as an educational tool, as they can teach your child about responsibility and money management.- Although Webkinz virtual pets will not die, they can become sick or they may need more food. Your child will need to use their KinzCash to purchase these items for their pet. When their money starts to run low, they will need to earn more. This is a great lesson to teach your child. Webkins pets and the website will help to teach your child about goal setting, responsibilities, and money management.

Is my kid ready for a Webkinz pet?

If your kid is interested to own one of these popular toys, the next question will be - is your kid ready for a Webkinz pet?

Here are some tips:

  • For starters, is your child old enough to use the computer? If so, a Webkinz pet may be a good idea. However, the Webkinz website, states that their website is designed best for those between the ages of 6 to 13.
  • Another sign that your child may be ready to have and play with the popular Webkins toys is if your child is old enough to play with stuffed animals. Although Webkinz does come with a secret code that can unlock a world of fun online, that code doesn't necessarily have to be used. If your child is around the age of three and up, they should be able to safely just play with the plush animal. If you want, you could sell the tag online, like on eBay or another similar website, or you could give it to a friend.

The dangers of using Webkinz cheat codes

Are you a teenager or even an adult who is looking for easy ways to play on the Webkinz website? Then, you may be curious about cheat codes. Cheat codes act as a bypass. They are designed to make the process of playing a game or doing another activity quick and easy. A standard internet search should connect you to a number of websites that list these codes for you.

You are, of course, free to make the decision whether or not to use Webkinz cheat codes; but, you should know that there are some dangers associated with doing so.

  • Instead of cheat code, your computer may just get virus.
  • There are no guarantees that they will work because these codes change from time to time. A Webkins cheat code that you find online may not work by the time you are able to find it.
  • As a consequence to using and getting caught with Webkinz cheat codes, you can have your account banned. The policy on the website states that you will not even receive a warning.
  • If being permanently banned from enjoying the virtual world of Webkinz wasn't enough, you will also lose everything. You will lose any adopted pets that you had, even if they have not reached the one year expiration mark.
  • Thus, consider that if you are a parent, perhaps, starting off your kids with a Webkinz cheat may not be a good idea after all?

Let us allow our kids to enjoy the fun from non-toxic toys and online games, yet, let us also protect them against toxic toys and harmful games.


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    • profile image

      Leh 6 years ago

      Great advice and excellent hub.!

    • profile image

      Leh 6 years ago

      Great advice and excellent hub.!

    • cpvr profile image

      cpvr 6 years ago

      Great advice and excellent hub.

      We own which is a discussion forum for virtual pets, is there a way you could link to us in this post? Thank you!

    • LoryRich profile image

      Lory Rich 6 years ago from Philippines


    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      Very good advice and great hub.