The Department of Health (DOH) has discouraged parents from buying pregnant dolls sold in several shopping malls in Metro Manila.
Eduardo Janairo, director of DOH in National Capital Region, also urged the public to stop buying similar products from buy and sell websites as gifts for godchildren.
“I recommend parents not to give the pregnant dolls for gifts this holiday season. It is inappropriate and offensive,” Janairo said in a statement.
“It promotes teenage pregnancy and tends to glamorize the life of teenage girls who have babies at a young age which is not a very good example to share to children,” the director raised.
Janairo explained young girls may get the idea that “pregnancy is fine
because they are presented with an attractive pregnant doll to play
He explained that children from ages 5 to 8 undergo a phase for emotional development, where kids are mostly influenced by what they see and hear.
The DOH official noted that children with ages ranging from 4 to 5 also build up role-playing scenarios.
Janairo explained that most children during this age period have yet to distinguish the difference between fantasy and reality.
“They should be presented with a toy that is educational and essential to their learning years and be guided in playing with it,” Janairo advised.
Pregnant dolls have detachable stomach where a baby will come out of the
tummy, an anatomical presentation which Janairo described as “a
perversion of the natural way of a child’s delivery.”
In 2002, toys with similar features were banned in the United States following complaints from customers.
“As parents, we should be responsible in providing our children with significant information about life as they grow up rather than learning them from others sources,” he reiterated.