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Sharjah's child safety arm takes action as LOL dolls spark outrage

Saman Haziq/Sharjah
Filed on August 26, 2020 | Last updated on August 26, 2020 at 06.29 am
sharjah, lol dolls, ice water, viral video, uae, mothers, lol surprise dolls, children, child safetysharjah, lol dolls, ice water, viral video, uae, mothers, lol surprise dolls, children, child safety

(Alamy image)

The LOL Surprise! Dolls recently made headlines for their "inappropriate hidden messages".

With the popular LOL dolls stirring up outrage among UAE mums recently, Sharjah's child safety department urged parents to get more involved with their children's play time to ensure that their toys are safe and suitable for their age.   

The LOL Surprise! Dolls, which have been sold since 2015 and are hugely popular across the world among children aged four to 14, made headlines for the "inappropriate hidden messages" they displayed. Recently, some concerned mothers, including those in the UAE, have discovered that when an unclothed LOL doll is placed in a bucket of ice water - some lingerie-like markings appear on its body. The marks then fade away as soon as the ice melts.

Mums around the world carried out this 'ice-water experiment' and shared videos on social media, with one post racking up 44 million views. Another mother in the UAE posted a similar video, which garnered thousands of views. Shortly after it sparked an outcry online, the controversy prompted the dolls' distributor to pull them out from its toy stores in the UAE.

The Child Safety Department (CSD), an affiliate of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah, confirmed that they had been aware of the issue as they had received several complaints from UAE mothers on social media. The CSD assured that they are taking these concerns seriously and they are now verifying the complaints' accuracy with the authorities.  

Hanadi Saleh Al Yafei, director of CSD, said: "We are cooperating with relevant government entities to address and resolve any potential dangers to children. It is part of our responsibility to respond to any threats that children may face and raise awareness about them, as well as offer the right solutions and share good practices."  

Al Yafei stressed that children's safety could be compromised through their toys. "Many children become very attached to their toys, particularly girls to their dolls. They often build close emotional relationships with them, communicating and playing with them as if they were raising them. This makes it even more crucial for parents to ensure that these toys convey the correct messages and values to their young ones," she said.  

Al Yafei lauded the efforts of mothers who stepped forward to voice their concerns and warn other parents. "When it comes to children, the responsibility goes beyond parents, nannies and teachers. It is the responsibility of the entire community. It falls on each one of us to warn and alert others against any dangers that could jeopardise children's psychological, physical or social safety." 


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