Product Type: ELC Outdoor Toy
Newest Review: ... son gets rather carried away when playing football and often forgets that his little brother is playing with him and that he is a great... more
A FUN INNOCENT LOOKING TOY THAT CAN BE VERY DANGEROUS!
ELC Blue Foam Football
Member Name: Tilda
ELC Blue Foam Football
Date: 24/04/12, updated on 24/04/12 (26 review reads)
Advantages: Soft, soft, soft
Disadvantages: Quite a few in fact
This is one of the best toys I have ever bought.
But also one of the WORST toys I have ever bought.
Well it's simple first here's the good points. This ball is super soft. With nearly every toy that is intended to be used for outdoor play they inevitably get played with indoors. This isn't the biggest of problems with small toys that stay on the ground such as outdoor weatherproof jigsaws buckets and spades and so forth but when it comes to footballs the destruction they can cause inside the house is no laughing matter. That is the reason I love this ball, plus it comes from the thrust worthy name of the Early Learning Centre.
When the little ones start kicking this around inside my sitting room it gives me enough time to stop them without the flat screen TV being smashed like it would with a standard hard as a rock football. This ball is the equivalent of kicking a mash mellow around the room. It is made of super soft foam and when it hits against anything most of the force is absorbed by the ball itself. Destruction of my belongings aside the softness of this ball also ensures safe play between the children themselves. When I leave them to have a kick around out in the back garden there is never tears after the ball has hit one or the other in the leg, foot, tummy or even the face. This ball NEVER hurts any child I have allowed to play with it. Think of a bathroom sponge and how that could never hurt you no matter how hard anyone hit you with it, it is exactly the same with this ball.
Now for the downside of using this ball over a standard ball or the Thomas the tank engine ball that I recently reviewed. The fact that it is so light means the wind can catch it very easily and blow it in to the neighbours yard in the blink of an eye and that WILL result in tears from the children especially if the ball can not be retrieved instantly. If this ball is kicked or thrown high enough for even a light breeze to catch it, it annoyingly ends up caught up in trees and bushes way to often for my liking.
Another down side to this soft sponge ball is the fact that it is just that, a sponge. It absorbs water and if it happens to end up in a puddle of dirty water the ball then becomes a breading ground for germs and bugs. It does feel like it has some kind of covering on it and I think that may be there to repel water but I find it doesn't do a good enough job.
But the main reason I no longer use this ball is that sooner rather than later the little ones will pick at it and we all know how sharp their little fingernails are. This not only results in a total mess where clumps and specks of foam are absolutely everywhere. That is the least of my worries I became paranoid and panicked that the children may have put this foam into their mouths like they do with everything else I checked all their mouths and to my horror one of them had a a small clump of foam in her mouth. I was terrified we went to A&E and thankfully everything was okay. In our panic we hadn't noticed that the piece of foam was the same size as the hole in the ball but luckily we had brough it with us to the hospital.
This ball is said to be suitable of ages 3 and up but I would NEVER leave this ball with a child that young. For that reason alone I have taken this ball away and replaced it with the Thomas the Tank Engine ball I mentioned earlier. The only time I would say for you to allow this ball to be used is when you are standing there watching them as they play. But some people I know allow their children to play with these in their room totally unsupervised. I have nightmares about what happened and more so about what could have happened. The doctor said we were very lucky that she hadn't had time to swallow it as the foam would have lodged in her throat and would have cut off her air supply. Even thinking about it makes me shiver.
This ball is super soft and fun to play with but I can't give it more than one star because of the risks involved.
Please observe you children while playing with this kind of ball.
Summary: A super safe ball once the children are supervised during play, BUT DANGEROUS IF THEY ARE NOT.
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