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If you’re a teenager or an adult with children, you’ve no doubt seen a squishy. They are the latest children’s toy craze, like Legos or adjustable Transformer vehicles. Squishies are made from a type of plastic foam whose shape can be changed by pressing or squeezing it, but it will then automatically re-inflate afterwards.
Called kawaii squishy (cute squishy) in Japan, where they were invented, squishies are now all the rage. Available in every imaginable size, shape, color, and scent, squishies rule. They are soft, smell good, look cute, and can be transformed into different shapes with little effort. Even some adults carry their favorite squishy as a way to relieve stress. This has caused some concerns. How could that be?
For starters, the plastic material squishies are made from releases harmful chemicals through both the surface of the material and its scent. The governments of Denmark and Norway have banned squishies for those reasons alone. There is also another reason for concern, especially for adults who have squishies. A healthy human being relies partly on touch to feel secure and express love.
From breast-feeding to an arm around the shoulder to hugging, physical contact with another human being has been shown to increase both physical and psychological health. Pressing a squeezable toy instead of holding hands or embracing loved ones may indicate an awkwardness♦ or insecurity in one’s relationships with others. After all, squishies cannot replace real love.
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