With the Ebola outbreak dominating the national discourse, parents are inevitably going to be confronted with the necessity of explaining the deadly disease to children.
Although Nigeria has been declared Ebola-free, schools, parents, guardians might still need to explain or describe properly to the curious children what Ebola is all about without necessarily spreading unfounded fear.
And one Connecticut, US-based Company, Giantmicrobes Inc. is already poised to help with that process. And it has seen a dramatic spike in sales as a result.
The company, which was founded a decade ago, makes stuffed toys based on the appearance of microbes like Ebola, Chicken pox, bed bugs, and even non-harmful microscopic organisms like brain and red blood cells.
Laura Sullivan, vice president, Operations, of the company said “the items are meant to be educational tools for young children.”
Sullivan added that, “It started with the common cold and similar things and was marketed to paediatricians and parents initially. The idea is that kids respond favourably to stuffed animals.”
She explained that the thinking is that children would be better able to understand what is happening in their body if they could see a softer, cuddlier version of it.
According to Sullivan, about five years ago, the company began offering plush toys whose design was based on the microscopic image of the Ebola virus. Now, they are struggling to keep up with demand.
While she declined to give specific sales figures for the Ebola plush toys, Sullivan said: “They’re selling like hot cakes. We’re out of stock again.”
As a result of this development, the company has had to ramp up production with its Chinese manufacturers while rushing to feed the demand.
“In the case of Ebola, it’s been a helpful way for families to talk about it,” Sullivan said.
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