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Learning Japanese from the news / Bendable toothbrushes needed for safety

Stay abreast of current events and learn Japanese at the same time through articles originally printed in The Yomiuri KODOMO Shimbun.

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歯(は)ブラシ 曲(ま)がり安全(あんぜん) みんなが毎(まい)日(にち)使(つか)う歯(は)ブラシには、思(おも)わぬ危(き)険(けん)がひそんでいます。くわえたまま転(ころ)ぶと、のどに突(つ)き刺(さ)さってケガをすることがあるからです。事(じ)故(こ)を防(ふせ)ぐため、専(せん)門(もん)家(か)たちは歯ブラシの首(くび)の部(ぶ)分(ぶん)を曲(ま)がりやすくするように、メーカーに求(もと)めています。

国(くに)の役(やく)所(しょ)の消(しょう)費(ひ)者(しゃ)庁(ちょう)が調(しら)べたところ、6歳(さい)以(い)下(か)の子どもが歯ブラシでけがをしたケースは、2010年12月以(い)降(こう)で139件(けん)もありました。小さな子どもに注(ちゅう)意(い)をするのは難(むずか)しく、「もっと歯ブラシを安(あん)全(ぜん)にするべきだ」と考(かんが)えたのです。

たとえば歯ブラシの首が曲がれば、転んでものどには刺さりません。手で握(にぎ)る部分をリングの形(かたち)にすれば、のどの奥(おく)に入りにくくなります。いろんな工(く)夫(ふう)をした歯ブラシを広(ひろ)め、事故をなくそうとしているのです。

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Toothbrushes — an item we use daily — can pose unexpected dangers, as they may pierce a user’s throat and cause injury if the person falls with a toothbrush in the mouth. To prevent such accidents, experts are asking toothbrush manufacturers to make their products more bendable at the neck.

A study by the Consumer Affairs Agency — an administrative institution of the national government — found there had been as many as 139 incidents since December 2010 in which children aged 6 or younger were injured by toothbrushes.

It’s difficult to make young children be careful about such a danger, so experts believe toothbrushes should be made safer.

If, for example, a toothbrush bends at its neck, it will not pierce the user’s throat in case of a fall. If the handle section is shaped like a ring, it won’t easily go deep into the throat.

Efforts are being made to prevent accidents by popularizing toothbrushes that feature various safety measures.

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Speech

思(おも)わぬ危(き)険(けん):unexpected danger

(~を)くわえたまま:with ... in the mouth

~を曲(ま)がりやすくする:make ... bendable

転(ころ)んでも:in case of a fall

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2月23日付読売 KODOMO 新聞に掲載された記事の翻訳です

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