Monday, April 25, 2011
As we mentioned in the last post, KID has moved our blog to be more integrated into our website -- you can find new posts here. This page will remain up for a while, but set your bookmarks for http://www.kidsindanger.org/blog/.
Friday, April 22, 2011
Late today, KID is switching over to a new website -- we've listened to what parents, caregivers, advocates and others want to see and made some amazing changes. We think you'll find the new KID website easier to use and navigate and a wealth of information to access while working to keep children safe.
Our blog too is moving to be better integrated into our web presence. But don't worry, all our older posts can still be found there including some of our most popular such as Back-to-School Safety and CPSC, FDA issue warning on sleep positioners.
So, next time you type in KidsInDanger.org, we hope you'll take a look around our new site and give us feedback in the blog comments. Many thanks to our designer Amy Cordell and site builder Seventhfury.
In the meantime, if the transfer hits a few bumps or snags, we'll have it fully operational by Monday. You can email us here if you run into problems.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
First, thanks to all of you who emailed or called Congress expressing your support for the new consumer incident database, SaferProducts.gov, at CPSC. If you haven't visited yet, check out the Search page and see what incidents consumers have already filed.
But during last weekend's debate on keeping the government open, discussion of eliminating funding for this important safety program continued. In the end, the final agreed bill did not include a defunding of the database. It did however contain a required study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to be conducted within 180 days.
The proposed study has to examine:
- whether the information that is submitted is from first-hand knowledge;
- whether the complaint information is adequate for CPSC investigative purposes;
- whether the product information is sufficient to enable consumers and stakeholders to identify the product; and
- whether the time allotment before posting complaints is reasonable for adjudication of claims.
However, with spending discussions continuing in Congress, additional action could still be taken. But having spent the money to conduct this study, any possible changes to the database should wait for any results.
Friday, April 8, 2011
Saferproducts.gov, the new searchable database at the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) went live for reports on March 11. Now, as the three week timeline for processing the reports comes to an end, CPSC has begun posting those reports. KID, while not busy defending CPSIA in the House, has taken a look and recommends you do too.
The reports are varied. Some cover known hazards such as crib failures, fingertip amputation hazards in strollers, and the continuing reports of rashes from diapers. Others raise new potential issues: loosening hardware on cribs, breaking toys and rattles releasing small parts, and possible design problems in other products.
Also of interest is the manufacturer response. Some, use the comment space to indicate a real commitment to safety, while others reassert their compliance with voluntary standards or to even negate the parent's report.
One report, while including a catalog page with the exact product reported, included a business response that the information was insufficient to tell if it was their product. Huh?
So please, take a look for yourselves and let us know what you think about the database -- will it be a useful tool for researching product safety or identifying emerging hazards? It might be a little hard to tell with just a week's worth of reports, but we'd love to hear what you think. Leave a comment here or on our Twitter or Facebook pages.
At yesterday's hearing to begin the dismantling of the 2008 safety law which includes key provisions on juvenile product safety named for Danny Keysar, the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade seemed unwilling to consider that their "wrecking ball" approach (as noted by Representative Waxman (CA-30)) might be unwise. Most of the questioning was reserved for the few safety advocates and its intent seemed more to score points than learn helpful information to construct a narrow approach to give flexibility rather than gut safety provisions. It appears that if we hope to keep safety laws intact, with minor adjustments to address concerns raised by handmade and very small toymakers, this might not be the committee to do that. However, Chairman Bono Mack did indicate a willingness to work with Congressman Jan Schakowsky (IL-9) on cribs and other juvenile product safety issues. We'll continue to hope!