Friday, January 30, 2009

CPSC gives companies another year to prove their products are safe.

The lame-duck CPSC voted today to postpone enforcing the testing and certification requirements of the CPSIA for another year. Key portions of the Act were scheduled to go into effect in February. CPSC's inability to put in place compliance information and exclusions to the testing requirements for safe components created confusion. Rather than act more quickly or institute a short delay, CPSC gave companies (and themselves) an extra year.

Of course this means another year of parents having to wonder if the toys and nursery products they buy for their children are safe -- taking us through another holiday shopping season with no way to know which products have lead or other toxins and which don't. It also delays putting in place stronger toy standards for other hazards. While CPSC says the ban on lead and phthalates will still become effective on February 10, 2009 just without the testing and certification, it doesn't do parents much good. Take a look at our last post for instance -- lead paint on toys has been banned for 30 years and yet in two months, 13 products had to be recalled for that hazard.

Please, President Obama, put real leadership in charge of our children's safety quickly -- we can't afford to wait any longer.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

In the past two months, more than 147,000 lead tainted children's products have been recalled

While the impending implementation date of key measures in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) is causing concern among some, recent recalls by the CPSC show the real need for this strong safety measure. In just two months, 13 recalls for more than 147,000 children's products tainted with lead have been announced. The list includes cribs, toys, jewelry and school supplies. Whether it was a $600 crib that poisoned a child, a $15 toy dinosaur, or doll clothes coated with lead paint, manufacturers are still producing unsafe products. KID joins other advocates in calling for President Obama to quickly name new leadership at the CPSC to improve the implementation of this sorely needed legislation.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fisher Price announces recall of Simplicity Rainforest Play yard

Did you perhaps move your child to a play yard to sleep after your crib was recalled? If so, check that it isn't a Rainforest Portable Play yard, made by Simplicity and their successor SFCA, Inc, but sold under the Fisher Price name. Lacking any response from SFCA, Fisher Price recalled 200,000 play yards because of side rail collapses that can lead to fall or entrapment hazards. CPSC has 1,350 (!) reports of side rail collapses and numerous injuries including bruises, cuts requiring stitches, broken bones, a concussion and a chipped tooth. Side rail collapse also creates an entrapment hazard, similar to how Danny Keysar and seventeen other children have died since 1991.

It appears there might be other Simplicity play yards sold under their own name or others that might have the same flaw. Given the unresponsive nature of the company to their product hazards, KID recommends that all retailers stop selling any Simplicity products and that consumers discontinue the use of these products. We call on CPSC to recall or issue a warning on all Simplicity play yards that have the same hazard.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Over one million Stork Craft cribs recalled in US, Canada

Stork Craft announced both a US and Canadian recall today of over one million cribs sold from 2000 through this month. The mattress support brackets on the cribs can crack or break leading to an entrapment and strangulation hazard. Canada has one report of failure and the US has ten with one injury and one entrapment with no injury. All Stork Craft cribs with manufacturing and distribution dates between May 2000 and November 2008 are included in the recall. Consumers should stop using the crib immediately and contact Stork Craft for a free replacement kit which includes new mattress support brackets.

This latest recall has to leave parents wondering -- is any crib safe? Check all cribs regularly for loose, broken or missing hardware and report any problems immediately to the CPSC and the manufacturer. For consumers with one of the over six million recently recalled cribs, please let us know if you are having difficulty with the proposed remedies from CPSC and if you need help finding a safe, temporary sleep environment for your baby.

New safety law will save lives

While it is impossible to eliminate all risk from our children’s lives, the recalls and deaths in the past ten years have shown us that too little has been done to make children’s products safe.

While one might understand the risk a child faces while out riding a bike or even learning to walk around the living room, one doesn’t expect a crib to collapse, killing a child or pajamas to be covered with a decal containing toxic lead.

The CPSIA, passed last year, will make children safer by requiring products to be tested prior to sale. During the implementation phase of the law, many companies that never tested their products will have to start; and some products, that aren't safe, will not be able to be sold, even at a thrift store.

But the law contains within it the ability for CPSC to exclude certain products, give guidance to industry on implementation and set rules in such a way to limit the economic harm to small businesses or nonprofit thrift stores. There are small businesses and thrift stores all over the country that are already working to bring their products into compliance and offer consumers safe products. Consumer groups who advocated for the bill along with the representatives from the second hand market and others are working on real solutions, which will keep our kids safe and work for business.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

CPSC clarifies CPSIA: thrift stores will not have to certify all their products for hazards

After weeks of swirling rumours and talk of shutting down the second-hand children's clothing market -- dumping tons of wearable clothes in landfills, CPSC has clarified their enforcement of the new CPSIA. While selling lead-tainted or other unsafe products still violates the law, CPSC clarifed that second hand sellers of used children's products -- thrift stores, church rummage sales, individuals, will not have to certify that their products meet the lead, phthalate and other toy safety requirements. KID looks to CPSC to provide additional guidance in the near future to thrift stores and others on how to avoid selling dangerous products. Here is KID's checklist for donated or second-hand sales.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

More Jardine cribs recalled

CPSC and Jardine just added additional crib models to their recall last year for breaking crib slats. An additional 56,450 cribs are being recalled with 19 more incidents of breaking slats, including one incident where a child fell through the slats and nine incidents where the baby broke the slats while in the crib. These cribs were sold until this month, making it likely that some parents may have used their vouchers from the first recall to purchase yet another defective Jardine crib. Crib owners can contact Jardine for a credit towards a new crib at Babies"R"Us or Toys"R"Us.

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