Friday, July 31, 2009

Shopping smart for secondhand products

Summer is yard sale season, which means good deals on many secondhand children’s products. However, CPSC warns that recalled items often turn up at garage sales and thrift shops. Pre-owned items also present their own special hazards, including wear and from previous use and failure to conform to current safety standards. Whether you are buying, selling, or donating used items, stay safe with KID’s tips on second-hand products, safe donations, and yard sale safety. Product resellers should read CPSC’s handbook for details on safe, lawful resale.

Check all products you buy or sell against CPSC’s recall listings. Sign up for CPSC’s Email Announcements of all recalls (Spanish version available) and KID’s monthly Email Alerts listing all child product recalls and safety information. Avoid selling used cribs, car seats, and bike helmets which may be unsafe due to involvement in an accident, missing or broken hardware, or not meeting current safety standards. In addition, do not sell walkers, bath seats, and sleep positioners as these are not safe for use. Only sell children’s jewelry, toys, and durable goods such as play yards, strollers, and high chairs if they are certified as meeting current standards. Do not buy or sell items that are broken or missing pieces, especially if they require assembly. Beware of products with protruding hardware or rotating rails that do not properly lock into place. Include manufacturer information, instructions, and product registration cards when possible. These are sometimes available on the manufacturer’s website. Drawstrings and ties on clothing should be removed as they pose strangulation hazard.

Following these guidelines will ensure your products are safe. Contact for further information.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Summer brings most injuries--stay safe

Summer means fun activities near the water or at the park, but CPSC warns that summer is also the time of year when the most injuries occur. Follow KID’s summer safety tips to avoid risk of accident and injury.

Children should be watched at all times when near or in water. Drowning accidents can happen even if the child can swim. Over 200 young children drown in backyard pools each year. If you have a home pool, be sure to read the American Red Cross safety guidelines. Pools should be separated from the house and surrounded by a fence with a self-closing and self-latching gate. Pool owners should be trained in CPR. Remember, large inflatable pools pose the same risks as in-ground pools. When a child is missing, check the pool first.

Stay up to date on recalled products. On July 2, Aqua-Leisure Industries recalled 4 million inflatable baby floats because leg strap could tear, causing children to fall into or under water. Other outdoor products recalled this summer include 1,800 Outdoor Playset Gliders due to fall hazard caused by insecure retaining rings and 1,200 sets of Orangatang Skateboard Wheels which can separate, causing serious injury to riders.

Are you planning a road trip? When driving, always always use a car seat for infants and children under 40 pounds. Infants under one year and under 20 pounds must ride rear-facing, experts now recommend keeping a child rear facing for as long as possible. Children between 40-80 pounds should use an approved booster seat. A secure safety seat is also advised when traveling by plane. Visit for more car seat information. Check products used at Grandma's or the hotel for recalls and make sure all parts are properly assembled.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Toys and shoes recalled for choking hazard

In the last week, three children’s products were recalled due to choking hazard posed by detaching small parts. LeapFrog recalled 3,700 My Pal Scout Electronic Plush Toy Dogs. The decals on the paws of the toy can be removed and ingested by a child. There have been two reports of children removing the decals, including one report of a child ingesting part of the decal. Contact LeapFrog for a replacement toy dog with embroidered paws.

Evenflo recalled 25,000 Switch-A-Roo Telephone Toys because the mirror decal attached to the toy can peel away. No incidents have yet been reported. Remove and dispose of the decal immediately.

Buster Shoe Co. recalled about 1.4 million Buster Brown & Co.’s Clog children’s shoes in an expansion of a previous recall of 73,000 shoes last April. The shoe, designed to resemble a car, has decorative wheels that can detach. There have been two reports of a wheel detaching, but no injuries. The recall involves a variety of colors and models, including “CARS,” “Transformers Animated,” and “Barbie.” Consumers should return the shoes for a full refund.

Don't forget to check whether your baby's crib or play yard was recalled. Earlier this month, retailers recalled the remaining 400,000 Simplicity Drop Side Cribs due to risk of suffocation, and Kolcraft recalled 1 million play yards due to collapsing side rails. If you have a Simplictiy crib, return it to the place of purchase for a refund, replacement, or store credit. If you have a Kolcraft play yard, read KID's advice about the proposed repair kit.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

One million play yards recalled--is Kolcraft's fix adequate?

Kolcraft's recent recall of one million play yards and portable cribs presents consumers with serious risks. The firm has received 347 reports of sides of the play yard collapsing unexpectedly, resulting in 21 injuries including bumps, bruises, scrapes, and one concussion. KID strongly recommends that families stop using the play yard and contact Kolcraft.

As a remedy, Kolcraft proposes a repair kit that requires four rods to be inserted along the collapsing rails and permanent labels warning consumers of the need for the rods. KID thinks this fix is inadequate and only introduces further risks. It is unrealistic that a fix requiring four extra steps in crib set up will be used each time. If rods are lost or misplaced and caregivers continue to use the play yard, the child is left vulnerable.

KID thinks the repair kit is only appropriate if you use your play yard in one permanent location, without setting it up and taking it down. Stop using the play yard until you've installed the repair kit. Then, leave the rods in permanently and do not collapse the product for storage or travel. When you have finished with the product, do not pass it on with the fix but destroy it. On the other hand, if you regularly set up and take down your play yard when using it, KID recommends against the fix. Instead, contact Kolcraft for a replacement or refund. If unavailable, destroy the product.

Please contact CPSC and Kolcraft and let them know how unhappy you are with this unsafe/inadequate fix. Read KID's letter to CPSC expressing concern about this recall.

NOTE: In follow up conversations with CPSC, KID now believes that it is unlikely these play yards will collapse completely, causing an entrapment hazard. It still creates a significant fall hazard as evidenced by the 21 injuries. We encourage all consumers to comply with this recall, either by stopping use of the product and destroying it if you need it for travel or if it is set up and down frequently, or by getting and installing the fix if the product can remain set up once the fix is applied.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Nursery Product Recalls on the Rise in 2009

In the past 2 years alone there have been 37 recalls involving more than 7 million full size cribs and other sleep environments including portable cribs, bassinets, and play yards. At least 11 babies died in these unsafe units.

Recent crib recalls include the LaJobi Bonavita Hudson and Babi Italia Pinehurst
, LaJobi Bonavita Cabana, and Simplicity models due to defective drop sides and Jardine models due to wooden slat breakage. Other sleep environment recalls include convertible cribs by SunTech Kids and play yards by Dorel Juvenile Group, Simplicity, and Kolcraft.

Many other items are involved in your child’s day-to-day care. Other recent child product recalls include Evenflo Majestic and Envision high chairs, Bugaboo Bee strollers, and Recaro, Triple Play, and Team-Tex America car seats which fail to comply with federal safety standards.

Read KID's
article for full information on recent nursery product recalls and creating a safe sleep environment for your child.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Newly Launched:

Staying informed about child product recalls is critical, but it is no small task. Launched in June, is a user-friendly online tool designed to make recall information easier to obtain. The site features an image gallery, allowing parents and caregivers to quickly skim through images of recalled products rather than comb through CPSC's extensive text listings. A built-in electronic system can also check a reseller's entire inventory for recalled products, preventing the circulation of donated and second-hand items. is a handy addition to existing product recall resources. Be sure to sign up for CPSC's Email Annoucements of all recalls (Spanish version available) and KID's monthly Email Alerts listing all child product recalls and safety information.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

One million Kolcraft play yards recalled

Kolcraft and CPSC announced the recall today of one million play yards. The side rail of the play yard can unexpectedly collapse, causing a fall and an entrapment hazard. The release cites 347 incidents in which the side arm failed, including 21 injuries. The recall covers many brand names including Carter's, Sesame Street, Jeep, Kolcraft and more.

The play yards recalled were sold over a nine year period, from January 2000 through January of this year. We don't know when Kolcraft began getting reports of product failures and why it took that long and over 300 incidents to announce the recall. It is also unclear what the 'repair kit' is that the company will supply on request. KID believes that sleep environment recalls should always give parents the option of a refund or replacement product.

Kolcraft has previous history with a collapsing side rail play yard -- The Playskool Travel-Lite. This is the product that collapsed and killed Danny Keysar, whose parents founded Kids In Danger. Danny was one of six children to die in the Playskool Travel Lite and one of seventeen known deaths in play yards with the same faulty design.

This latest recall comes on the heels of a string of crib recalls. It leaves parents with a real dilemma as to where their child should sleep while they await a new crib or a repair kit for their play yard/portable crib. KID has some advice for safe sleep here (PDF) and advises parents that keeping a child in a recalled product should not be done -- the risk is too great.

These recalls highlight the need for the provisions of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 that call for stronger mandatory standards for infant and toddler durable products such as cribs and play yards. CPSC has begun that process, but we believe these new recalls should encourage the agency to make sleep environment standards a top priority.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Aqua-Leisure recalls 4 million pool floats

URGENT: Planning to take your young children swimming this holiday weekend? Be advised that Aqua-Leisure Industries has recalled 4 million inflatable baby floats due to drowning hazard. The leg straps in the seat of the float can tear, causing children to fall into or under water. CPSC has received 31 reports of float seats tearing, but no injuries have been reported.

The recalled floats come in a variety of styles and colors. For a full list, see the CPSC recall notice.

Retailers recall the last of Simplicity Drop Side Cribs

Retailers have recalled 400,000 Simplicity Drop Side Cribs due to the risk of death from suffocation. The crib's plastic hardware can break or deform, causing the drop side to detach and create a space between the drop side and the crib mattress. If infants and toddlers become entrapped in this space, they can suffocate.

CPSC has received one report of death due to suffocation and twenty-five other incident reports involving detaching drop sides.

This is yet another in a series of recent Simplicity recalls, and takes all Simplicity dropside cribs off the market. For a complete list, view the CPSC chart. You can read about Simplicity's troubled history in a Chicago Tribune article on deadly cribs. Because the company is out of business and unavailable for contact, CPSC advises consumers to return the crib to the place of purchase for a refund, replacement, or store credit. Contact Kids In Danger if you have any questions.

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