Thursday, December 30, 2010

Safer sleep for babies in the New Year

As we prepare to celebrate the coming of a new year, we thought we would recap some of the safe sleep news from this past year. Make a commitment to help KID keep babies safe this year.

2010 was a big year for product safety news:
  • CPSC and FDA warn parents against the use of sleep positioners.
  • CPSC approves the toughest crib standard in the world.
  • University of California study shows increase in SIDS death on New Year's.
  • Millions of cribs were recalled in 2010 for faulty hardware, failing drop-side mechanisms, weak side slats and failing mattress supports.

    Caramia crib recall
    Generation 2, ChilDESIGN crib recall
    Simplicity crib recall
    Sorelle Crib recall
    Victory Land crib recall
    Longwood Forest Crib recall
    Ethan Allen crib recall
    Childcraft crib recall and here
    Delta crib recall
    Evenflo crib recall
    Jardine crib recall
    Lajobi crib recall
    Million Dollar Baby crib recall
    Simmons crib recall
    Bassettbaby crib recall
    Alexander Design crib recall
    Pottery Barn crib recall
    Sorelle crib recall
    Graco/Lajobi crib recall
    Dorel Asia crib recall

    And this is just the list from 2010! Check here for all crib recalls.

To keep your baby safe, here are some resources:

  • CPSC's crib resource page

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

More from Illinois's Attorney General on crib bumper pads

Following two news stories last week on crib bumper pads, one in the Chicago Tribune and the other at the Houston NBC affiliate, KPRC, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has released a warning to Illinois consumers. The AG's office has released an alert poster warning of the dangers of crib bumper pads as well as a letter to the Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association calling on that industry group to release a study they have conducted on bumper pads and take "immediate and substantial action to address the hazards associated with crib bumpers."

The families featured in both news stories have also shared their children's (Preston and Aiden) stories with KID's Family Voices. Certainly their stories will encourage most parents to remove crib bumper pads (and sleep positioners) from their child's sleep environment immediately.

KID believes a safe sleep environment is a crib, bassinet or portable crib/play yard that meets CPSC and ASTM standards with a tightly fitted sheet and a baby placed on its back -- nothing else should be in the crib. Sleepers and wearable blankets can help parents avoid possible hazardous blankets in the crib.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Q & A on the new crib safety standards: what does it mean for you?

On December 15, 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) adopted new rules that set strong mandatory standards for cribs and portable cribs. These new standards are now the strongest in the world and will provide assurance to parents that when they buy a new crib; it will keep their child safe. This Q&A attempts to answer questions parents and caregivers may have regarding these ground-breaking rules.

Q. Why do we need a new crib standard?

Following recent years of recalls of millions of cribs due to entrapment deaths and injuries, the new standards will ensure that new cribs have been tested for safety to rigorous standards. Many babies were killed or injured in unsafe cribs.

Q. What do the new standards cover?

A. The new rules put many new tests and requirements in place:

  • Cribs with full side drop-sides will not be allowed -- the bottom 20" of the crib rail must be fixed to eliminate the entrapment hazards seen when the hardware fails.
  • All cribs must undergo rigorous testing for slat strength, durability and mattress support strength. The series of testing is conducted on one crib to simulate a life-time of use. This is the key to the new standard. Most of the 10 million cribs recalled since 2007 were able to meet the weak industry standards that were in place.
  • Warnings and labeling have been improved, both to make parents more aware of when a crib is mis-assembled and to alert them to developmental signs to stop using a crib (when the child attempts to climb out). While most attention has been rightly focused on entrapment deaths in cribs, most injuries are as a result of children falling out of cribs.
Q. What types of cribs do these standards and rules cover?

The new standards include two sets of similar rules: one for full-size cribs and one for non-full-size cribs. Non-full-size cribs can be smaller, larger or a different shape than a full-size crib, which is a standardized shape and size. The rules do not cover mesh sided play yards or portable cribs, only those with rigid sides such as wood or metal cribs. CPSC will be developing a standard for play yards, but it won’t apply to child care as these do.

Q. What is the timing of all these requirements?

The new crib standards will be effective in six months. At this time, new and used cribs for sale will have to meet the standards. Then, child care providers and hotels and other public accommodations will have an additional 18 months to replace their non-compliant cribs. By January 2013, all child care facilities should have compliant and safe cribs. Many providers will be able to comply sooner.

Q. I have a drop-side crib at home. Will it be illegal now to use it?

No, the new rules have no impact on use of your own cribs at home. However, it will be illegal to sell older model cribs after the effective date in six months. Here is some information on what to do if you are using a drop-side or other older model crib at home:

First, check the list at and make sure your crib hasn’t been recalled – millions have. Check the list carefully –cribs might be known by a name other than their brand name, or made by one company and sold under another name. If it doubt, get the model name and number and manufacturer and call CPSC to confirm. If it has been recalled, follow the recall instructions to get a repair kit, replace the crib or receive a refund.

If your crib is not recalled, check all the hardware and plastic parts to make sure it is all tight and there are no broken, cracked or missing pieces. The crib should feel sturdy when you shake it and you should not be able to lower the drop-side by any means other than the manufacturer’s instructed method. If your crib shows any breakage or you can move the drop-side without following the correct method, STOP using the crib. Call the company for replacement parts and do not use the crib until new parts are correctly installed. If the crib doesn’t have replacement parts, stop using it and call both the company and CPSC to report the breakage. Never attempt to fix the crib yourself without the correct hardware and instructions from the manufacturer.

If your crib has no broken, cracked or missing parts and feels sturdy, continue to use it until the child can transition to a bed, but stop using the drop-side mechanism and check frequently – at least once a week -- for loose, broken, cracked or missing hardware or parts. However, do not use the crib for a subsequent child or hand it down since assembly and disassembly of a drop-side crib can increase the risk of failure. It may be worth the peace of mind to purchase a new crib.

Q. I’m short (or have a bad back) and think a fixed side crib will make it too difficult for me to care for my baby. What are my options?

Many new cribs are lower to the ground and easier to reach into to pick up or lay down your baby. Another option is a drop-gate cribs in which just the top section of the side rail folds down, allowing easier access. And if you feel you do need a stool for access, consider using a wide stable step such as those for step aerobics classes.

Q. My crib has been recalled or I just don't feel safe using it anymore. What is a safe sleeping arrangement for my baby until I get a new crib?

A. First, if your baby is still under 5 months and not yet rolling over or pushing up on her hands and knees, you can use a safe bassinet. For older babies, a safe (not recalled) portable mesh crib or 'pack and play' is a good alternative. And finally, toddlers can be safely moved to a mattress on the floor or a toddler bed. In fact, many injuries in cribs happen when toddlers attempt to crawl out, so it might be time to make the move anyway. Unsafe sleep arrangements include couches, chairs, soft bedding or with siblings or others in a an adult bed.

For a link to a PDF of this Q&A, click here.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

CPSC adopts world's toughest crib standards

Following recent years of recalls of millions of cribs due to entrapment deaths and injuries, the new standards, which become mandatory in six months, will ensure that new cribs have been tested for safety to rigorous standards.

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), signed into law in August of 2008, requires CPSC to issue mandatory standards for infant durable products. This provision of the CPSIA was named in honor and in memory of Danny Keysar. Danny was sixteen months-old when he died in his Chicago childcare home because a portable crib collapsed around his neck. The CPSIA requires mandatory standards and testing for durable infant and toddler products, product registration cards and a ban on the sale or lease of unsafe cribs. Cribs are among the first products for which mandatory standards have been promulgated under this provision.

“This new mandatory standard, the strongest in the world, will ensure that new cribs coming onto the market will provide safe haven for babies and their families,” stated Nancy Cowles, Executive Director of Kids In Danger. “We applaud CPSC for their hard work and tenacity in developing and adopting this landmark rule.”

“Parents and caregivers should have peace of mind that when they leave their baby in a crib that their baby will be safe. For too long that has not been the case,” stated Rachel Weintraub, Director of Product Safety and Senior Counsel for Consumer Federation of America. “We congratulate CPSC for shepherding this strong and much needed consumer protection.”

The new rule puts many new tests and requirements in place:

  • Cribs with full side drop-sides will not be allowed -- the bottom 20" of the crib rail must be fixed to eliminate the entrapment hazards seen when the hardware fails.
  • All cribs must undergo rigorous testing for slat strength, durability and mattress support strength. The series of testing is conducted on one crib to simulate a life-time use of a crib. This is the key to the new standard. Most of the 10 million cribs recalled since 2007 were able to meet the weak industry standards that were in place.
  • Warnings and labeling have been improved, both to make parents more aware of when a crib is mis-assembled and to alert them to developmental signs to stop using a crib (when the child attempts to climb out). While most attention has been rightly focused on entrapment deaths in cribs, most injuries are as a result of children falling out of cribs.
The new requirements are mostly part of the ASTM International voluntary standard that has been adapted to serve as the CPSC mandatory rule. Over the past two years industry, consumer advocates and safety experts have worked feverishly to update the voluntary standard to provide real assurances of a safe product. Prior to the recent rewrite, the most recent significant changes to the voluntary standard were made in 1999. The CPSC mandatory standard was last changed in 1982. The new standards include two sets of similar rules: one for full-size cribs and one for non-full-size cribs. Non-full-size cribs can be smaller, larger or a different shape than a full-size crib, which is a standardized shape and size.

“The lack of durability of recently produced cribs is appalling and has put many babies at risk,” said Don Mays, senior director of product safety and technical policy for Consumers Union/Consumer Reports. “These new regulations will ensure safe sleep environments by raising the bar for the safety and quality of cribs.”

For the first time, this mandatory rule promulgated by CPSC applies to products already in use by some entities as well as to new products. Efforts will begin immediately to remove older unsafe products off store shelves, out of child care homes, and out of hotels. The CPSIA includes a section requiring that cribs that don't meet the new standard can't be sold -- new or used, used in child care, used by hotel guests, or used in other public accommodations. This measure alone will go far in removing unsafe cribs from use. This does not apply to already purchased cribs being used in private homes, except for barring their resale.

Six months after the publication of the standard, all cribs on the market must be in compliance. The Commission voted to give child care facilities and hotels an additional 18 months after that date to replace any non-compliant cribs. CPSC has indicated that cribs currently being manufactured and tested that meet the new standard can continue to be used, even though their sale took place prior to the new rule being official.

“After years of foot dragging by the industry, CPSC has now approved a standard and testing regimen that will keep children safe – avoiding the crib recalls, entrapment deaths and injuries that have plagued the industry,” said Elizabeth Hitchcock of US Public Interest Research Group.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A look back before tomorrow's historic CPSC crib vote

As we posted last week, the CPSC will vote tomorrow on new mandatory standards for full-size and non-full-size cribs. The standards, if adopted, will be the strongest crib standards in the world. This in the country that has had to recall 10 million plus cribs in the last three years because of deaths and injuries from entrapment hazards when the cribs basically fall apart.

But the push for strong mandatory standards didn't start in 2007 when a Chicago Tribune story and a flood of recalled toys from China focused the nation's attention on children's product safety.

There was Danny Lineweaver in California. His parents, Rose and John, founded the Danny Foundation in 1984 after Danny strangled when his clothing was caught on a crib corner post. For years, the Danny Foundation worked to improve the voluntary standard by incorporating the ban against corner posts and crib cut-outs that might catch on clothes or strings. They also supported the Infant Crib Safety Act, requiring that cribs for sale or in use in public accommodations such as child care met current crib standards.

Iin 1997, Tyler died in a drop-side crib. His mother Michelle Witte has fought valiantly for a ban on this particularly hazardous crib design.

Then in 1998, another Danny, Danny Keysar was killed when the portable crib he napped in at child care collapsed, catching his neck in the v-shape of the side rails and strangling him. His parents founded Kids In Danger -- originally to spread the word to parents about recalled products and child safety. But they soon learned that the real problem was bigger -- there was no requirement that children's products like cribs, strollers and high chairs be tested for safety before they were sold. The crib that killed Danny was never tested for the safety of that folding design -- even though it was the first of its kind. Within months on the market, it had killed a child -- the first of six children to die in that particular brand, at least 19 have died in cribs of that same design.

So in 2001, KID board members sat down with Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky who had volunteered to help with the problem of unsafe children's products. She asked us, "what would be your ideal fix? What would solve the problem?" Without hesitation, we responded -- strong mandatory standards and independent testing. She drafted the Infant and Toddler Durable Product Safety Act and introduced it that year. Each year co-sponsors signed on, but no vote was taken.

Fast forward to 2007 -- the articles, the recalls and Congressional attention. Now, Congress was ready to act and in 2008, the Infant and Toddler Durable Product Safety Act, along with the Infant Crib Safety Act, were incorporated into the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) under the Danny Keysar Child Product Notification Safety Act. This also included the requirement for product registration cards for these same durable products so parents would learn more quickly of recalls.

Now three years later, the new crib standard, and accreditation procedures for the independent labs that will test these cribs is on the verge of adoption.

KID does our work to honor the memories of Danny Keysar, Tyler Witte and Danny Lineweaver, along with the many other children who have died in unsafe products. Visit the Family Voices website to read just a few of the stories.

We eagerly anticipate tomorrow's vote and hope CPSC does the right thing. Let's give our children a safe future!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Chicago Tribune writes about dangers of crib bumper pads, CPSC agrees to take a 'fresh look'

Both Aiden's and Preston's families have shared their stories with KID and we have been warning for years against crib bumper pads. But bumpers continue to be marketed to new parents, show up in many retailer 'staging' of cribs, and even CPSC has previously dismissed the hazards.

But now, the Chicago Tribune has written another impactful story on a juvenile product safety concern -- crib bumper pads. The article cites the stories of these two families whose children suffocated on bumper pads this year. It also cites additional data at CPSC of dozens of other deaths in which bumpers were involved.

We urge parents and caregivers to read the article, throw out your bumpers if you are currently using them, and pass this safety message unto any new parents you know. CPSC has agreed to re-examine the safety of bumpers. As safe sleep groups have been saying for years, a safe crib is a bare crib -- a tightfitting sheet only and a baby on its back.

Our hearts go out to Preston's and Aiden's families and we thank them again for sharing their stories -- it will save lives.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

CPSC set to vote on final new crib standards

At this week's CPSC Commission meeting, staff presented a briefing on the new rules for full-size and non-full-size cribs. There were few changes from the earlier proposed rules. These new rules put many important tests and requirements in place:
  • Cribs with full side drop-sides will not be allowed -- the bottom 20" of the crib rail must be fixed to eliminate the entrapment hazards seen when the hardware fails.
  • All cribs must undergo much more rigorous testing for slat strength, durability and mattress support strength. The series of testing is done on one crib to simulate a life-time use of a crib. This is the key to the new standard. Most of the 10 million cribs recalled since 2007 were able to meet the weak industry standards that were in place.
  • Warnings and labeling have been improved, both to make parents more aware of when a crib is mis-assembled and to alert them to developmental signs to stop using a crib (when the child attempts to climb out). While most attention has been rightly focused on entrapment deaths in cribs, the largest number of injuries come from children falling out of cribs.
  • For the first time, efforts will begin immediately to get the older unsafe cribs off store shelves, out of child care homes and out of use. A portion of the CPSIA requires that cribs that don't meet the new standard can't be sold -- new or used, used in child care, be given to hotel guests or used in other public accommodations. This measure alone will go far in removing unsafe cribs from use. This does not apply to already purchased cribs being used in private homes, except for barring their resale. CPSC staff is recommending that child care facilities have one year from the approval of the new rule to replace any non-compliant cribs. CPSC has indicated that cribs currently being manufactured and tested that meet the new standard can continue to be used, even though their sale took place prior to the new rule being official.
At the briefing on Wednesday, most of the questions were centered around that provision -- that older cribs that don't meet the current standard not be used in child care. While the commissioners all want to see safe cribs in child care and all settings, there was concern expressed over the cost and timeline.

That provision in the CPSIA was first proposed by the Danny Foundation as a way to remove cribs from use that were unsafe. The Danny Foundation (now closed, but supporters went on to start Keeping Babies Safe) was founded by the parents of Danny Lineweaver who strangled when his clothing was caught on a crib cornerpost. The Foundation and its executive director Jack Walsh worked tirelessly to add safety provisions to the voluntary crib standard -- many of which are now in this proposed mandatory standard.

So for now, the vote is scheduled for next Wednesday, December 15 at 10AM EST. However, commissioners have the prerogative to postpone the vote by a week, so we'll keep you posted!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Senate sub-committee holds hearing on CPSC -- product safety in the holiday season

Today Rachel Weintraub, Director of Product Safety and Senior Counsel with the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) testified on the progress the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has made in making products safer, as well as the challenges faced by the agency.

The Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance Subcommittee of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, headed by Senator Mark Pryor
(D‐AR), held the hearing to address Product Safety in the Holiday Season, as part of their oversight responsibilities of the CPSC.

Ms. Weintraub testified on behalf of CFA, as well as Consumers Union, Kids In Danger and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. Representatives from industry, small manufacturers and the American Academy of Pediatrics also spoke, following a panel of the CPSC Chairman, Inez Tenenbaum and Commissioner Anne Northup.

“Whenever we make a purchase for our family and friends, most people assume that the product they are considering is safe.,” stated Weintraub. “While consumers do need to think about how the child interacts with the product, if there are other children in the house who may play with the product, or whether the product has been previously recalled, there are some issues that no amount of thought or planning can detect. It is the realm of hidden hazards that the CPSIA and CPSC have sought to detect and prevent.”

Her testimony outlined successes that CPSC has had since implementing the CPSIA. These include a strong mandatory crib standard, a comprehensive consumer incident database, online toy warnings, product registration, and mandatory toy standards.

Ms. Weintraub also discussed the challenges facing the agency involving implementation of the CPSIA and concerns raised by stakeholders as well as the problem of cadmium in children’s products.

Ms. Weintraub rejected attempts to "open a series of gaping loopholes in the CPSIA that would allow more lead into a host children’s products,” that have been proposed by various stakeholders. “Allowing more lead in children’s products and carving out products from the scope of the CPSIA is not what children are asking for this holiday season.”

You can view the archived webcast and read testimony from participants as well as statements from Senators here.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Updated Playground Safety Guide released by CPSC

It is estimated that in recent years, there have been more than 200,000 injuries annually on U.S. public playgrounds that required a trip to the emergency room. To reduce the risk of playground-related deaths and injuries, follow these recommended guidelines from CPSC to create a safer playground environment for all children. The handbook touches on the following public playground safety issues:
  • Potential of falls from, and impact with equipment
  • Need for impact attenuating protective surfacing under and around equipment
  • Openings with head entrapment potential
  • Scale of equipment and other design features related to user age and layout of equipment on a playground
  • Installation and maintenance procedures
  • General hazards presented by protrusions, sharp edges, and crush or shear points
  • Supervision and sight lines

A complete Playground Safety Checklist is included in the handbook and can be used when deciding on a public playground for your children. Ensure that the safety of each individual piece of playground equipment as well as the layout of the entire play area is considered when designing or evaluating a playground for safety.

Childcare personnel, school officials, parks and recreation personnel, equipment purchasers and installers, playground designers, and any other members of the general public concerned with public playground safety and interested in evaluating their respective playgrounds should refer to the complete handbook listing from CPSC Public Playground Safety Handbook.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

CPSC approves landmark public database

After a sometimes raucous debate, the Consumer Product Safety Commission voted 3-2 to approve the final rules for the public database required by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008. Starting in March 2011, consumers will be able to file reports on products and other consumers and researchers will have access to that information.

Much of the discussion centered around who could report to the database. Commissioners Nord and Northup want to limit it to those with first hand knowledge only and Commissioner Adler and Chairman Tenenbaum spoke eloquently on the risk of limiting information reported -- covering up injuries.

Danny Keysar, whose parents founded KID, found his way into the discussion. Since no one was in the room when Danny died and it occurred in child care, not his parent's home, Commissioner Adler was concerned that under the more narrow definition brought by the minority, Danny's death might have gone unreported.

But in the end the broad definition prevailed. This will allow parents and caregivers to keep their own children safe and allow researchers and others to use the information to identify unsafe products and injury trends -- leading to safer products in the future.

In his closing remarks, Commissioner Adler dedicated the database to the memories of children injured by unsafe products: Danny, Ellie and Tyler.

We commend the Commission staff for their incredible hard work in putting together the rule and the Commission for moving forward.

By the way -- in the meantime, if you have an incident with a consumer product, you can report it now to the CPSC. While reports after March 2011 will be public, CPSC has always accepted such consumer input and it has led to many recalls.

Friday, November 19, 2010

CPSC educates new parents on babywearing safety

After the earlier warning and recalls, some parents may have begun to worry about the safety of using slings for babywearing. CPSC has now posted educational advice for new parents to babywear safely. Currently ASTM International is developing the first standard to cover slings. Other baby carriers are already covered by a standard for soft infant carriers. In addition, the Baby Carrier Industry Group has an additional safety page that complements the info offered by CPSC.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

More on the database, from a mother's perspective

This letter is from Lisa Olney, whose daughter Ellie would have been 9 last week, had she not died in a portable crib just after her first birthday.

It scares to me think that the mandated database, part of the CPSIA, has organizations and individuals attempting to suppress it. This database is an essential part of keeping our children safe by making consumer experience with products accessible to all.

On December 19, 2002, my daughter Elizabeth, just 13 months old, died in a poorly designed play yard. I live my life often looking back through “what if’s” and “should have’s,” but I’ve learned to give most of that up in order to save myself from being a horribly miserable individual. Instead, I realize the importance of focusing on efforts to protect our children so that no parent has to suffer from what I have, along with too many other victims of unsafe children's products. This CPSC database is going to protect millions of children, because it provides a place to go when considering the choices parents make when purchasing products, especially those products intended to be beneficial to our children’s safety.

Since Elizabeth’s death, I gave birth to a third daughter. Having been so disappointed in the things I learned about children’s product safety since Elizabeth’s accident, it is an understatement to say I was paranoid and at a loss as to how I might raise another baby, using products whose manufacturer’s executives or legal teams were suppressing information essential to my child’s safety.

Sure, there is the CPSC recall list, but what about the complaints lying in the “inbox” of someone’s desk, waiting to be investigated? What about those products that had a few complaints but never made it to the public until it resulted in a death? It took nine months for the CPSC to release Ellie’s story and the warning that went with it. It wasn’t even a recall; Graco only had to offer new warning labels cautioning people of the possibility and danger of entrapment.

The database planned for CPSC gives parents, grandparents, families, friends, medical personnel, and even retailers, immediate and FREE information on ANY problems reported about a particular product, not just those few which rise to the surface because a child has either died or been seriously injured by the product. By that time, it’s too dangerously late. As with Ellie’s case, it could take months before the public sees this information.

Of course manufacturers might not be pleased with production of such a database because it not only means that their products could show up on the database, it also means that they will be forced to spend more money on assuring the safety of their product if they want it to sell.

A child is priceless, beyond what any definition might attach itself to that word. I don’t know whether Ellie was destined to be a ballerina or a professional race car driver. I also don’t know what she might have looked like on her 9th birthday last week or what her laughter sounds like. What I do know is that her life was ripped from her too soon.

CPSC’s database demands that manufacturers hold themselves to higher standards and give the public the chance to decide for themselves, whether a product’s small glitch or major defect is worth taking a risk on and buying for their child. I cringe at the thought that a manufacturer might put enough pressure on the CPSC to divert the creation of this database in any way.

Companies who make products for our children deserve to be held accountable for that product at every moment. I certainly can never hide from my grief, my pain, or the permanent hole in my life that once was my toddling, smiling child. Manufacturers don’t deserve the ability to hide.

Lisa L. (Davis) Olney

LA Times reporter posts video about CPSC Database -- vote is tomorrow

David Lazarus, a reporter with the LA Times has both written about and posted a video about the CPSC Consumer Product Safety Database. As he says, it is good for consumers. The vote at CPSC is tomorrow morning.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Next week: ASTM standards committee meetings on juvenile products

Next week for five days, manufacturers, testing labs, regulators and a few consumer advocates will meet in suburban Philadelphia to discuss standards for juvenile products -- cribs, strollers, high chairs and many others. This is the twice-annual meeting of the ASTM International subcommittees on juvenile products. Each product type group meets to review changes to the standard, analyze incident data to look for injury trends or possible design flaws, and -- because of the CPSIA -- discuss developing each voluntary standard into a document on which CPSC can base the new mandatory standards.

This month, the group will be finalizing the first standard for sling infant carriers and holding the first meeting of a group to develop a standard for crib mattresses. KID has been participating in the ASTM process since 2000. One of only a handful of consumer representatives, we sometimes have to work to get our voice heard, but have seen progress in the decade we have worked on ASTM standards. We urge other consumer organizations or advocates to consider joining ASTM and adding your voice to the process.

The voluntary standard setting activities of ASTM will benefit greatly from the new public database launching in March 2011. Earlier access to injury data and the ability to look for patterns in injury data that can be addressed through standards will lead to stronger standards that can more nimbly react to incidents. This year's Nursery Product Report from CPSC showed a jump in emergency room visits linked to juvenile products. That information, combined with the new database will give ASTM the information they need to improve product safety.

Have a product related concern that you would like ASTM to consider? Email KID and we'll bring that along with us next week.

Monday, November 1, 2010

New data from CPSC suggests increase in injuries from juvenile products

Today CPSC released its 2010 Nursery Product Report. The report looks at injuries and deaths in nursery products from 2009. The report cites 77,300 injuries involving nursery products that required a trip to the emergency room. This is an increase of around 21% from last year. The rate does fluctuate year to year, but this is a particularly high increase. Injuries in cribs rose by about 27% from 11,500 to 14,600. CPSC says the increase could be due to technical issues, but their staff (and KID!) will be carefully reviewing the data to determine if there are product related issues leading to the increase. Infant carriers and car seats (outside of their use in cars), cribs and strollers were the top three categories, accounting for most of the injuries.

CPSC gets death data from different sources, and only provides averages over a three year period. The data also lags behind injury data, so the average number of deaths from 2005-2007 was 88 a year, with 60 of those in sleep environments such as cribs (36), bassinets (14) and play yards (10).

CPSC notes that the deaths and injuries, while involving a product, may not always be caused by product defects, but by other factors such as extra bedding. Check out KID's safe sleep tips or CPSC's new video for more information on creating a safe sleep environment.

The new database that launches in March 2011 will provide additional injury data to study along with this emergency room data.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

CPSC database coming closer to a reality

In 2007 and 2008, during the discussions of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act as the bill was named in the end, consumer advocates repeatedly raised the issue of secrecy at CPSC, pointing to the human cost of keeping injury data secret from consumers using the products. While advocates had hoped to remove Section 6(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act -- which is an effective gag order on much safety information -- what happened in the end was a public database -- the ability of consumers to report injuries and incidents with products to CPSC which would then be available to other consumers making choices about those products.

According to the dedicated website at CPSC, the database will be a reality in 134 days (March 2011). The Commission was briefed by staff in a three hour session on October 20 and the final vote is expected in mid-November. CPSC staff have done yeoman's work in creating a process that encourages use of the database as well as the accuracy of the information. Consumers, business, academic researchers and CPSC staff will be able to access crucial safety information, in many cases before a recall or serious injury or death. You can view a Q&A about the database here.

That doesn't mean there hasn't been push back from companies who have gotten used to dealing with their safety problems in a more secretive way. But as Rachel Weintraub of Consumer Federation of America (pictured above at a CPSC workshop on the database with Consumer Union's Ami Gadhia) points out in an excellent article in this week's Product Safety Forum, consumers will be the winners in the long run.

Friday, October 22, 2010

A hot button issue: battery ingestion

According to Children's Memorial Hospital, each year 3,500 people (mostly young children and the elderly) in the U.S. swallow “disc” or “button" batteries, and many of these incidents result in serious health complications.

As part of their Battery Ingestion Advocacy Project, Children's Memorial Hospital recently released a helpful new flier on the dangers, preventions and treatments of disc or button battery ingestion for young children. While not widely publicized, this is a serious health issue for kids, as batteries can get stuck in children's throats and can lead to poisoning, chemical burns and other serious complications.

If you are concerned that your child has ingested a battery or for more information, contact the Battery Hotline at 202.625.3333 or Poison Control 1.800.222.1222.

CPSC Launches "Safe Sleep for Babies" video on heels of latest crib recalls

Today, on the heels of the latest in a seemingly never-ending flurry of crib recalls, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), along with three New York-based partner organizations, launched its new video "Safe Sleep for Babies." This video is the newest tool in CPSC's ongoing Safe Sleep Initiative, which works to reduce deaths and injuries associated with unsafe sleep environments.

The new video will be distributed to hospitals nationwide in an effort to reach as many health care providers and parents as possible, and to educate the public on these important safe sleep issues. The goal is to reach parents while they are still in the hospital, so that they create a safe sleeping space for babies from day one, and is an important step to make this information readily available and accessible for all parents and caregivers.

The video urges parents to:
  • Place infants to sleep on their backs
  • Use a firm, tight-fitting mattress
  • Never use extra padding, blankets or pillows under baby
  • Remove pillows or thick comforters
  • Do not use positioning devices – they are not necessary and can be deadly
  • Regularly check cribs for loose, missing or broken parts or slats
  • Do not try to fix a broken crib
  • Place cribs or playpens away from windows and window covering cords to avoid fall and strangulation hazards
  • Place baby monitor cords away from cribs or playpens to avoid strangulation
The three new crib recalls--the Heritage Collection 3-in-1 Drop-Side Cribs, Angel Line Drop-Side Cribs, and Ethan Allen Drop-Side Cribs--affects about 40,000 cribs. As always, please check the CPSC website to make sure that your crib is not affected.

You can also download KID's safe sleep flyer or visit our product hazard page on cribs.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

More on Graco Stroller Recall

Yesterday, we wanted to get the word out quickly about the 2 million Graco strollers recalled. If you haven't seen the information:
  • here is the CPSC release
  • here is the Health Canada advisory (no recall)
  • here is the Graco website for processing repair kits
  • here is a great flyer for posting about the recall to alert child care providers, parents, grandparents and other caregivers -- consider posting where parents gather.
We also had some questions about the reason the products were sold 2000 to 2007; deaths were reported from 2003 to 2005 (as well as one in Canada in 2006); and yet the recall is just happening now in 2010.

CPSC has reported that in initiating a review of injuries and deaths in strollers, they grouped these four deaths and decided it was important to do a recall since many families were using the strollers with no awareness of the risk. Why a recall wasn't done under a previous CPSC administration and how long this process took for Graco to do the recall are matters currently sealed in CPSC compliance files. We also don't know why Graco continued to make the product with the same design for several years after the deaths.

We urge parents using these Graco strollers to stop using them and get the repair kit. In fact, given that almost 4.6 million strollers have been recalled since June 2009, everyone using a stroller should probably go to CPSC's website to check their stroller against the recall list.

In their most recent Nursery Product Report, CPSC reports 12,400 children were rushed to emergency rooms in 2008 for injuries related to strollers and an average of three children a year die in strollers. CPSC's recent stroller safety advisory or KID's stroller brochure give important tips for safety.

Here are links to articles on the recall in the New York Times, AOL WalletPop and Bloomberg/Business Week.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Graco and CPSC recall 2 million strollers for risk of strangulation

Today CPSC and Graco announced the recall of 2 million Quattro and Metrolite strollers sold between 2000 and 2007. Babies can slip between the seat and stroller tray -- trapping their head and leading to strangulation. At least four babies died this way between 2003 and 2005.

If you have one of these strollers (the list of model numbers is long!), stop using it until you can get the repair kit from the company.

We have many questions about this recall. This risk has been known for years, and certainly was evident in these strollers after the first death in 2003. The voluntary standard setting committee on strollers at ASTM addressed the flaw through changes in that standard in 2008 (which means work on it started long before that). Why are the strollers only being recalled now, years later? And more importantly, why were they sold until 2007 if the first death happened in 2003?

We'll be trying to get some answers. For all parents -- use the restraint on your stroller at all times, don't rely on the tray to restrain your baby. CPSC has issued a safety alert on stroller safety.

The Illinois Attorney General's office has also posted a very eye-catching alert that can be printed out and used as a poster in childcare facilities or any other place families gather. Help spread the word of this important recall.

Even though they report a death in Canada in 2006 in this product, Health Canada has declined to recall the product there, instead giving parents safe use information.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Canada declares BPA toxic

According to the Toronto Sun, Canada has declared bisphenol-A (commonly know as BPA) a toxic substance. According to U.S. PIRG, BPA, a chemical very commonly found in plastics such as water bottles, canned foods, baby bottles and toys, is used to line nearly all food and beverage containers, and is nearly impossible to avoid. This new classification, however, effectively bans the substance from all products manufactured in or entering Canada.

Here in the U.S., BPA has been under attack for several years as the FDA considers a possible ban on the substance, but change is slow to come. Back in January, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expressed concern over the health risks of BPA, which is believed to mimic estrogen in the body, and has been linked to various types of cancer. The FDA is particularly concerned about "the effects of the chemical on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children.”

Despite consumer outrage and FDA concern, progress to ban BPA from children's products is slow-going. Five U.S. states, several New York counties, and Chicago have already banned the substance from infant formula and baby bottles, but it is still widely present in products.

There are a number of good resources available to help parents identify products that may contain BPA. The National Toxicology Program website has a simple but comprehensive fact sheet for parents, as well as links to other resources, and the state of Massachusetts produced a brochure, outlining advice for parents. While pregnant or breastfeeding, mothers should eat as much fresh or frozen food as possible (as opposed to canned). And if possible, breastfeeding is best. Avoid plastic food containers and bottles, especially when heating food. Learn to identify bottles that have BPA in them--bottles that have the number 7 on the bottom, generally contain BPA. Be sure to buy and use bottles, toys and pacifiers that are labeled "BPA-free."

Much of this change needs to happen on a policy level, so as always, concerned parents should contact their legislators. But in the meantime, it's a good idea to take as many precautions as possible to keep our children safe.

Friday, October 8, 2010

International Babywearing Week

International Babywearing Week is drawing to a close. It drew particular attention this year, in part due to rumors of a recall of a (to judge from Twitter feeds) very popular brand of sling. But that recall is still unannounced as of today.

Babywearing is the use of soft carriers or baby slings to carry infants and toddlers. Advocates love the closeness and comfort it gives as well as the ability to carry on with other activities while engaged with your child. Many of the carriers used already fall under the ASTM International's standard on soft carriers -- giving some assurance that the product meets minimum safety standards. ASTM is currently developing a similar standard for slings -- in fact, a draft went out to ballot this week! But both these are voluntary standards -- meaning not all products in either class have been tested to these standards. We urge the CPSC to continue their work on writing mandatory standards for these and all other durable infant and toddler products as required by the CPSIA.

Earlier this year CPSC recalled three of these carriers: a soft carrier whose buckles can break; 40 ring slings made by a very small firm in Texas after one death and one million bag type sling carriers after three deaths. In addition, CPSC issued a warning about baby slings in March, identifying at least 14 deaths in this class of product. They gave concrete suggestions for avoiding injury while still using a sling.

So what should parents do with this information?

First, it should be noted that the age of most of the babies who died in slings could be measured in days or weeks rather than months. With low-birth weight babies, premature babies, those with breathing problems or newborns, consider waiting to use a sling until the baby is older -- over four months is CPSC's recommendation.

At any age, closely monitoring the baby is important -- something that a tummy to tummy upright hold, with the baby's face visible and close enough to kiss, promotes.

Some slings are simply long lengths of material -- and many are a puzzle for the uninitiated. Review and follow instructions carefully -- check for a DVD of the instructions that comes with the product or a video online. Ask at your retailer if they provide instruction or look online -- we've found many sites that give clear general safety warnings for slings as well as precise instructions for individual products.

While deaths in slings have garnered the most attention, the most common injury pattern is a fall -- either of the baby out of the product or the caregiver and the baby. You will not be able to do everything you do normally while carrying a baby in a sling. Again, check your product's instructions for carrying advice and what to avoid.

As the proponents of babywearing often point out, it is a centuries old tradition in many cultures and one that if practiced safely, can improve the quality of your bond with your baby. Then again, be sure to spend plenty of time interacting with your baby outside of any product -- holding them in your arms!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

CPSC issues alert on baby monitor cords

After the death of a 10-month-old baby this past March, the Consumer Product Safety Commission is warning about the risk of strangulation by baby monitor cords. This can occur if the monitor is placed too close to areas where children sleep. The children can reach out to the cord and became entangled in it.

CPSC has reports of at least six deaths since 2004 and three additional near-strangulations.

To avoid injuries and death CPSC recommends:
  • The use of wireless baby monitors to avoid strangulation or
  • If using a baby monitor with cords, make sure all cords are out of reach of the child.

The baby monitor cords are just one possible cord hazard in the nursery or home -- watch all other corded products and avoid window coverings with cords in homes with young children.

KID submits comments to CPSC on historic crib standards

Since Kids In Danger was founded in 1998 after the death of Danny Keysar in a poorly designed, untested portable crib, KID has focused on one main point: Children's products should be independently tested to rigorous mandatory standards before they are sold, not half-heartedly recalled after they have caused injury.

And with the passage of CPSIA in 2008, containing the Danny Keysar Child Product Safety Notification Act; that vision became reality. Now, CPSC has drafted two tough mandatory standards for full-size and non-full-size cribs. Today was the last day to submit comments, which KID has done. Read our comments here. (PDF)

You can go to and pull up docket number CPSC-2010-0075 to read the proposed standards as well as the many comments submitted. (You even have a few hours left to submit your own!)

KID applauds the actions CPSC has taken to take dangerous cribs and portable cribs off store shelves and homes. We believe these new standards will give parents confidence that cribs that meet the standard are the safest place for their babies to sleep. Among the changes from the old voluntary standards:
  • more rigorous tests for stability, hardware, slat strength and durability
  • elimination of the dangerous drop-side design
  • requirements that will reduce the likelihood of mis-assembly
  • Requirement that any cribs that don't meet these new standards can't be sold to unsuspecting parents or used in child care or hotels after the effective date.
  • and most importantly -- these aren't voluntary!
The usual effective date for new standards or rules has been six months after final publication -- which in this case would be around the middle of 2011. Because of the impact on child care facilities, KID is recommending that they have an additional six months to comply -- still leaving the effective date for manufacturers and the sale of the products at six months.

We'd love to hear your thoughts on the new crib standards. KID has always believed that parents assume when they buy a new crib or other children's product that someone, somewhere has made sure it is safe. Now we can say that will be the truth! There is still more to be done -- these standards don't apply to mesh sided portable cribs and play yards and there are other products still waiting for mandatory standards such as high chairs and strollers, but progress is being made.

Update: Here are the comments from our allies at Consumer Federation of America and you can read all the comments here.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

High Chairs -- the product now needing CPSC scrutiny?

It is being announced today that Fisher Price is recalling over 10 million products for various hazards. Among those are 950,000 high chairs. The high chairs have pegs on the back legs that stick out -- causing 14 incidents including stitches and tooth damage. This brings to over 3 million the number of high chairs recalled in the past two years. Other hazards were screws falling out causing the product to fall apart -- sometimes with the child in it and other parts breaking.

According to CPSC's data, high chairs cause over 10,000 emergency room visits each year. This, combined with the rash of recent recalls, suggests that CPSC needs to put the same pressure on manufacturers as they did with cribs to develop tougher standards and better products.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Stop using sleep positioners

CPSC, FDA, AAP and KID all say -- don't use sleep positioners. They are an unnecessary risk and provide no safety protection. CPSC cited 12 deaths, including 2 this year, in issuing the warning.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

CPSC, FDA issue warning on sleep positioners

In January 2002, 8 week old Andy Sage died -- not from SIDS as the medical examiner thought at first, but from suffocating on a sleep positioner. Andy turned his head down toward the cushion of the positioning device and suffocated. Since that day his parents, Judy and Mark Sage, have worked tirelessly to alert others to this danger. You can read Andy's story in our Family Voices website.

Judy joined the board of Kids In Danger, joined ASTM International to talk to manufacturers and regulators directly, met with CPSC and repeated her heartbreaking story over and over to anyone who would listen.

And now, CPSC and FDA have confirmed what Judy and KID have said all along -- these products are unnecessary and dangerous. In a rare joint press release, the agencies cited 12 deaths in 13 years and the unproven medical claims that the devices prevent SIDS.

“I’m confident that Andy would be with us today smiling if I did not use the sleep positioner,” stated Judy Sage. “My son and daughter would have their brother. While I’m happy that my voice is being heard to save other babies—it is heartbreaking that it took multiple deaths to effect change. I hope today’s action will keep another family from the grief our family has suffered.”

These products are sold to parents who are worried about SIDS -- believing this product will keep their baby safe. But they are unnecessary and not supported by any SIDS organizations or medical professionals. FDA has now said they will require proof of these medical claims or demand manufacturers stop the sales of the products.

“While the safety warning falls short of a ban of the product that KID would like to see,” states Nancy Cowles, KID executive director. “We hope that it is enough to convince manufacturers to stop making this useless and dangerous product.”

KID urges retailers to stop selling the product; parents currently using the product to stop using it; and expectant parents to cross it off their registry -- these products are unnecessary and dangerous.

Sleep positioners are sold to parents who are worried about SIDS -- believing this product will keep their baby safe. But the product is unnecessary and not supported by any SIDS organizations or medical professionals for the prevention of SIDS.

There are many recommendations to lower the chance of SIDS or suffocation. First and foremost place the baby to sleep on a firm mattress with a tightly fitted sheet in a safe (read not recalled, fully functioning, no missing parts) crib -- with nothing in the crib but a baby, placed on his or her back. You can get more safe sleep tips from Kids in Danger at or from Sudden Infant Death Services (SIDS) of Illinois at

Update: Here is a very helpful handout from FDA on the warning.

Friday, September 24, 2010

CPSC approves new office for outreach, small business ombudsman

In a 4-1 vote (with Commissioner Northup voting no on fiscal grounds) CPSC approved a new office -- The Office of Education, Global Outreach, and Small Business Ombudsman.

The new office will oversee outreach to foreign regulators and contain an ombudsman office for small business, something many stakeholders have been calling for since the passage of the CPSIA.
The agency hopes that this additional focus will help manufacturers to better build safety into their products as well as answer questions and concerns of the regulated community. The office will also helping coordinate compliance with CPSIA and other regulations by foreign entities.

CPSC foresees that most of the outreach with consumers will stay in the Office of Public Affairs.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Check your Similac: may contain 'beetles'

Abbott announced yesterday that it is recalling five million cans of Similac powdered formula because "it doesn't meet our quality standards" -- meaning -- it may have bugs in it!

Abbott says the bugs won't actually hurt your baby, but might cause enough gastric distress that the baby will be hesitant to eat. Sounds like hurting to me!

You can check online or call Abbott at 800.986.8850 to check your lot number and see if it is recalled. (We had trouble getting through on the phone and online this morning.) If so, Abbott will arrange to have you send the formula back for a full refund. Even with the difficulty getting through (Abbott -- increase your capacity to respond to the recall!), KID recommends not using any Similac powdered formula that might be part of the recall until you are sure.

La Leche League anyone?

Update: If you are having trouble checking your lot number with Abbott, use this FDA site for more information.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Bath Seats for sale

KID strongly recommends against the use of bath seats and since 1983, CPSC staff has reports of at least 174 fatal incidents related to their use. Because of that, CPSC recently finalized a mandatory standard for the product. Due to go into effect on 12/6/10, the strict new standard will eliminate most the designs that have been sold in the past. This store is apparently clearing out their old inventory. Please don't buy one!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sorelle branded cribs recalled today -- but should have been part of an April recall of Simplicity cribs.

Albee Baby announced the recall of 130 Sorelle "Prescott" cribs today. The cribs have faulty mattress supports that have led to at least one death. But that's where this story gets a little murky -- that death was in a Simplicity crib and those cribs were recalled in April. But a savvy consumer checked under the Sorelle lablel on her crib and found -- a Simplicity label! These were simply Simplicity cribs rebranded with a brand more likely to appeal to consumers.

By the time these were sold between July and December 2009, the Simplicity brand was already suspect with parents after millions of recalled cribs and a defunct company. So why would Albee Baby sell them under another name? You'd have to ask them!

KID has been concerned for years about licensing -- selling one company's product under another brand name. Danny Keysar died in a Playskool Travel-Lite Crib -- made not by Hasbro, Playskool's parent company, but by Kolcraft, a smaller and at the time, lesser known, brand. The licensing of the Graco and Fisher Price names on other Simplicity products caused confusion as well as delay in alerting consumers to product flaws.

But a formal licensing agreement is a far cry from slapping a new label on a disgraced company's products. We urge CPSC and the FTC to have a closer look -- are there other similar products out there?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Grandparents Day is Sunday

September 12th is Grandparents Day, giving us all an opportunity to honor these vital family members. Many grandparents are important caregivers in their grandchildren's lives -- either for a few hours, for regular child care or even as guardians. And even more are the purchasers of many products for the new baby and nursery.

One great way to pay tribute to the grandparents in your life would be to make a donation in support of KID's programs. In 2009, KID launched The Debby Sayah Grandparent Outreach Project, named to honor the memory of KID board member Judy Sage’s mother, to help grandparents protect their grandchildren from unsafe children’s products.

Your donation will help sustain this vital program:

  • $10 will pay for all materials needed to conduct KID’s workshop, Don’t Learn about Recalls from your Grandchild, with grandparents at a community center
  • $20 will pay for monthly email alerts with safety information and semi-annual newsletters to 5 grandparents
  • $50 will send KID’s educational brochure, Are your grandkids SAFE?, to 500 grandparents

If you make a gift to KID, we will send a Grandparents Day email greeting for you. It’s just two steps: Visit the Support Kids In Danger cause page on Facebook and use the donation button to make your gift, then send Sarah a message on Facebook or send an email to Sarah@, with your personal message to your loved ones and the email address of the recipient(s). We’ll take care of the rest! If you want to support this vital program but do not wish to send an email message, just let us know. We will also mail a tribute notification to the recipient of your gift.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Illinois AG calls out JPMA on safe crib issue

JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association) is coming to Chicago tomorrow to kick-off their Baby Safety Month activities, focusing on safe sleep. Just one problem says Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan -- most of the millions of recalled drop-side cribs, involved in dozens of deaths, were certified as 'safe' by JPMA. Even now JPMA asserts that as long as your drop-side crib hasn't been recalled and is put together correctly, it is perfectly safe to use. This despite the banning of this design by the voluntary standards organization, ASTM International AND a probable mandatory standard that will also ban the design. Most manufacturers have stopped making cribs with drop-sides and most retailers no longer sell them.

So what are caregivers to do?

First, for more information on drop-side cribs and safety, check out our previous blog post, What's the deal with dropside cribs? It gives common sense answers to help parents decide about which crib to use for their children.

Also, along with their press release, the Illinois Attorney General's office put out a very helpful guide to drop-side crib recalls and safe sleep tips for parents. But note that this is a list of drop-side crib recalls -- many other sleep environments including non-drop-side cribs, play yards and bassinets (also almost all certified by JPMA) have been recalled. Check any children's product you use against the recall list at CPSC.

But JPMA is right on one thing --too many children die in unsafe sleeping environments -- whether that be a recalled crib, a sofa or waterbed, adult beds or any sleeping surface with too much bedding, extra padding or possibilities for entrapment. So check our safe sleep tips (and those from our friends at Sudden Infant Death Services of Illinois) and choose the safest sleeping environment for your baby -- and use it everytime.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

NJ wins payment from company selling banned yo-yo balls

Remember the yo-yo ball -- an inexpensive toy made of questionable materials with a long rubbery cord and a ball filled with liquid? The dangers of the toy were brought to light by parents whose children were nearly killed by the product when the cord wrapped around their neck and couldn't be easily removed. Among them was Lisa Lipin of Skokie Illinois. She, along with other concerned parents, set up a website and began tireless efforts to get the product banned. States such as New Jersey, Illinois and New York banned the product and the standard setting group ASTM International included a performance requirement in the toy standard that wouldn't allow the long dangerous cords. That standard then became a mandatory standard through the 2008 Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA).

Now a court in New Jersey has fined an Indiana company $67,000 for selling the product in New Jersey, despite that state's ban. Activists like Lipin hope it sends a message to anyone still selling the product -- stop!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

KID co-founder talks about product safety on CBS Early Show

Linda Ginzel appeared this morning on the CBS news show, The Early Show. She talked about her family's experience when her son Danny was killed in a dangerous portable crib at his licensed child care home in 1998. The segment discusses "Danny's Law" which requires product registration cards with nursery products and efforts to get recalled products out of homes and off store shelves.

Monday, August 30, 2010

ABC Chicago "For Your Family" talks about product registration and recalls with KID

KID's executive director was up early this morning for a segment on ABC Chicago's early news. Judy Hsu, host of "For Your Family" talked with KID about the new product registration program for juvenile products and highlighted several recent recalls. You can see the video here.

A brochure on product registration and a list of manufacturer online registration sites put together by KID and Consumer Federation of America are available online.

Sign up to get notice of each recall at CPSC or a monthly email alert and recall list here from KID.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Toys "R" Us Launches Product Safety Program

Today Toys "R" Us, Inc. announced the launch of their national Product Safety Vigilance Program. This program will encourage consumers to take important steps to become advocates for children's safety. Included in the program is the "Eight Steps to Keep Kids Safe," including a product recall list, (or use KID's here) that parents can use to keep track of gifts and purchases for their children. In the event of a recall, these tools help parents to quickly remove any dangerous products from their home.

The program is working in conjunction with the Toys R Us "Great Trade-In" event which provides saving incentives towards the purchase of new products upon turning in potentially unsafe children's products. If your crib is drop-side design or doesn't meet safe crib guidelines, consider using this opportunity to purchase a new fixed side crib.

In general, less than 30% of affected items are returned when a baby product is recalled, meaning millions of unsafe products could still be in the marketplace.

"It’s crucial that parents have the most current information available about the products in use in their homes, so they can react quickly and appropriately in the event of a recall,” said Nancy A. Cowles, Executive Director, Kids In Danger. “By providing parents with the tools and resources needed to track important product information and heightening awareness of product recalls, the Toys“R”Us Product Safety Vigilance Program, coupled with the ‘Great Trade-In’ event, are valuable assets to parents and caregivers in their efforts to keep children safe.”

Another resource mentioned by Toys"R"US is the new requirement that manufacturers include a product registration card with new nursery products such as cribs, strollers and high chairs. You can learn more about that with KID's and Consumer Federation of America's new brochure on product registration.

While the best way to keep children safe from recalled products is to stop the flow of unsafe products into the marketplace, these steps to make recalls more effective are vital. You can sign up for KID's monthly email alert listing recalls here or get immediate recall notices from CPSC here.

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