Friday, July 30, 2010

Illinois adopts measure against Cadmium in children's jewelry

Following several recent recalls of children's jewelry for high levels of the dangerous heavy metal cadmium, Illinois joined other states in banning the manufacture, sale or distribution of children's jewelry with cadmium levels over 75 parts per million (ppm).

The new law takes affect immediately.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Baby Matters Recalls Nap Nanny Recliners Due to Entrapment, Suffocation and Fall Hazards; One Infant Death Reported

The CPSC announced a recall of the Baby Matters Nap Nanny Recliners. 30,000 units were recalled after 22 reports of injury and one infant death. CPSC is investigating a report of a 4-month-old girl from Royal Oak, Mich. who died in a Nap Nanny® that was being used in a crib. According to preliminary reports, the infant was in her harness and found hanging over the side of the product, caught between the Nap Nanny® and the crib bumper. Infants can partially fall or hang over the side of the Nap Nanny® even while the harness is in use. This situation can be worse if the Velcro™ straps, located inside the Nap Nanny® cover are not properly attached to the "D"-rings located on the foam, or if consumers are using the first generation model Nap Nanny® that was sold without "D"-rings.

The Nap Nanny® is a portable recliner designed for sleeping, resting and playing. The recliner includes a foam base with an inclined indentation for the infant to sit in and a fitted fabric cover and a three point harness. The first generation model of the Nap Nanny® can be identified by the absence of "D"-rings in the foam base. In second generation models, the harness system has "D"-rings in the foam base and Velcro™ straps inside the fitted fabric cover.

Consumers with a first generation Nap Nanny® models, without "D"-rings, should stop using the recalled baby recliners immediately and contact the firm to receive an $80 coupon towards the purchase of a new Nap Nanny® with free shipping. Consumers with a second generation Nap Nanny® model, with "D"-rings, should immediately stop using the product until they are able to visit the firm's website to obtain new product instructions and warnings. Consumers will also view an important instructional video to help consumers ensure the harness is properly fastened. Consumers who are unable to view the video or new instructions online, should contact the firm to receive free copies by mail. For more information, contact Baby Matters toll-free at (888) 240-4282 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm's website at

We are concerned that Baby Matters is not providing a full refund or replacement for the first generation model that has a safety defect (the coupon is only about 60% of the cost) and are only providing a new warning and instructional video for owners of the more current model, sold for about a year. It is very important not to use this or other similar products such as bouncers in a crib, bassinet or play yard. The safest place for a baby to sleep is in a crib that meets current safety standards -- with nothing else in the crib.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

New tools for recall effectiveness: CPSC Chair visits Chicago

Today marks the first official visit of US CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum to Chicago. In addition to addressing the annual convention of the State Fire Marshals, Chairman Tenenbaum joined Kids In Danger, Consumer Federation of America and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan at a press event to unveil new tools for parents to learn about recalls and to honor the memory of Danny Keysar. Here's the release from the event.

New Tools to Find and Inform Consumers about Recalled Products:
US CPSC Chairman, Illinois Attorney General, Consumers and Parents urge compliance and participation in product registration program

(CHICAGO) Today, in Chicago where much of the furor over children’s product safety started; consumer advocates, parents, federal and state officials gathered to express their commitment to children’s product safety and reveal new tools in the arsenal against recalled and defective products.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety (CPSC) Chairman Inez Tenenbaum joined with Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Linda Ginzel and Boaz Keysar, the founders of Kids In Danger and parents of Danny Keysar who was killed in a recalled portable crib in 1998, and Rachel Weintraub of Consumer Federation of America, to announce new product registration tools for children’s products and discuss other efforts being made to keep children safe.

“I’m here today to thank Kids in Danger and CFA for advocating for product registration cards for nursery products,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “Our research shows that when consumers are directly notified about recalls they are more likely to respond. Product registration cards are now mandatory, and I believe they will help keep children safe.”

Linda Ginzel spoke of her son Danny’s death. Danny was killed in May 1998 at his licensed childcare home, when the crib he had been napping in collapsed around his neck. No one at the facility knew the crib was recalled, not even the state inspector who visited just days before.

“If there had been a product registration card with this portable crib and if the manufacturer had used it to contact the owner, my son would be alive today,” stated Ginzel. “But more important is the fact that that deadly crib would never have been on the market at all, if it had been independently tested to strong mandatory standards. This is what is now required by law and this is Danny’s real legacy -- that products must be tested for safety before they are sold. We believe that this will help save other families from suffering a tragedy as senseless as we have endured since the death of our son.”

A key portion of the 2008 Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act was named after Danny Keysar. It requires:

· New stronger mandatory standards for durable infant and toddler products – such as the new crib standard voted on by CPSC this month.

· A system of product registration – both cards and online options – to help parents register their products and manufacturers to contact them in the event of the recall.

· A requirement that cribs that don’t meet current standards can’t be sold or otherwise put in the stream of commerce – eliminating old unsafe cribs on eBay, in hotels or childcare facilities.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan – whose work helped to focus the nation’s attention on product safety issues – discussed her efforts to protect Illinois families, especially the aggressive efforts to ensure information about dangerous children’s products get directly to parents and other caregivers.

“Today we celebrate the Danny Keysar Child Product Safety Notification Act, which makes it easier for busy parents to learn of recalls and requires tough new standards that will stop dangerous products from reaching store shelves in the first place,” said Attorney General Madigan. "I am pleased to partner with Chairman Tenenbaum, CPSC, Kids in Danger and Consumer Federation of America as we continue our work to protect children and families."

Rachel Weintraub, Director of Product Safety and Senior Counsel for Consumer Federation of America, spoke of the importance of companies complying with the requirements that registration cards be provided free of any marketing materials and that the information can only be used for safety. Weintraub also urged parents to fill out and submit the cards – either by sending them through the mail or filling out the forms online.

“Today we are marking a huge leap forward in product safety: children’s products are required to be tested before they are sold and product registration cards are now required for many infant and durable products,” stated Weintraub. “Product registration will only be effective if consumers fill out the new product registration cards. Consumer information will be kept private and will allow companies to contact consumers if there is a product recall. Filling out these cards can save a child’s life.”

Weintraub also unveiled new materials Kids In Danger and Consumer Federation of America are offering – a brochure explaining the product registration program and its importance as well as a list with links to most manufacturers’ registration sites. The materials can be accessed online through and

“There have been remarkable changes in the way we regulate children’s products since the passage of the new law in 2008 and we are grateful for the leadership of Chairman Tenenbaum,” concluded Ginzel. “Together, the efforts of the CPSC, the Illinois Attorney General’s office and amazing consumer advocates like Consumer Federation and Kids In Danger will keep children safer – honoring the memory of my son Danny and all victims of dangerous children’s products.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Child product safety news

CPSC votes unanimously on new tough crib standards.

CPSC issues recall and discusses dangers of crib and play yard tents.

CNN reports on one mother's fight for safe cribs.

Pottery Barn recalls all their dropside cribs.

Have questions about drop-side cribs? Check out KID's blog post.

Or this podcast with KID on CNN Radio.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

NY approves bill to ban drop-side cribs

Update: Governor Paterson signed the bill today, July 30.

The state of New York is coming closer to effectively removing drop-side cribs from stores and homes of its concerned residents. A bill banning the sale, import, manufacture, and distribution of drop-side cribs was approved by the state legislators at the end of last month. It now remains to be signed by Gov. David Paterson to go into effect.

The proposed bill reflects an understanding that the current crib industry standards are grossly inadequate, leading to at least 32 deaths in drop-side cribs. Drop-side cribs feature one movable side that can easily break or malfunction, injuring an unsuspecting child by detaching in a way that traps him/her between the mattress and the drop-side and leads to suffocation.

The numerous deadly hazards posed by drop-side cribs have prompted the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to recall over nine million cribs over the past three years. At least eight other states have already effectively banned this unsafe design through the Children's Product Safety Act or the Infant Crib Safety Act that bans the commercial use of cribs that don't meet current standards. The standards included a ban on drop-side designs the end of 2009.

"Banning the sale, distribution and manufacturing of drop-side cribs in this state will save our children’s lives and protect our very fundamental rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in the State I am proud to call home,” says Michelle Witte, whose son Tyler was killed in a drop-side crib. If you are a NY resident, please support the bill by contacting the governor at (518) 474-8390 or filling out the online form available here.

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