News in 2002-2005

In addition to providing information pertaining to our organization, KID provides brief updates on current children's product safety information and events. For more frequent news, visit KID's blog.

Contents of this Issue

KID urges safety in hurricane relief donations

September 2005 E Alert As Americans and the world continue their generous contributions to aid Hurricane survivors, Kids In Danger has prepared this short list of guidelines for donated children’s products.

To avoid compounding the current disaster with further injury, please pass these guidelines onto shelter workers, donors, volunteers, etc about safe sleeping and products for babies. After past disasters such as hurricanes, fires or floods, children have died in dangerous cribs, often donated to the families with the best intentions.

The safest sleeping place for babies is a fully assembled crib or portable crib with a firm fitting mattress with a fitted sheet. No soft bedding should be placed in the baby’s sleep environment. Babies should be placed on their backs and kept at a comfortable temperature, not overdressed.
Read more.

New transportation bill includes child safety provisions

August 2005 E Alert On August 10, President Bush signed the omnibus transportation bill (H.R. 3). It includes vital new safety measures. Many consumer organizations, led by Kids and Cars, worked on the important safety improvements. They include:

  • NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) will collect nontraffic, noncrash data. This is important to bring safety issues such as backovers, heat deaths in parked cars and power window injuries to light.
  • By April 1, 2007, all vehicles will have power window switches that are pulled up or out. Toggle switches on many cars have been involved in deaths due to the windows closing on young children.
  • NHTSA will study methods for reducing backovers, analysis of prevention technology and provide an estimate of cost savings that would result from widespread use of backover prevention devices.

For more information, visit Kids and Cars.

CPSC alert raises new concerns about bath seat use

July 2005 E Alert On July 6, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Dorel Juvenile Group issued an alert informing consumers that the Safety 1st Tubside Bath Seat can break under certain conditions.

Baby bath seats are consumer products intended to assist in bathing infants by holding the infant in a sitting position in full size bathtubs. The older model of baby bath seats relied upon suction cups to secure the seat to the bathtub, while the Tubside Bath Seat has a clamp arm that attaches over the side of the tub. The seat can break if used on a nonstandard tub – such as a claw foot, spa or drop-in model. In addition, the CPSC notes 67 incidents of breakage not related to the tub style.

Consumer advocates have called for a recall of all existing bath seats. Over 123 deaths in bath seats have been reported since they became popular in the early nineties. Read More.

Government releases “ease of use” ratings for car seats

June 2005 E Alert The 2005 ratings show improvements from last year especially in the clarity of labels and instructions. Ninety-two car seats from fourteen different manufacturers were reviewed in all their use modes. Out of the 92 seats rated, 74 received an “A” overall, the remainder were given B’s or mixed A’s and B’s. Even though surveys show that upwards of 80% of car seats are installed incorrectly, there were no child restraints that received an overall “C” rating.

To ensure a proper fit, try installing the child seat before purchasing and after purchase have the installation checked at a child safety seat inspection station. To find one, visit www.seatcheck.org or call 1-866-SEATCHECK. The ratings can be found here.

President Bush nominated Nancy Nord to fill vacant CPSC Commissioner post

February 2005 E Alert President Bush will nominate Nancy Ann Nord, of the District of Columbia, to be a Commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, for the remainder of a seven-year term expiring October 26, 2012. The vacancy occured when Commissioner Mary Sheila Gall resigned in October. Without a new commissioner, the Commission will not have a quorum as of the end of March, preventing them from levying fines, or adopting new regulations.

Ms. Nord recently served as Director of Federal Government Relations for the Eastman Kodak Company. Earlier in her career, she served as General Counsel to the Council on Environmental Quality at the White House. She was also the Republican Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives, Commerce Committee, specializing in products liability and consumer protection legislation. Ms. Nord received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska and her J.D. from The George Washington University.

Kids In Danger will be following this nomination and provide periodic updates.

CPSC reports on 2003 injuries from nursery products

January 2005 E Alert The latest data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) provides grounds for concern for the safety of America’s children. CPSC has released its Nursery Product-Related Injuries and Death Report for 2003. While overall injuries involving nursery products dropped in 2003, some product injuries have increased. Over 1,500 more injuries were caused by high chairs this year as compared to each of the last three years. Injuries due to playpens have also seen a resurgence this year, increasing by over 500 injuries as compared to last year.

According to the report, the average number of deaths in 2001 (the most recent year available for deaths) involving nursery products stands at 50 per year. At first glance, deaths due to cribs seems to have dropped. However, this year the CPSC divided the category into two separate categories, “Cribs” and “Bassinets and Cradles”. The death rate for those two categories combined shows a small increase in annual deaths. Also a continuing cause for concern is baby bath seats, whose fatality rate was only superceded by cribs. Their annual fatality rate rose from 6 per year to 8 per year. KID, along with many consumer advocates, believes that bath seats cannot be made safe and should be banned.

Children’s Product Safety Act to be introduced in more states

December 2004 E Alert Since it first passed in Illinois in 1999, The Children’s Product Safety Act has generated interest in other states as well. It has also been enacted in Michigan, Arkansas, Louisiana, Vermont, Rhode Island and Missouri. It has been introduced in other states over the years as well. Now, Kids In Danger is aware of sponsors for the act in 2005 in Maryland, Texas, Wisconsin and possibly up to six more states. You can view the map of states which have already passed the act, or find out how you can help pass the legislation in your state by visiting Kids In Danger’s State Advocacy page.

Court upholds fines for withholding safety information

November 2004 E Alert The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Diego, Calif affirmed a $300,000 civil penalty against Mirama Enterprises Inc. Mirama, doing business as Aroma Housewares Co., failed to report problems with its electric juicers that shattered and injured consumers. Under the Consumer Product Safety Act, companies are required to report potential product hazards. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Chairman, Hal Stratton, said of the ruling, “The Court agreed with CPSC that companies must tell us about potentially dangerous products even before they are found to be defective and that companies are liable for reporting every product they sell that poses a danger to consumers.” While the penalty provision is imperative for consumer safety, many consumer advocates believe that the current cap of $1.65 million limits the effectiveness of the penalty. For many large corporations, the fine can be written off as a small cost of doing business and not an incentive to self-report. KID and other advocates would like to see the penalty cap removed so that the size of the corporation can be taken into account with the penalty.

Congressional Hearing on Children’s Product Safety

October 2004 E Alert Linda Ginzel, KID co-founder and president, was the first to testify following US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) chairman Hal Stratton at a Congressional hearing on October 6. The House Sub-committee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection held an oversight hearing entitled, “Children’s Product Safety: Do Current Standards Provide Enough Protection?”

At the end of Linda’s testimony, it was clear the answer was an emphatic ‘no.’ While Chairman Stratton left prior to the consumer and organizational testimony, Chairman Cliff Stearns and Ranking Member Jan Schakowsky were visibly shaken by the flaws in the current children’s product safety system that had contributed to her son’s death. Linda suggested three things CPSC could do to prevent more deaths: use marketing and advertising to reach purchasers of products, rather than relying solely on the news media, require product registration cards in all children’s products, and notify licensed childcare facilities of all recalls. Any one of these actions would have been enough to prevent Danny’s death. Linda, as well as others, also spoke of the major hurdle to safe products: lack of premarket safety testing.

In addition to Linda Ginzel, testimony was heard from Lisa Lipin whose son Andrew suffered injuries from a yoyo water ball, E. Marla Felcher, author of It’s No Accident: How Corporations Sell Dangerous Baby Products, Nancy Cowles, executive director of Kids In Danger and Rachel Weintraub, Assistant General Counsel of Consumer Federation of America. Gary Klein spoke on behalf of the Toy Industry of America. Read the testimony of each by clicking on their highlighted names. The full transcript should be available soon at the Subcommittee’s website.

Children’s Product Safety is an International Concern

June 2004 E Alert A recent Sydney Morning Herald five day series on children’s product safety highlights the fact that dangerous children’s products are an international concern. The articles address such issues as manufacturer’s awareness of faulty products and their lack of action. One example the first article in the series cites is that of a Fisher-Price bath seat. The company stopped selling its Stay ‘n’ Play bath seat in 1997, but did not recall those it had already sold. In an email obtained by the Herald, Fisher-Price stated that “we elected to exit the business rather than work to ensure that the product could be manufactured in a way that could be considered safe.” Not only does this series of articles highlight the issues in children’s product safety, but suggests solutions such as new safety standards.

Click here to subscribe to our Email Alerts.

Resale Round-Up 2004

May 2004 The past 30 days have marked a dramatic increase in recalls, once again CPSC along with product safety organizations will assist resale, consignment, and thrift stores in identifying and pulling previously recalled or banned products from their shelves. Read More.

This is an important task since 70 percent of resale stores sold at least one hazardous product. Children’s products, including children’s jackets and sweatshirts with drawstrings which present a strangulation hazard, and cribs that do not meet federal safety standards, comprise two of the three top dangerous products found. Consumers can do their part by checking their products before bringing them to a resale store or hosting a yard sale.

In Chicago: CPSC and SafeKids Coalition are holding workshops in Chicago for resale shop owners. The first was held on May 10 in Hyde Park and another is scheduled for May 20th on the near Northwest Side. Contact Ashley Gold at Chicagoland SafeKids Coalition for information.

Children’s product recalls rise in April

April 2004 The past 30 days have marked a dramatic increase in recalls, once again highlighting the need for more stringent safety testing. The Tek Nek Toy Corporation recalled over 70,000 ride-on toys after an 18-month-old boy died from aspirating the screw that attaches the steering wheel to the toy. Since the ride-on toys were sold under five model names, check to make sure your child’s ride-on toy was not recalled. It should not take a death to make sure that your child’s products are safe, especially since this is not an isolated incident. In 2003 a 15-month-old had to be rushed to the emergency room where x-rays showed that a screw from his Fisher Price Farm had lodged in his trachea, and had to be removed by emergency surgery. It is always important for parents and caregivers to keep up to date on recalled products, and report any incidents that may occur. Additionally, check your child’s toys for missing or loose pieces to prevent injuries.

Shield booster seats increase chance of injury to children

2004 March Never use a shield-style booster seat, which have a horizontal, padded, pop-down restraint bar that is supposed to replace the protection of a safety belt. A new study in Pediatrics shows that children are at nearly eight times the risk of serious injury when riding in these seats. Crash tests showed that dummies weighing less than 40 pounds were likely to be ejected, and that babies had greater trauma to their upper body, abdomen, and head. Based on these studies the American Academy of Pediatrics has discouraged the use of shield booster seats. Advocates against the continued sale of this shield booster seat formed PACE, Parents Against Cosco Explorers after 30 children were injured and killed in it due to the poor safety design. Read more.

KID releases report—Safety Shortcuts: Children’s Product Recalls of 2003

February 2004 On February 23, 2004 KID released Safety Shortcuts: Children’s Product Recalls of 2003, examining the children’s product recalls of the past year. In 2003, companies that promote cognitive learning used lead paint, children’s clothing burned faster than newspaper, nightlights exploded, and crib mobiles leaked battery acid on infants. These were just a few examples of the 66 children’s products that were recalled in 2003. Additionally, the report found that children’s product recalls dropped dramatically last year. Since 1999, recalls of children’s products have averaged 50% of total recalls; this year children’s products recalls represented only 30% of the 214 recalls.

We were discouraged to see shortcuts being taken when it comes to our children’s safety,” stated Nancy Cowles, executive director of KID. “The CPSC’s recent cost benefit analysis of recalls seems to be extremely unbeneficial to children, leaving products that are dangerous on the market with warnings instead of recalls, or in some cases no warnings at all.” See our list of five “What Were They Thinking?” products or download the report.

Parents complain of dangers of Graco travel swing

January 2004 Although the Graco Travel Lite portable swing is advertised as “a cozy and fun place for your little one to catch some zzz’s or enjoy the soothing swing motion,” Chicago’s NBC Target 5 reported that 86% of the Travel Lite reviews on Amazon.com were negative. The dangers of the swing were brought to Target 5’s attention by a father whose son fell forward in the swing, almost suffocating. Please report any incidents to CPSC and Graco.

“Once your child can start to sit up and lean forward they will tip forward and fall out and hit the ground!”

“The handle bar is dangerous — I had to stop my 2-1/2 year old daughter from accidentally slamming him in the face with it — it does not have a catch to prevent the child from being injured.”

A safer portable crib design

December 2003 A new safer portable crib could be available sooner then you think. As part of KID’s Teach Early Safety Testing (TEST), KID worked with four engineering seniors at the University of Michigan to develop a safer portable crib. The top rails of the students’ crib eliminate the downward V-shape design that can collapse creating a strangulation hazard that has killed at least sixteen children. As part of the project, the students reviewed Federal and voluntary safety standards, previous incidents and current crib designs. The students are currently applying for a provisional patent, which will protect their design as they refine it.

Special thanks to Underwriters Laboratories Inc. for helping to fund Teach Early Safety Testing (TEST).

Unanchored soccer goal kills 6-year-old

October 3 2003 In early October, a six-year-old boy from Vernon Hills, Illinois was killed when a soccer goal collapsed on top of him fracturing his skull. Read ABC coverage This is just one of many deaths and serious injuries caused by soccer goals that are not anchored in the ground. Daniel’s Task Force for Safer Soccer Goals reports that there have been 27 deaths and 49 serious injuries due to soccer goals from 1973 to 2003. The typical tip-over incident happens when a child or young adult climbs on or hangs from the crossbar of a soccer goal which is not anchored, although in some incidents the unanchored goal was blown onto the victim by a gust of wind. Read the Consumer Product Safety Commissions suggestions to keep soccer goals safe.

KID releases A False Sense of Security Report

2003 October 10 On October 10, 2003, KID released A False Sense of Security: Recall Histories of Leading Children’s Manufacturers (1993-2003). This report focuses on the recall histories of major children’s product brand names over the past ten years. Parents often assume that popular brand names are safe. However, as the report shows, major brands can have poor safety records. Companies like Cosco, Graco, Evenflo, and Playskool have high injury and recall rates. In the past ten years, Graco products have caused 11 deaths and Kolcraft products are responsible for 7 deaths. Without mandatory safety testing, any children’s products, regardless of brand name, can prove dangerous. Ben Edmunds of the Coalition for Consumer Rights joined Nancy Cowles and Kate Grady to announce the findings of the report at the press release. The release was covered by Telemundo, Fox UPN, CLTV, WBEZ, Illinois New Network, and the Chicago Sun Times.

Warning label issued instead of recall for portable Graco crib

September 2003 As KID reported in our January 2003 Email Alert, 13-month-old Elizabeth Davis was killed in a portable crib with a changing table attachment on December 19 of last year. The baby suffocated between the crib and the changing table. This month CPSC and the crib’s manufacturer, Graco, stopped short of a recall of the product and announced new safety instructions and warning labels for the product. Parents and caregivers using this type of product should carefully review the instruction manual and warnings and remove all attachments prior to use as a playpen or crib. Elizabeth’s story appears in KID’s fall newsletter Action out next month.

Infant and Toddler Durable Product Safety Act Introduced in House

July 25 2003 On Friday July 25, 2003, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of Illinois introduced the Infant and Toddler Durable Product Safety Act (HR 2911) in the House of Representatives. Her statement of introduction can be found here. If passed, the Act would help to prevent dangerous children’s products from getting to the market by setting mandatory standards and requiring independent testing of all durable infant and toddler products before they are sold. The bill has been referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce. You can find the bill summary, text and co-sponsors on the Library of Congress Thomas website.

Right now there are 13 co-sponsors; our goal is to see 60 co-sponsors by the time the bill is heard in committee. Current co-sponsors include:

  • Congressman Baird (WA)
  • Congresswoman Carson (IN)
  • Congresswoman Davis (CA)
  • Congressman Davis (IL)
  • Congresswoman DeLauro (CT)
  • Congressman Emanuel (IL)
  • Congressman Lynch (MA)
  • Congressman Moran (VA)
  • Congresswoman Norton (DC)
  • Congressman Owens (NY)
  • Congressman Payne (NJ)
  • Congressman Ross (AR)
  • Congresswoman Schakowsky (IL)
  • Congressman Schiff (CA)

The passage of this bill would be a huge step forward in the fight for children’s product safety. Undoubtedly, many injuries would be prevented and lives saved. Please contact your congressional representative and find out their position on HR 2911 as well as their willingness to join the list of co-sponsors. Contact information can be found on the United States House of Representatives website or in your local phone book.

Record Settlement Reached in Portable Crib Death Case

July 18 2003 On Friday, July 18, the family of Jared Adams announced that a $2.6 million settlement has been reached in the lawsuit against Evenflo Co., the manufacturer of the portable crib that killed the baby. In 1997, Jared died at age 8 1/2 months when the hinge on the top rail of his crib collapsed and crushed his chest. To date, this is the largest settlement in an infant death case and does not include any secrecy agreement. At the time of Jared’s death, the crib had killed two other infants. As discovered through the lawsuit, Evenflo was aware of the two deaths as well as many other reports of collapsing siderails but had done nothing to remove the deadly cribs from the market.

“They knew. They definitely knew,” said Pam Adams, Jared’s mother and a Kids In Danger Family Advisory Committee member. As a result of Jared Adams death, the company recalled the Happy Camper portable crib as well as the Happy Cabana and Kiddie Camper models. 1.2 million portable cribs of these models were sold between 1989 and 1997. However, unlike other companies, Evenflo simply supplies hinge covers that must be attached and removed each time the crib is moved, rather than replacing the product or providing a refund. There have been 15 known deaths of children in portable cribs of this design when the rails collapsed and the infant was trapped in the V-shape of the rails.

Because so many of these cribs were sold in the 1990’s, it is imperative that parents check to make sure no crib of this type is in use in their home or childcare. As with all children’s products, parents should consult the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for recalls of cribs and playyards.

Warning About Use of Sleep Positioners and Wedges

July 1 2003 If you believe some of the claims on packaging of sleep positioners and wedges, you might think these products help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) by keeping the baby positioned on its back or side. But the First Candle/SIDS Alliance warns parents that it is no different than other soft bedding materials and pillows and should not be in the crib with babies. Judy and Mark Sage lost their twin 2 month old son Andrew in January 2002 when he suffocated on the Graco 2-in-1 Sleep Positioner in his crib. The Sages have alerted the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to the death and they are conducting an investigation.

Like most children’s products, there are no mandatory standards or testing for these positioning devices and no voluntary standards exist either. The best advice of pediatricians and others is to place healthy babies to sleep on their backs and avoid loose or soft bedding in the crib. According to Dr. Bradley Thach in July 2002 issue of Better Homes and Gardens, “baby stores sell wedges to help keep an infant on her side, but the American Academy of Pediatrics doesn’t endorse them. The wedges act like pillows and block oxygen.”

Recall of Lamaze Toys with Lead Paint Surprises Area Lead Abatement Advocates

June 25 2003 The April 4 recall of the Lamaze Flower Stroller Wrap and Lamaze Soft Bead Buddies shocked the Chicago lead abatement community. These toys are manufactured by Learning Curve, who has a good reputation for toys that stimulate cognitive development — one of the things stunted by lead poisoning.

Children’s advocates including Jerome Stermer of Voices for Illinois Children, Amy Zimmerman of Children’s Health and Education Project of the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and Kids In Danger signed a letter to Curt Stoelting and Peter Henseler of the Learning Curve asking for a meeting to discuss how to make this an effective recall; how to increase the public awareness of the dangers of lead and how to avoid such hazardous mistakes in the future. There has been no response to date from the company. For information, contact Amy Zimmerman. For more information on lead, visit www.chicagolead.org. Read the May 16th letter to Messrs. Stoetling and Henseler of RC2.

KID Represents Consumer Interests at CPSC Recall Effectiveness Forum

May 21 2003 KID Executive Director Nancy Cowles traveled to Bethesda, Maryland last week to attend a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) sponsored meeting on recall effectiveness.

The theme of the meeting was “Motivating Consumers to Respond to Recalls.” CPSC gathered a group of public relations and marketing professionals to address this question. They came up with many creative ideas and spoke of the need to develop targeted messages about recalls; most felt a broadcast message was ineffective in reaching the intended consumers. Given CPSC’s lack of regulatory authority, it is unclear if they will be able to require manufacturers to implement more effective recall outreach campaigns. Consumers groups were not on the panel, but were allowed to ask questions or make comments at the end of the day. KID spoke of the need to test products before they are sold and to reach out to parents through pre-established relationships such as health care and childcare. Other consumer groups attending were the Consumer Federation of America, Consumer’s Union, SAFE KIDS, and the Danny Foundation.

Public Officials Honored at Best Friend Award Night

May 19 2003 KID held its annual Best Friend Award Night, on May 5, 2003 in Chicago. Approximately 115 guests joined us at Monsoon to honor three public officials who have advocated for children’s product safety on the local, state and national levels.

The 2003 Best Friend Awards were presented by KID Co-Founders Linda Ginzel and Boaz Keysar and KID Executive Director Nancy Cowles to Caroline O. Shoenberger, Chicago Commissioner of Consumer Services, Carol Ronen, Illinois State Senator, and Jan Schakowsky, U.S. Representative. Both Congresswoman Schakowsky and Commissioner Shoenberger spoke compellingly about their dedication to children’s product safety and plans to continue to pave the way for safer children’s products. Kate Sachnoff of the Early Childhood Network of Edgewater and Rogers Park accepted the award on behalf of Senator Ronen who could not attend. The event gave KID an excellent opportunity to salute the work of our 2003 Best Friends, celebrate our accomplishments over the past five years, and remember Danny Keysar and other victims of dangerous children’s products. We are pleased that this year’s fundraiser also helped increase KID’s profile in the community by alerting many more individuals about our mission to protect children. NBC 5 in Chicago showed a report of the event on their 10:00 news that evening.

Thank you to all who supported KID’s Best Friend Award Night through ticket sales, individual donations, advertisements in our event program book and silent auction purchases. The event was a great success: revenues exceeded $20,000, a 23% increase from last year’s fundraiser. Proceeds from the Best Friend Award Night directly benefit KID’s vital work to protect children by improving children’s product safety.

2002 Children’s Product Recalls Show Need for Stronger Safety System

February 19 2003 KID released a new report today detailing the danger to children from recalled juvenile products. A Minefield of Danger: Children’s Product Recalls in 2002 reviews all children’s products recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) last year. Over 11 million individual items may cause serious injury or death to children.

A Minefield of Danger finds that of 210 products recalled by the CPSC in 2002, 90 were items intended for use by or care of children (43%). Moreover, children’s products caused half of all injuries from products recalled by the CPSC in 2002.

To respond to the report’s findings, KID is announcing new education and awareness campaigns. Don’t Learn About Recalls from Your Child is KID’s new workshop package that organizations, licensing agencies and parent groups can use to educate themselves about the children’s product safety system. Click here to download an order form for the workshop package or related flyer.

Test It Now! is a grassroots awareness campaign for children’s product safety that is working to move manufacturers and the government closer to mandatory standards and safety testing for durable children’s products.

Visit our publications page for a copy of the report and a related fact sheet. Click here to read the report press release.

Warning: Arizona Baby Dies in Portable Crib with Changing Table Attachment

January 22 2003 On December 19, 2002 a 13-month-old Arizona girl was killed in a portable crib with a changing table attachment. It was a newly purchased item and the family was not aware of any warning not to use the portable crib with the changing table in place. The baby suffocated between the crib and the changing table. Parents and caregivers using this type of product should carefully review the instruction manual and warnings or remove all attachments prior to use as a playpen or crib.

KID Issues Travel Advisory for Unsafe Children’s Products

December 12 2002 Don’t let Grandpa drag that old crib down from the attic during your visit this holiday season, warned Kids In Danger in a Holiday Travel Advisory released on December 11, 2002. “Parents have to be vigilant not only about the safety of the products their child uses at home and in childcare, but while traveling or visiting friends and family as well,” stated Nancy Cowles, executive director of KID. “Older model cribs, damaged car seats, or recalled products of any type pose a risk to children on the road as well as at home. Parents and other caregivers should be cautious to avoid injury over the holiday travel season. Contrary to what most parents believe, most children’s products are not required to be tested for safety prior to sale, so a brand name or trusted product is no guarantee of safety.” See the complete release for more tips on keeping children safe from dangerous products while traveling. For a sample list of recalled juvenile products that may be used during holiday visits or travels, please click here.

KID Embarks On Test It Now!

November 25 2002 Earlier this fall, KID launched Test It Now! A Grassroots Awareness Campaign for Children’s Product Safety. Test It Now’s goal is to create a groundswell of support for safer children’s products, leading to needed changes.

The objectives are:

  • To bring the minefield of dangerous children’s products to the public’s attention;
  • To encourage policymakers to take note of the lopsided children’s product system and correct it;
  • And to challenge the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to get more actively involved in stopping dangerous products from reaching the marketplace.

KID executive director Nancy Cowles will be in Seattle on December 2 and 3 to speak with the Washington State SAFE KIDS Coalition about KID, product safety, and pre-market testing of children’s products. Our thanks to Katharine Fitzgerald at Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center and the Washington State Department of Health for their help in coordinating this visit.

Please contact Nancy if you would like her to meet with you or your organization when she is in town. To sign on as a supporter of Test It Now!, please fill out and return by fax or mail our Sign On Sheet. We will be planning similar outreach efforts in Washington D.C. and Boston soon.

Recalled children’s products pose risk of fire and burns to children

August 14 2002 KID released a new report today highlighting the fire, burn and electric shock dangers to children from recalled juvenile products. “Forty-two children’s product recalls, covering over 16 million individual items were issued over the past decade because of the risk of fire and burn injuries,” stated Nancy Cowles, KID executive director. “Given recall effectiveness, this means that over 10 million products may still be in use that can potentially start a fire or severely burn children.”

A Burning Threat: Fire and Burn Hazards of Children’s Product Recalls 1992 to 2002 showed that almost half of children’s products recalled for fire, burn or electric shock hazards were toys. Thirty-six percent of recalled products violated the federal Flammable Fabrics Act. Visit our publications page for a copy of the report and a related fact sheet.

Click here to read the fire report press release.

Missouri and Rhode Island Pass Children’s Product Safety Act Legislation

July 9 2002 Missouri’s SB 923, containing a prohibition on using recalled or dangerous children’s products in licensed childcare facilities was signed by Governor Holden, on July 2, 2002. Compliance will be required starting July 2003. Send an email to thank Senator Dougherty through this web page or Governor Bob Holden.

Rhode Island’s Children’s Product Safety Act became effective on June 28, 2002 and compliance is required by January 2004. Senator Catherine Graziano was the sponsor of the legislation. Please send an email to thank Senator Catherine Graziano for sponsoring this legislation.

Kids In Danger Joins CPSC’s Call for Retrieving Dangerous Recalled Children’s Products

April 17 2002 The CPSC is urging Americans to join its “recall round-up” of 12 hazardous products, including the Playskool Travel-Lite portable crib that killed Danny Keysar, the son of KID founders Linda Ginzel and Boaz Keysar, still found in millions of homes. Most of these have been involved in children’s deaths. The goal of this recall round-up is to convince consumers to throw away, repair or replace these product hazards. Despite recall notices and public warnings, many products with the potential to seriously injure or kill are still being used by consumers.

“Kids In Danger urges parents and caregivers to heed the warning in CPSC’s Recall Round-up and search their homes and facilities for recalled, deadly children’s products, ” said Nancy Cowles, Executive Director of Kids In Danger (KID) in a statement released today.

For full descriptions of the hazardous products, please visit the CPSC press release. For the KID Press Release click here.

President Bush sends nomination for CPSC Chairman to the U.S. Senate

March 13 2002 Earlier this month, President Bush sent his nomination for CPSC Chairman to the Senate for consideration. Bush has nominated Harold D. Stratton for the position, after his first choice for the office, current Commissioner Mary Sheila Gall, was defeated when consumers raised concerns about her willingness to take strong and swift action to protect consumers.

Stratton is a lawyer and former Attorney General of New Mexico. While he has no record on product safety, consumers have raised concerns over his past anti-regulatory stances. Someone who has expressed distaste for government regulation seems an odd choice to head the regulatory agency for consumer products.

Hearing dates have not been scheduled. While there is too little information on Mr. Stratton’s position on product safety to oppose the nomination at this point, KID will be urging the Senate Energy and Commerce Committee to ask questions that will bring those positions to light before the nomination is confirmed.

Half Of All Product Recalls In 2001 Were Products Intended For Children

February 11 2002 KID released a new report today highlighting the dangers to children from recalled products. “Even though children’s products account for a small fraction of the more than 15,000 products regulated by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission,” stated Nancy Cowles, KID executive director, “they make up more than half of the products recalled last year.” Clear and Present Dangers: Children’s Product Recalls in 2001 showed that 118 of the 225 recalls issued by the CPSC in 2001 were for items intended for use by children or for the care of children. In 2001, as in previous years, CPSC recalled an average of two children’s products a week. Read More.

Why are so many children killed or injured by unsafe products?

February 1 2002 Chicago Parent Magazine feature article about children’s product safety and Kids In Danger. Read More.

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