News in 2006-2009

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 releases survey report on Illinois parents’ views on product safety

December 2009 Today, Kids In Danger (KID) released a new report highlighting the results of a survey of Illinois families. In September, KID surveyed Illinois parents to get their views on product safety. The survey results will be used to inform KID’s outreach and advocacy programs on product safety. The survey results show that more needs to be done to reach parents with recall news and implement effective recalls. Read more.

KID releases new report on sleep environment recalls

December 2009 Today, Kids In Danger (KID) released a new report detailing the 9 million sleep environment products — cribs, portable cribs and bassinets — that have been recalled in the past two years. The report found that dropside cribs accounted for more than half of the reported injuries and 10 of the 16 deaths reported by CPSC in recall notices. Entrapment hazards were associated with 75% of the recalls and Simplicity products were responsible for almost 70% of the failure reports and half the deaths. KID recommends parents check their crib for loose hardware and against the recall list at CPSC. Read more.

New CPSC Chairman confirmed by Senate

June 2009 On Tuesday, June 16, 2009, the Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing on President Obama’s choice to head the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Inez Tenenbaum. Ms. Tenenbaum, previously the State Superintendent of Schools in South Carolina and Democratic Candidate for US Senate was supported in her nomination by both Senators from her home state. She gave an opening statement and answered questions from Senators on everything from crib safety to Chinese drywall to CPSIA implementation. Then, in faster than usual speed, she was confirmed unanimously by the full Senate on Friday, June 19. Her swearing-in and start date are imminent. KID looks forward to working with this new leadership for CPSC on our common goal of safer children’s products.

CPSC holds roundtable on crib safety

April 2009 Nancy Cowles, executive director of Kids In Danger joined other consumer advocates, safety experts, manufacturers and government regulators on April 22 at CPSC’s Staff Roundtable on Cribs and Other Infant Sleep Environments. CPSC staff gave in-depth reports on the incidents, injuries and deaths they see involving sleep environments and what current standards are in place. KID, First Candle, the Juvenile Products Manufacturer’s Association and the Illinois Attorney General’s office all spoke on the issue. In the afternoon, the audience and CPSC engaged in an open discussion about how to improve crib safety, possible issues to include in a new mandatory standard and consumer use of sleep environment products. Read more on CPSC’s website, including links to all the presentations and a webcast of the meeting.

KID releases new report on 2008 recalls

April 2009 Today, along with US Representative Jan Schakowsky and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, KID released a new study, Toxic Toys and Faulty Cribs. The report is an examination of children’s product recalls in 2008, recall effectiveness at CPSC and the implications for child safety. It found that recalls remained high in 2008, including a record number of crib recalls. A look at CPSC recall effectiveness measures shows that most recalled products remain in the hands of consumers. Read more.

Key portions of CPSIA go into effect

February 2009 Yesterday, February 10th, key portions of the CPSIA went into effect. Children’s products containing lead or certain phthalates are now banned. CPSC stayed the enforcement of testing and certification requirements until February 10, 2010 and also issued guidance for small businesses, resellers, crafters and charities.

KID responds to concerns about CPSIA

January 2009 Kids In Danger posted information about the implementation of CPSIA on our blog for those concerned about some of the implementation issues. KID believes that CPSC has the authority within the framework of the law to address many of the concerns raised by handmade children’s product makers and second hand sellers. KID and other consumer groups are working with both NARTS which represents second hand sellers and others to keep children safe from dangerous products while implementing the law in a way that doesn’t negatively impact small businesses. This same organizations issued a letter to Nancy Nord, CPSC Chairman, expressing our views and urging CPSC to take swift action to clarify their implementation.

KID responds to concerns about CPSIA

January 2009 Kids In Danger posted information about the implementation of CPSIA on our blog for those concerned about some of the implementation issues. KID believes that CPSC has the authority within the framework of the law to address many of the concerns raised by handmade children’s product makers and second hand sellers. KID and other consumer groups are working with both NARTS which represents second hand sellers and others to keep children safe from dangerous products while implementing the law in a way that doesn’t negatively impact small businesses. This same organizations issued a letter to Nancy Nord, CPSC Chairman, expressing our views and urging CPSC to take swift action to clarify their implementation.

IL AG launches plan to better protect IL consumers

October 2008 Kids In Danger joined Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan in her launch of a three-pronged approach to hold manufacturers and distributors accountable for defective, often dangerous, products. Madigan announced a lawsuit against SFCA, Inc., the distributor of the Simplicity bassinets responsible for two infant deaths, called upon CPSC to implement a refund-only recall policy and released Rest Assured, a comprehensive guide to help parents identify recalled play yards, bassinets and cribs.

California enacts children’s safety legislation

September 2008 On September 29, 2008, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the Product Recall Safety & Protection Act (AB 1860) into law. The Act requires recall notice posting requirements in stores, establishes specific procedures for retailers to follow in the event of a recall and requires manufacturers to take recalled products back at no cost to retailers and consumers.

KID releases new report on summer safety for young children

August 14, 2008 KID released Summer Safety: Product injury patterns in children under six today. Read more.

President Bush signs landmark CPSC Reform

August 14, 2008 President Bush signed into the law the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, starting the clock ticking on key provisions of the bill. Consumer groups, including KID, thanked both the President and the many Congressional leaders who worked to pass such a strong bill.

KID applauds Congress for passing landmark CPSC Reform

August 2008 release Kids In Danger applauds Congress for passing the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. This legislation is the strongest new consumer safety legislation since the founding of the CPSC. KID now urges the Senate and the President to act swiftly to get these life-saving measures in place. Read more.

House passes Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008

July 2008 release Kids In Danger joins with other leading consumer groups in praising the House of Representatives for passing the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. With this 424 to 1 vote, we are one step closer to establishing a child safety system that will keep our children safe from tainted toys and collapsing cribs. KID now urges the Senate and the President to act swiftly to get these life-saving measures in place.

Nation’s leading consumer organizations release report documenting need for CPSC reform

July 2008 release Kids In Danger has joined with other leading consumer groups to release Total Recall: The Need for CPSC Reform Now. This reports documents the alarming increase in recalls this year over last year, the Year of the Recall. The report shows children’s product recalls up 29% in the first six months of 2008 compared to the same period in 2007 and toy recalls up 71% in the same time period.

Jardine recalls 320,000 cribs for entrapment hazards

June 2008 release Jardine has recalled 320,000 cribs because of entrapment hazards posed by broken slats and spindles. The cribs were sold from January 2002 through May 2008. Models include Berkley, Hilton, Positano, Spindle, and Windsor Jardine cribs. Customers can contact Jardine for a voucher for a new crib from Toys”R”Us or Babies”R”Us, the retailers where the recalled cribs were sold. For more information, visit Jardine or call (800) 646-4106. The Illinois Attorney General has prepared a flyer for posting wherever parents might see it. Read more.

KID calls for federal ban on toxic toys

June 2008 release Kids In Danger joined with Illinois PIRG, the Breast Cancer Fund and others to call on Congress to ban toxic phthalates in children’s products. Standing before a 25 foot rubber duck and with buckets of toxic rubber duckies, KID program director Sarah Chusid spoke of the need to include the phthalate ban in the pending CPSC Reform Act. Of 15 members of the conference committee working on the legislation, two — Congressman Bobby Rush and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky — are from Illinois. The group commended the two on their leadership on product safety and urged them to include the phthalate ban along with other important consumer protections in the final bill. Read Sarah’s statement here. Read more here.

KID Co-founder and ED travel to DC for product safety

May 2008 release Kids In Danger co-founder and President, Linda Ginzel and executive director Nancy Cowles, traveled to Washington DC on May 15th to meet with policymakers about their priorities for the CPSC Reform Act now pending in Congress. In the morning, Linda spoke at a Stroller Rally about her son Danny and the important opportunity we now face to create lasting change in the children’s product safety system. Read her statement here. KID is working with grassroots consumer groups across the country on this vital issue. Here is coverage of the Stroll for Safety press event.

KID releases 2007: The Year of the Recall

February 2008 release Together with US Representative Jan Schakowsky KID released their annual report on children’s product recalls today. The report found that children’s product recalls by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) jumped in 2007. There were 231 recalls accounting for more than 46 million items, including twelve recalls that involved one million or more units. “These products together caused at least 657 injuries and 6 deaths,” stated Nancy Cowles, executive director of Kids In Danger. ” And those incidents include only those already reported at the time of the recall. More needs to be done to protect children from these hazards.” Read more.

KID gives safe holiday tips for parents

December 2007 Many parents are wondering how to buy safe toys and gifts for their children this year. KID gives tips on safe shopping as well as traveling safely with infants and young children. You can see KID executive director, Nancy Cowles, talking about the safety tips on WLS TV (ABC 7) here.

CPSC and Simplicity announce repair kit for faulty crib

October 2007 Today, CPSC and Simplicity announced a repair kit for the one million cribs recalled in September after at least three deaths. The repair kit will eliminate the dropside function of the crib, making both side rails fixed in place. Because this might be a hardship for some parents and because of the many failures reported to us in this crib that involve the wood as well as the hardware, KID is still calling on Simplicity and the CPSC to offer a refund for the crib for anyone not satisfied with the repair kit.

Still no remedy offered for Simplicity and Graco recalled cribs

October 2007 On September 21, Simplicity and CPSC recalled 1 million cribs that led to at least 3 deaths. KID is calling on Simplicity and the CPSC to offer a refund for the crib. “After almost a month, parents are still left with a dangerous crib and no remedy in sight. CPSC should stop delaying safety and demand a refund so consumers can purchase a new crib,” states Nancy Cowles, executive director.

Children’s Product Safety Act signed in New Jersey

August 2007 Governor Corzine signed S265, the Children’s Product Safety Act, on August 6, 2007. The new act will be effective in February 2008.

KID releases new report on fire and burn hazards of recalled children’s products

August 2007 Kids In Danger released a new report today that showed that fire and burn injuries from children’s product recalls have grown dramatically since KID’s last report on the topic five years ago. Click here to read more. Find the report here.

Chicago hearing to be held on CPSC and toys with magnets

June 2007 US Senator Dick Durbin and US Repesentative Bobby Rush will hold a Congressional Field Hearing in Chicago on Monday, June 18, 2007 to look at the issue of toys with magnets and general US Consumer Product Safety Commission oversight issues. Click here for a flyer with more information. Click here to read KID’s testimony on how to improve children’s product safety.

Industry lobbyist withdraws name from CPSC nomination

May 2007 Michael Baroody has withdrawn his name as the Bush nominee to head the US Consumer Product Safety Commission following weeks of intense scrutiny by Senate Democrats over his career as a top industry lobbyist. Read more.

Chicago Tribune highlights flaws of children’s product safety system in new article series

May 2007 On Sunday, May 6 and Monday May 7, 2007 the Chicago Tribune’s Patricia Callahan’s in-depth series on CPSC and magnet hazards ran in the Tribune. Read more.

KID releases Unexpected Danger: Children’s Product Recalls in 2006

March 2007 release Together with US Representative Jan Schakowsky and joined by KID co-founder Linda Ginzel, KID released their annual report on children’s product recalls today. One hundred and eleven children’s products were recalled last year, accounting for 177 injuries and six deaths. Reacting to the report, Congresswoman Schakowsky announced the introduction of the Infant and Toddler Durable Product Safety Act and the Danny Keysar Child Product Safety Notification Act. Read more.

NJ Assembly passes Children’s Product Safety Act

March 2007 release Kids In Danger praises the New Jersey Assembly today for their action in passing The Children’s Product Safety Act. The Act prohibits the sale or lease of unsafe children’s products or their use in licensed child care facilities in New Jersey.
Sponsored by Senators Loretta Weinberg (D-37) and Paul Sarlo (D-36), the bill (S265) passed by unanimous vote early last year in the Senate. Today’s action, led by Assembly sponsors Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-37), Gary Schaer (D-36) and Gordon Johnson (D-37), now moves the bill back to the senate to approve the assembly amendments.

Industry lobbyist named to head CPSC

March 2007 email alert President Bush recently announced his intention to nominate Michael Baroody to be a chairman on the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.

This top lobbyist for business interests and vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers is a highly controversial choice for the agency charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products.

The position has been vacant for eight months, allowing the six-month interim period in which the panel can operate without a third member to lapse, and essentially stripping the CPSC of its authority to conduct even routine business.

Tell President Bush that you want a strong voice for children’s safety at CPSC.

Consumer safety panel at a standstill

February 2007 email alert Former Chairman of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Hal Stratton, stepped down in July of 2006, and after seven months, his vacant seat remains unfilled.

The law states that the safety panel cannot operate without a third member after six months, preventing it from enacting further safety rules or assigning fines. Prior to the cutoff, the committee acted quickly to pass regulations for products, including lead levels in children’s jewelry. However, without a third commissioner, the CPSC is unable to enact those rules.

Without a quorum, the CPSC has essentially been stripped of the authority to carry out its mission to protect the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products. Until President Bush adds a member to the panel, improving children’s product safety remains an elusive goal.

Polly Pocket toys recalled for magnet hazard

December 2006 E Alert Mattel, along with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission voluntarily recalled 4.4 million Polly Pocket play sets due to small magnetic parts that can fall out undetected. The tiny magnets in these toys can fall out and be ingested. When more than one is swallowed, they can attract, causing intestinal perforation, infection, and potentially fatal injuries. There have been 170 reports of magnets coming out of the Polly Pocket toys and three serious injuries.

Thanksgiving marked the one year anniversary of the death of Kenny Sweet who died in 2005 after swallowing two magnets that came loose from a Magnetix building set. Some Magnetix sets were recalled after Kenny’s death, but the toy still remains in stores. The company has added a warning label and made some manufacturing changes.

Playskool recalls Team Talkin’ Tool Benches After Deaths

October 2006 E Alert Playskool, in conjunction with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, voluntarily recalled 250,000 of its Team Talkin’ Tool Benches after the choking deaths of two toddlers. The plastic nails sold with the benches became forcefully lodged in their throats.

Shopping cart safety questioned by pediatricians

September 2006 E Alert A Committee of the American Academy of Pediatricians has released a report that urges parents to avoid putting children in shopping carts until news standards are in place to reduce the likelihood to tipovers and falls.

Unstable designs and a high center of gravity add to the number of falls and tip-overs. AAP recommends parents either avoid putting a child in the cart or use one with the child closer to the ground, such as those shaped like cars or trucks. Other alternatives for parents as they shop include:

  • have another adult accompany you to the store to watch the child,
  • put the child in a stroller or wagon,
  • shop at stores that have supervised play areas for children
  • or have the child walk alongside you.

If there is no alternative to a cart, never allow a child to stand in the cart or ride anywhere on the cart but in the seat with a safety belt. The AAP report showed that when store greeters remind parents to use the safety belt, most do. Click here for the AAP Parent Page on Shopping Carts.

The AAP points to the need for stronger safety standards for carts to prevent injuries.

Hal Stratton Resigns as CPSC Chairman

July 2006 E Alert Hal Stratton announced his resignation as of July 15, 2006, just months before his term expires in October. Vice-Chairman Nancy Nord will assume the Chair’s responsibilities on an interim basis. If she is appointed as Chairman as expected, her position must be filled by January 15, 2007 to allow CPSC to continue to take action as a Commission.

More injuries reported from popular magnetic toy

March 2006 E Alert The public health agency of Seattle and King County, Washington, along with Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center issued a warning after a second child was hospitalized there after ingesting tiny magnets from a popular toy building set, Magnetix. A child died last year when the magnets connected and obstructed his intestines. TV station KOMO in Seattle also reported on a third child who had emergency surgery last year to remove the toy’s tiny, but powerful, magnets from his intestines. CPSC is investigating the toy. In the meantime, because the small magnets can come loose from their plastic casing and lie unnoticed by adults, KID would urge the toy not be used in any households with young children who still mouth objects, even if the toy is intended for an older sibling.

Update! The CPSC has recalled 3.8 million Magnetix toy sets. In addition to the death, CPSC reports 34 incidents including four serious injuries involving surgery. Toys can be returned to Rose Art for a replacement product.

Record crib recalls in 2005: KID annual recall report

March 2006 There were 123 children’s products recalled in 2005, according to KID’s recent report, Dangers at Play: Children’s Product Recalls in 2005. A record number of cribs were recalled, including the Simplicy Aspen 3 in 1 Crib, sold under the Graco logo, that led to the death of a 19-month-old Oregon baby this January. Read more.

CPSA pending in Colorado and Wisconsin

January 2006 E Alert The Children’s Product Safety Act, law in seven states, has now been introduced in Wisconsin and Colorado as well.

Senator Julie Lassa has introduced SB 454 in Wisconsin and it has been assigned to the House Committee on Job Creation, Economic Development and Consumer Affairs. It has not yet been scheduled for a committee hearing. If you live in Wisconsin, ask Committee Chair Theodore Kanavas that this important bill be heard this year in Wisconsin. In March 2003, a Wisconsin child died in a recalled portable crib.

In Colorado, Representative Gwyn Green has introduced HB 1126 which has been assigned to the House Health and Human Services Committee and will be heard in early February. KID’s co-founder, Linda Ginzel, will be testifying on the bill.

If you live in either of these states, ask your state legislators to support this important legislation.

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