Thursday, July 22, 2010

Should Parents Still Have Faith in What They Buy For Their Kids?

If you have been paying attention, there has been a lot of recent activity at the Consumer Product Safety Comission (CPSC), with new rules on baby cribs, walkers, bath seats, etc. Do parents still have faith in what they buy for their kids, after so many recalls? Does some of the new moves by federal officials help to restore your trust in the things you buy for your kids?

At the heart of these new regulations, are the need to address major hazards with drop-side cribs and crib mattresses.  Safety Regulators Have New Urgency Over Baby Products by Liz Szabo, USA Today, was published today to heighten awareness among more parents.  Szabo is a great journalist and has a knack for exploring important parenting issues with depth and interesting angles.  I imagine many of us are parents with young children that sleep in drop-size cribs, so there is a sense of genuine urgency and concern here.

"It would be nice to know that these products are evaluated ahead of time, before something goes wrong," Lin says.

Congress passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act in 2008 partly to break the cycle of recalls. The law requires the safety commission to set new safety standards for cribs and other nursery staples.
"Thirty-two families have lost children (in the past nine years) because of these drop-sides," Tenenbaum (of the CPSC) says. "Waiting until there is an injury or accident is not the most effective way to ensure safety."

The article does mention that certain retailers (i.e. Babies R' Us) have already stopped selling drop-size cribs even though the new regulations are not scheduled to take effect until next Summer.  Also, worth checking out, are Szabo's notes about using safer products like cordless blinds, and avoiding sweatshirts with drawstrings,.

Also, worth noting about the article, is an interesting observation made by Matt S.  John Lin, featured in the story, is an example of an active father. Matt said, "I'm really happy that we (dads) are being included in this kind of piece that doesn't differentiate between fatherhood and motherhood."  Surely, USA Today could have featured a mom in the piece and we wouldn't have thought twice about it.  Special mention for John Lin's contribution here... and that he is one of our NYC Dads Group members!

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