“Stories of lead in toys, dangerous magnets and cribs that fall apart have been in the news this year,” states Nancy Cowles, executive director of Kids In Danger. Parents might be overwhelmed with how to shop safely for their children and keep them safe over the holidays. KID has some common sense tips.
First, when shopping for gifts for children, KID recommends that parents:
- follow age recommendations and safety warnings,
- check for flimsy or easily broken toys, and
- keep up to date on recalls through the US Consumer Product Safety Commission website and email lists at www.cpsc.gov. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is predicting recalls up through the holiday, so parents need to check products they may have already bought for holiday giving.
Sites with safe shopping advice and information include:
Always use an appropriate infant or booster car seat when traveling – in your car, grandma’s car or a rental or taxi.Check www.nhtsa.gov to make sure the seat hasn’t been recalled. If they give you a recalled seat at the rental agency, request a new one.In most states all children up to age 8 should be in a booster or car seat.
Make sure your baby has a safe place to sleep.Bring along a safe bassinet or portable crib.The old crib from the attic will not be safe for your child. Check all cribs for recalls and loose or missing hardware or slats.Don’t use a crib if a soda can passes through the slats or if it has corner posts or cut-outs that might catch a child’s clothing.Remove all soft bedding, don’t use adult sheets on a crib mattress, and don’t put babies in a bed with older children.
Check borrowed high chairs, strollers and other children’s products for recalls. High chairs and strollers should have three point harnesses to keep your baby from falling out.
With all the hectic unwrapping and strewing about of toys, keep an eye out to make sure younger children don’t get hold of inappropriate toys that might have small parts or magnets that can be dangerous.Talk to older children about keeping their toys out of reach of their younger relatives.
Finally, with lead tainted toy trains and collapsing cribs, it is time to make children’s product safety a priority in this country.In Congress, policy makers are considering increasing the budget, staff and powers of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Parents and grandparents should take a minute to send an email to their elected officials at the state and national levels, asking them to put children first and pass real reform of the children’s product safety system. Find more information at https://kidsindanger.org/advocacy/index.asp.