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.
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 www.KidsInDanger.org and www.consumerfed.org.
“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.