I have been traveling all around Illinois this past month and talked with hundreds of people about child product safety. Here are some highlights from my travels:
Last month, in Springfield, Illinois, I met with over 30 grandparent caregiver advisers – these are people who work daily with grandparents who for a variety of reasons are parenting their grandchildren. So much has changed since they raised their children, the advisers look to KID for important safety information they can share with the grandparent caregivers. In the two hours I spent with them we reviewed Danny’s story and the origins of KID, provided an overview of the product safety system, addressed safety hazards of specific children’s products, and provided tools and resources for grandparents to use to keep their grandkids safe. Each participant received a safety packet full of educational resources that they can share with their grandparent caregivers. As a result of the presentation, one adviser said that she would schedule a safety workshop in her community so they too could get this valuable, lifesaving information and she did!
A few weeks later I stayed closer to home and continued our series of workshops for the new mom group at Asian Human Services (AHS) in Chicago, Illinois. The participants are mothers from all over the world that have recently relocated to Chicago and are always looking to learn more about the new world around them. In the past year alone we have provided three safety workshops to the mom’s group. In the fall, we presented Creating Safe Environments for Children workshop to the mothers group and focused on creating a safe sleep environment for baby. In the winter, we returned to AHS to conduct a computer class that served the dual purpose of allowing the moms to explore KID’s website, sign up for monthly email alerts, and learn more about unsafe products while improving their computer skills. Just recently, we were back in the computer lab at AHS but focused on exploring CPSC.gov. Participants viewed the safety resources available at the site, checked the most recent recall list, and practiced researching products for recalls through the recall search function at the site. We will be back at the agency in the fall to present an updated workshop to a new group of moms and will focus on recent product hazards. The immigrant families served by AHS are enthusiastic about learning how to keep their children safe.
This week I traveled to Waukegan, Illinois to visit with professional child care providers at Charlotte’s Learning Center. Every year, Charlotte contacts us to come out and discuss new product hazards that caregivers should be aware of. During this visit, Charlotte asked about the safety of a sleep accessory she just bought for her facility, the Nap Nanny. I explained to her that a bare crib is a safe crib and that any sleep accessories increase safety hazards for the baby. Together we looked at the recent recall of the Nap Nanny and Charlotte vowed to remove the dangerous product from her facility right then and there. Another focus of mine at this workshop was encouraging caregivers to share what they now know about product safety with the parents of their facilities. To help them do this, each participant was given materials that they can post, share, and distribute to their parents. They were also given my contact information so they can get in touch with me if they require additional materials.
As you can see, it’s been a busy month but I am always looking for more groups to get work with. If you know anyone that could really benefit from KID’s safety workshop, please email us. I will be out of the office from June 21- July 19 pursing an opportunity to further my education but absolutely will still be available by email so don’t hesitate to reach out.