Here’s a glimpse at some activities the week of June 12-16 at KID that will also give you an update on news in the children’s product safety world.
ASTM Toy Standard Meeting, Toronto, Canada: On Tuesday KID ED Nancy Cowles was in Toronto talking toy safety. In addition to the meeting of the F15.22 committee of ASTM International that addresses Toy Safety, the parties also spent time talking about harmonizing the standards used in the US and Canada. The primary driver of harmonization talks is to make it simpler for companies to sell products in different markets – eliminating testing two different ways or meeting a requirement that is slightly different in each place. But it is important in any standards work to make sure each effort results in a stronger standard in both communities, not a weakening of standard that will leave children vulnerable to injury. The committee began to talk about one of the differences between the Canadian standard and the ASTM standard – how small parts are tested. Both use the same gauge, but Canada applies a small force on the item to see if it enters the gauge. KID’s research that was published recently on incidents and recalls of choking that might indicate a need for a larger test fixture was discussed. At this point, the groups are still just talking and beginning to look at what items might be addressed.
US Consumer Product Safety Commission, Bethesda Maryland: While KID wasn’t at the commission meeting to discuss the FY 2017 Midyear Review and Proposed Operating Plan Adjustments, we were thrilled that efforts to release recall effectiveness data publically, now often kept secret, will begin. This is a measure KID has been promoting since 2001, believing a little sunshine on the abysmal recall records of some companies will encourage them to make a stronger effort – thereby decreasing the likelihood another child will be injured.
Safe from the Start Workshop, Illinois:KID Program Associate Carson Gaffney travelled to Homewood, IL on Tuesday evening to present KID’s signature safety workshop, Creating a Safe Environment for Children. Carson met with a group of childcare providers at the Good Shephard Center to discuss the children’s product safety system, common hazards affecting children 0-5, and steps childcare providers can take to protect the children in their care from unsafe products. If you’re interested in having KID come out for a training or safety event, email us.
New report in New York State on recalls and e-commerce, Albany, New York: On Wednesday, Nancy moved on to Albany, New York to join New York State Senator David Carlucci as he released a new report that showed that even after a recall, products can turn up in online marketplaces for sale. While selling a recalled product in the US is illegal, the internet is too vast for effective oversight. Senator Carlucci has introduced legislation to require online market places such as Amazon and eBay to provide a mechanism for sellers to search for recall information on the product they intend to sell. This simple step will reduce the number of dangerous products offered online. While there, KID also met with Senator John Brooks who has introduced Tyler’s Law in the state senate. This bill, named for Michele Witte’s son Tyler, who died in a dangerous drop-side crib, would require that medical examiners and coroners to report to the CPSC any child deaths associated with a children’s product. This will allow CPSC to more quickly begin investigation into a potential hazardous product – rather than the 2-3 year wait that sometimes occurs before they learn of a death. Tyler’s mother, Michele, has been a tireless advocate for crib and product safety – one of the forces behind the 2010 mandatory crib standard.
To stay up-to-date on our progress on these issues and others, sign up for KID’s email alerts join the KID Action Team (by selecting “Action Team” on the sign up form). You can also and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for real-time updates on recalls and other issues.