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This month's recall digest (English & Spanish)
KID Design Safety Toolkit

For Immediate Release: August 9, 2018

Contact: Nancy A. Cowles
312.595.0649
Nancy@kidsindanger.org

Bill sponsors and organizations mark tenth anniversary of landmark consumer protection bill

KID releases report on the impact of SaferProducts.gov

Chicago, IL— Ten years ago, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), the most significant product safety reform since the creation of the Consumer Product Safety Commission in 1972, was signed into law.

Today, US Congressman Bobby Rush, US Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, and others joined KID to mark this landmark legislation at the Baby Toddler Nursery of the Infant Welfare Society in Evanston. On August 14, 2008, the CPSIA was signed into law after a deliberative process and overwhelming bipartisan support in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. The law includes strong product safety reforms that revitalized the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

In the ten years since CPSIA was passed, there have been significant safety breakthroughs mandated by the law:

  • SaferProducts.gov, a consumer-driven database of product incidents is live and provides data both to CPSC and to consumers.
  • All children’s products are now tested for safety.
  • Children’s products containing lead are incredibly rare, compared to the dozens of recalls in the years prior to the CPSIA.
  • Strong mandatory standards for cribs, bassinets, play yards and other infant and toddler products are now in effect, giving parents assurance of safety; and
  • A mandatory safety standard for children’s toys. 

“I was proud to provide leadership on this important bill that is the first line of defense in keeping hazardous products out of the hands of children and unsuspecting families,” said U.S. Congressman Bobby L. Rush. “This is a momentous milestone for the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. In the ten years since this legislation has become law, it has likely saved the lives of millions of children. I am honored to celebrate the anniversary of this landmark law, which has ensured the protection of children across this great nation.”

An important portion of the Act addressed infant and toddler products and is referred to as “Danny’s Law.”

“Years before I came to Congress, consumer protection was already one of my top priorities,” said Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky. “I am so proud to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the landmark Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act today, and I am particularly proud of the durable infant and toddler products rules that have saved countless lives since the CPSIA was enacted. Those provisions stem from a bill I first introduced in 2001 named after Danny Keysar, whose parents founded Kids In Danger after his needless and tragic death. As we mark ten years of progress, I look forward to continuing my work with Kids In Danger to solve the many consumer protection challenges we have left to overcome.”

These provisions require tough new standards for durable infant and toddler products. Strong new standards for cribs, play yards, toddler beds, and other products are already in place. When the new crib standard – the world’s strongest – went into effect in 2010, it also required older unsafe cribs to be removed from use in child care facilities and other public accommodations and stopped sales of all older model cribs that didn’t meet the standard.

“We know that child care providers want, above all else, a safe and developmentally-appropriate environment for the children in their care,” said Maria Whelan, Illinois Action for Children’s President & CEO. “As we look back over the last ten years, we can see how the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act ushered in a new era of safety for children–and did so in a way that respected all providers who would be affected by these changes.

“Illinois Action for Children and child care providers across the state continue to benefit from the hard work of Kids In Danger, Rep. Schakowsky, Rep. Bobby Rush, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, and others a decade ago,” Whelan said. “We look forward to working with Kids In Danger and our elected officials on these critically- important issues for years to come.”

“Over the past 10 years, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) has made great strides to keep children safe where they live, learn and play,” added Dr. Kyran Quinlan, of Rush University and Immediate Past Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention. “As a pediatrician, I’ve witnessed the benefits of this law in my own clinic where I counsel parents about injury prevention and the protections that assure their children’s safety. Before the law, there were no standards for lead within children’s products; the CPSIA created needed lead standards, giving parents peace of mind and helping to protect children against harmful lead exposure – just one of the law’s many significant achievements for children’s health. Pediatricians look forward to continuing the law’s legacy to protect future generations.”

“The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act has protected countless children from injury from unsafe and dangerous products,” Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said. “I applaud Nancy Cowles and Kids In Danger for their dedication to educating parents and caregivers in Illinois and across the country about dangerous products and toys.”

Ten years ago, the CPSIA also made the voluntary toy standard mandatory – assuring an end to the millions of toys recalled for lead, ingestion, or choking hazards. With the new standard and required independent testing, parents can have more confidence that the toys they buy are safe.

“Making the toy safety standard mandatory means parents don’t have to play detective looking for sharp edges, dangerous projections, or small unseen parts. Parents can now have more confidence that the toys their children play with actually meet these critical safety standards,” stated Abe Scarr, State Director with Illinois PIRG. “The CPSC and manufacturers have taken action on well over one hundred toy hazards identified in over thirty years of PIRG ‘Trouble In Toyland’ reports, but for too long many of those actions were slow or voluntary. The CPSIA’s new tools ensure mandatory toy testing will protect children.”

“Together, we are celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the passage of CPSIA, as well as the work of consumer safety organizations and advocates like Danny Keysar’s parents,” stated Amy Hill of Safe Kids Chicago and Illinois. “Today, our kids are safer because the products in their environment, everything from a toy to a crib, are safer. After 10 years, CPSIA, you’re looking pretty good.”

Another safety breakthrough of the landmark legislation was the creation of a public database of consumer reports. This allows consumers to report incidents with products and review reports others have filed. According to information from CPSC, 800,000 people visit the site each year. SaferProducts.gov went live in March 2011 and today KID released a report: Seven Year Check-up: SaferProducts.gov, analyzing the children’s product data. By reviewing incident reports that involved children and children’s products, KID found that the largest group of product reports involving children were for nursery products (39%), followed by toys (20%). Other categories include bikes and other outdoor sports equipment, furniture or other home items, and clothing & accessories, among others.

Other findings include:

  • Sixty-nine percent of the child injuries reported were for children under six, while 81% of the deaths reported were children under the age of three.
  • Some manufacturers appear repeatedly in the list of incident reports. Most frequently named companies include Fisher Price (mostly for the Rock’n’Play), Pampers (diapers), and Graco (range of nursery products).

 

SaferProducts.gov allows companies and manufacturers to respond to reports. For children’s products, less than half (44%) of companies take advantage of this opportunity.The database continues to grow in usefulness as there are more reports to review for emerging hazards, ineffective recalls, or other public health information. However, the report also shows that between 2012 and 2017, reports per year have dropped by 62%.

Based on the available information and analysis, KID recommends the following:

  • Greater emphasis should be placed on marketing the database to consumers for filing reports and researching incidents.
  • All reports associated with recalls should link to the recall. This serves both the original poster and others who view it.
  • As many as 50% of reports are not included in the database for undisclosed reasons. The CPSC should review these to determine ways to get more included in the database.
  • The CPSC should report annually to evaluate trends in harm posed by products and other reports on specific hazards more regularly.
  • Consumers should frequent the site whenever they are looking to make a purchase, checking a hand-me-down, or have an adverse experience with a product.

“SaferProducts.gov is one of the safety breakthroughs that came about due to the passage of

the landmark Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act in 2008,” concluded Nancy Cowles,
KID’s Executive Director. “The efforts of these advocates and the hard work of Congressman
Rush and Congresswoman Schakowsky to get an overwhelmingly bipartisan bill passed has
paid off in lives saved, dangerous products removed from sale, and an assurance that
children’s products today are safer than they have ever been.”
After the signing of the CPSIA in 2008, Rachel Weintraub of Consumer Federation of
America,  one of the strongest advocates for strong standards said, “This bill represents the most
significant improvements to product safety since Congress created the CPSC in the 1970’s.”
Congresswoman Schakowsky said, “Every child in America will be safer now that this bill has
become law.” Their words have been proven true a decade later.

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