Archive for the ‘Child Safety’ Category

Demo Days

Due to low registrations and the extreme weather we’ve had in the past two days, the *free* Kindermusik classes that were scheduled for Saturday, January 17th, have been cancelled.¬† We will re-schedule them at a later date in the next few weeks.

Please visit our website for the class schedule for our new Kindermusik semester starting next week.¬† It’s not too late to register! ūüôā

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320,000 Jardine cribs sold in Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores nationwide were recalled Tuesday after four children became trapped due to broken spindles and slats in the cribs.¬† Two of the children were bruised and suffered cuts as a result of their entrapment.¬† There were a total of 42 reported incidents with broken or falling spindles from the sides as well as broken slats.¬†

White Jardine Crib

From the Associated Press by Natasha T. Metzsler: Earlier this year, Janine Nieman of East Stroudsburg, Pa. heard her son, Aiden, screaming first thing in the morning. She found him trapped with his body outside of the crib and his stuck head inside. One of the spindles had fallen out of the frame and he had slid through the gap up to his head. Nieman and her husband, Thomas, slid Aiden back into the crib. He came out of the ordeal shaken but uninjured.

Recalled Jardine Cherry-finish crib

The¬†baby cribs in question were manufactured in China¬†and Vietnam by Jardine Enterprises.¬† There were sold by Toys R Us, Inc. retailers which include KidsWorld stores, Geoffrey stores, Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us.¬†¬†Geoffrey stores and KIdsWorld stores are no longer in existence but¬†did sell the recalled cribs when they were open.¬†¬† These cribs were sold around the country from January 2002¬†through May 2008.

For specific models that have been recalled, please check out the Consumers Product Safety Commission for detailed model numbers as well as descriptions and  photos.  Locate your crib model number which is found printed on the inside of the bottom rail of the headboard or footboard.  Compare to the listing at the CPSC website.  These cribs ranged in price from $150 Р$300 with one model (Mahogany Positano Lifetime Crib) which sold for $450. 

Light Birch-finish Jardine Crib

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled cribs and contact Jardine to receive a full credit toward the purchase of a new crib.¬†¬† For additional information, contact Jardine at (800) 646-4106 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday and between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET Saturday, or visit the firm’s Web site here.

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In my newest Village class that met for the first time this morning, I had the pleasure of holding one of the youngest babies for a minute and enjoying that special “baby” fragrance – sweet and¬†gentle –¬†that every parent recognizes and remembers in conjunction with their own children.¬† Baby Bella was so cuddly and had the sweetest smile!¬† She had that¬†wonderful “baby” scent, too.¬† I couldn’t help but remember very fondly the days when my own were that age.

As I read this article tonight, I realized that, in all likelihood, I had probably put who-knows-what on my children’s heads through the years as well as on their bodies, all in the interest of making them smell “clean” and “sweet” without even realizing that I might inadvertently have been putting chemicals into their systems that could harm.

Shampoo Baby

FYI – from AP.org:


by LINDSAY TANNER, AP Medical Writer- Mon Feb 4, 3:53 PM PST

CHICAGO – Baby shampoos, lotions and powders may expose infants to chemicals that have been linked with possible reproductive problems, a small study suggests.The chemicals, called phthalates, are found in many ordinary products including cosmetics, toys, vinyl flooring and medical supplies. They are used to stabilize fragrances and make plastics flexible.

In the study, they were found in elevated levels in the urine of babies who’d been recently shampooed, powdered or lotioned with baby products.

Phthalates (pronounced thowl-ates) are under attack by some environmental advocacy groups, but experts are uncertain what dangers, if any, they might pose. The federal government doesn’t limit their use, although California and some countries have restricted their use.

Animal studies have suggested that phthalates can cause reproductive birth defects and some activists believe they may cause reproductive problems in boys and early puberty in girls.

Rigorous scientific evidence in human studies is lacking. The current study offers no direct evidence that products the infants used contained phthalates, and no evidence that the chemicals in the babies’ urine caused any harm. Still, the results worried environmental groups that support restrictions on these chemicals.

“There is an obvious need for laws that force the beauty industry to clean up its act,” said Stacy Malkan of Health Care Without Harm.

The study’s lead author, Dr. Sheela Sathyanarayana, a University of Washington pediatrician, said, “The bottom line is that these chemicals likely do exist in products that we’re commonly using on our children and they potentially could cause health effects.”

Babies don’t usually need special lotions and powders, and water alone or shampoo in very small amounts is generally enough to clean infant hair, Sathyanarayana said.

Concerned parents can seek products labeled “phthalate-free,” or check labels for common phthalates, including DEP and DEHP.

But the chemicals often don’t appear on product labels. That’s because retail products aren’t required to list individual ingredients of fragrances, which are a common phthalate source.

The Food and Drug Administration “has no compelling evidence that phthalates pose a safety risk when used in cosmetics,” spokeswoman Stephanie Kwisnek said. “Should new data emerge, we will inform the public as well as the industry.”

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the health effects in humans are uncertain.

“Although several studies in people have explored possible associations with developmental and reproductive outcomes (semen quality, genital development in boys, shortened pregnancy, and premature breast development in young girls), more research is needed,” a 2005 CDC report said.

The new study, which appears in February’s issue of the journal Pediatrics, involved 163 babies. Most were white, ages 2 to 28 months and living in California, Minnesota and Missouri.

The researchers measured levels of several phthalates in urine from diapers. They also asked the mothers about use in the previous 24 hours of baby products including lotions, powders, diaper creams and baby wipes.

All urine samples had detectable levels of at least one phthalate, and most had levels of several more. The highest levels were linked with shampoos, lotions and powders, and were most prevalent in babies younger than 8 months.

John Bailey, chief scientist at the Personal Care Products Council, questioned the methods and said the phthalates could have come from diapers, lab materials or other sources.

“Unfortunately, the researchers of this study did not test baby care products for the presence of phthalates or control for other possible routes of exposure,” Bailey said. ___

Pediatrics: http://www.pediatrics.org

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Check this information out, just released by Reuters:

Bumbo Baby Seat

WASHINGTON (Reuters) РSome 1 million foam baby seats sold by Target Corp, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and other large retailers are being recalled because of reports of young children falling out of the seats, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said on Thursday.

The safety agency said it received 28 reports of young children falling out of the seats, including three who suffered skull fractures because the seats had been placed atop tables.

The baby seats, made by Bumbo International of South Africa, sold for about $40 each from August 2003 through October 2007. Retailers that sold the product also included Sears Holdings, Kmart, Toys “R” Us, USA Babies, it said.

The round Bumbo Baby Sitter Seats are 15 inches in diameter and made of molded polyurethane foam that wraps around a child.

Consumers should contact Bumbo to obtain new warning label stickers and instructions for the recalled baby seats and should never use the infant seat on a table, countertop, chair or other elevated surface, the agency said.

On its Web site, Bumbo said it temporarily stopped selling the baby seat until safety packaging can be updated. “The Bumbo Baby Seat¬†is safe when used properly, but we have voluntarily agreed to update the packaging to ensure there is no confusion about the safe, proper use of the Bumbo Baby Seat,” the company said.

The baby seat is designed for infants who are six weeks old or able to support their own heads, up to an age of about 12 to 14 months or about 22 pounds, Bumbo said.

For additional information, please visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission here. 

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Child with Cold Medicine 

Instead of toy recalls, today we learn of infant and child cold medicines being removed from store shelves.

If you use over-the-counter drug remedies when your child has a cold, please be aware that your usual choice may no longer be available.   Drug makers pulled cold medicines targeted for babies and toddlers off the market yesterday, thus forcing parents to find alternatives for coughs and runny noses just as the seasons change and the cold season begins.  This withdrawal, due to reports of deaths linked to use of these products, includes medicines aimed at children under age 2.  However, there is also concern as to whether children under 6 should ever take these nonprescription, over-the-counter drugs.

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association announced Thursday that manufacturers were voluntarily ending sales of over-the-counter oral cough and cold products aimed at infants. The list includes infant drops sold under the leading brand names Dimetapp, Pediacare, Robitussin, Triaminic, Little Colds, and versions of Tylenol that contain cough and cold ingredients.

CVS Caremark Corp. added that it would also end sales of CVS-brand equivalents.

Linda Suydam, president of the industry trade group,¬†is quoted as saying:¬† “It’s important to point out that these medicines are safe and effective when used as directed, and most parents are using them appropriately.”¬†¬†

¬†However, the American Academy of Pediatrics disagrees and says, in general, that drugs shouldn’t be used for colds in small children.¬† Instead, try alternative treatments such as suctioning out infants’ noses with a bulb syringe or using salt-water (saline) nose drops.¬†

 Tylenol Logo

McNeil Consumer Healthcare announced that they are voluntarily withdrawing infants’ cough and cold products from store shelves immediately.¬†¬†


From the Tylenol website:

Your child’s safety is our number one priority.

Important information you need to know about infants’ and children’s cough and cold medicines.

The cough and cold season is here, and we have important information to share about infants’ and children’s cough and cold medicines. These medicines are generally recognized as safe and effective when used as directed. Most parents use these cough and cold medicines appropriately.

However, we have become aware of rare instances of misuse leading to accidental overdose, especially in children under the age of two. Therefore, we are voluntarily withdrawing the following concentrated cough and cold medicines from the market:

  • Concentrated TYLENOL¬ģ Infants’ Drops Plus Cold
  • Concentrated TYLENOL¬ģ Infants’ Drops Plus Cold & Cough
  • PediaCare¬ģ Infant Dropper Decongestant
  • PediaCare¬ģ Infant Dropper Long-Acting Cough
  • PediaCare¬ģ Infant Drops Decongestant (containing pseudoephedrine)
  • PediaCare¬ģ Infant Dropper Decongestant & Cough
  • PediaCare¬ģ Infant Drops Decongestant & Cough (containing pseudoephedrine)

If you have these products in your household, please discontinue use in children under the age of two. These actions do not apply to cough and cold medicines labeled for children aged two and above.

Additionally, these actions do not apply to Infants’ and Children’s TYLENOL¬ģ and MOTRIN¬ģ pain relievers and fever reducers. When used as directed, these products are safe and effective.

As always, it is important to medicate carefully. Always use the exact dosage device that comes with the medicine. Use the medicine only as directed. And keep all medicines out of the reach of children.

Whenever you have questions about how to treat your child’s cough and cold symptoms, call your doctor.

For specific questions about our products, call 1-877-895-3665.

Your child’s safety continues to be our number one priority.


Low doses of these cold medicines don’t usually harm the individual child.¬† The problem, apparently, is unintentional overdose.¬† Many times the same decongestants, cough suppressants and antihistamines are in multiple products, so using more than one to address different symptoms ‚ÄĒ or having multiple caregivers administer doses ‚ÄĒ can quickly add up. Also, children’s medicines are supposed to be measured with the dropper or measuring cap that comes with each product, not an inaccurate kitchen teaspoon.

And, since “the medicine isn’t doing what the family wants, instead of giving as directed every six hours they give every four hours or every two hours,” says Dr. Basil Zitelli of the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, who sees such children in the emergency room. “What they in effect are doing is poisoning their child.”

So what can you do?

Use that bulb syringe you received at the hospital when your infant was born to gently clear the nasal passages.¬† Saline nasal drops are effective and safe as they loosen thick mucus, enabling the nose to drain more easily.¬† Make sure your child gets plenty of fluids and rest.¬† Try using a cool-mist humidifier in your child’s room.¬†¬† Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil), used as recommended by your doctor, are both fine to ease pain or discomfort.¬† Make sure they don’t have extra added ingredients.¬†¬† Some chest creams such as Vicks have menthol added to ease stuffy noses.¬† They are fine to use, but check for age restrictions.¬†¬† Remember, cold remedies only treat the symptoms, not the virus itself.¬†

For additional information, please visit Tylenol.com here.

For further information on the recall of cold remedies, please visit here for the entire article by Lauran Neergaard,  Medical Writer for the AP.

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 When will this nightmare end and our children play in safety?

Vinyl Backpack with unsafe, high levels of lead

Just released by Reuters:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Curious George doll bought at Toys “R” Us was found to be tainted with 10 times the legally-allowed lead level, and vinyl lunch boxes and backpacks also had high amounts of lead, the nonprofit group Center for Environmental Health said on Wednesday.

The Curious George doll found with high amounts of lead was made by Marvel Entertainment Group Inc, the Oakland, California-based group said in a statement. A Marvel spokesman said he was unaware of the advocacy group’s finding and had no immediate comment.

Millions of toys made in China have been recalled over the last three months due to unsafe levels of lead paint, which is toxic and can pose serious health risks, including brain damage, in children.

The Center for Environmental Health also said it found high lead levels in vinyl lunch boxes and backpacks made by Sassafras Enterprises of Chicago.

The group filed a legal notice accusing privately-owned Sassafras of violating a 1986 California law that prohibits exposing consumers to carcinogens without warning.

A spokeswoman for Sassafras said the company tests its products for lead and that she was unaware of the group’s statement.

The advocacy group also notified 10 retail store chains that they were selling toys with excessive lead in violation of the California law.

The stores were Toys “R” Us, Wal-Mart Stores Inc, Kmart, Sears, KB Toys, Target, RC2 Corp, Michael’s Stores Inc, Costco Wholesale Corp and Kids II Inc.

Michael Green, executive director of the center, said the legal notices were the first step in potential lawsuits against the companies.

“We want companies to test for lead before selling these items,” Green said. “The federal government isn’t doing its job.”

Democrats in the U.S. Senate and House this month introduced legislation that would virtually ban lead from toys and other goods used by children younger than six. Lawmakers have criticized the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for not doing enough to protect children from excessive lead.

The Center for Environmental Health took similar action when it found unsafe levels of lead in vinyl bibs at Wal-Mart and Toys “R” Us stores in California, which resulted in both retailers pulling all vinyl bibs from their shelves nationwide, Green said.

Toys “R” Us is owned by a consortium that includes Bain Capital Partners LLC, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co and Vornado Realty Trust.

(Reporting by Julie Vorman, editing by Brian Moss)

Original release found here.

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Simplicity Aspen 3-in-1 Crib with a Wooden Mattress Support  

Information just released this afternoon by the U.S. Consumer Safety Products Commission states that about 1 million cribs manufactured by Simplicity, Inc., and sold under the Simplicity and Graco names from January, 1998 through May, 2007, are being recalled after three children died from suffocation after being trapped in the defective cribs.   Two babies, aged 6 months and 9 months, died in the recalled cribs, and the third child, 1 year old, died in a newer model not on the recall list, but currently under investigation.  

¬†In all three instances, failure to properly install the drop-rail side of the crib resulted in a gap in the crib where the children could slide into and suffocate.¬†¬†¬† Seven other infants have been entrapped in the cribs, according to the CPSC, and¬†there have been 55 reports of the cribs’ drop sides detaching or the hardware failing to hold the side to the crib.

To read the specific recall issued by the CPSC, view it HERE.   There you will find specific model numbers and photo illustrations of the defective installations and corrective action to be taken.

Wondering if your child’s crib might be one of these?¬†¬†Go HERE¬†to the Simplicity site, and then scroll down to the lower right for links to photos of specific models and detailed model information, including instructions for checking out your crib’s hardware.¬†

Give yourself some peace of mind and a good night’s sleep by checking out your child’s crib before bedtime tonight.

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Mattel Again

Mattel logo

Mattel announces yet another recall of 800,000 more toys due to excessive amounts of lead paint.  This recall includes 675,000 Barbie accessories such as the Barbie Dream Puppy House, which had lead paint on the dog; a Barbie Dream Kitty Condo playset, which had lead paint on the cat; and a Barbie table and chairs kitchen playset, which had lead paint on the dog and dinner plates.

Mattel announced that the Barbie products affected by the recall were produced by Holder Plastic Company, a Mattel contract vendor, which subcontracted the painting of miniature toy pets and small furniture pieces to two smaller companies.  Both companies used uncertified paint and are no longer producing toys for Mattel. 

This recall also includes¬† 90,000 units of Mattel’s GeoTrax locomotive line and about 8,900 Big Big World 6-in-1 Bongo Band toys, both from the company’s Fisher-Price brand. The Big Big World products were sold nationwide from July through August of this year, while the GeoTrax toys were sold from September 2006 through August of this year.

Be sure to check out your child’s toys to ensure their safety.¬† Not only Mattel toys, but others as well.¬† From time to time, pick them up and look for missing chips of paint or broken edges.¬† Be proactive in your child’s behalf.

For more details on this recall, please visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission for specific information. 

For additional information about Tuesday’s recalls, consumers should call Mattel at 888-496-8330 or visit the company’s Web site at http://www.service.mattel.com.

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With all of the warnings and recalls of toys made in China recently, I, for one, appreciated receiving this from Michael G. Dougherty, chairman and chief executive officer¬†of Kindermusik International.¬† For your information and peace of mind, at least there’s one company you won’t have to worry about their products and toy safety.


Kindermusik International: A Message About Toy Safety

Recent news reports have highlighted the recall of some toys found to be unsafe.  These reports have understandably raised concerns from parents.  I want to be sure you know that Kindermusik shares this concern.

For years Kindermusik has gone to great lengths to assure the safety of our products. That is why parents have come to trust the Kindermusik brand.  Kindermusik products are engineered to be educational, entertaining and safe before they enter into production.  Production samples of each product are then rigorously tested by an independent testing lab to ensure that our toys meet the highest safety standards.

All Kindermusik products have comfortably passed international safety standards in mechanical and fire hazard tests.  Our products have also been tested for potentially hazardous materials and have easily met safety standards for those materials.

Two of our core values at Kindermusik International are to Always Do What is Best for the Child, and to Be Open, Honest, and Direct.  At all times, and especially at times like these, our core values guide our actions.  That is why we bring this information directly to Kindermusik educators so you are well equipped to answer questions from your parents.

As you have come to expect from Kindermusik, we have taken great care to test that our products are safe, and we will continue safety testing with vigilance.  Please refer any further questions regarding the safety of our toys to Kindermusik International 800-628-5687 or info@kindermusik. com.


Michael G. Dougherty
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Kindermusik International

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With the recall by Mattel of over 10 million toys made in China, many parents and  grandparents are worried about the toys they give their children and grandchildren as well as the toys their children play with in various venues such as daycares and preschools.  How can you know they are safe?  How can you know if a toy is appropriate for your child?

An article, “Criteria for Selecting Toys,”¬†written by Francis Wardle,¬†PhD, ¬†in 1993 gives some specific guidelines to follow when choosing toys and deciding which old toys to keep.¬† For example, can your child use the toy without adult supervision?¬† Toys should not have adult rules or require adult supervision for your child to play with it.¬† Does the toy strengthen your child’s respect for others?¬† Does it provide exposure to diversity in a non-stereotypical way?

Will the toy last over time, or is it one of those Christmas “specials” that last usually only about 2 weeks before biting the dust?¬† Can it be used in many various ways?¬† Can it stimulate your child’s imagination into pretend uses of his own?¬† Is it possible for children of different developmental levels to use it, or is it specifically for one developmental age?

For further reading, please visit the Child Care Information Exchange¬†at this link to print out the checklist for yourself.¬† It is a .pdf file which will require an Adobe Reader.¬† Most computers come with that already loaded, but if you don’t have it, it is a free download here.¬†

For additional information on toy safety:

Guidelines on Toy Safety by The American Academy of Pediatrics

The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Complete List of Recalled Toys

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