Illinois is once again leading the nation in children’s product safety with a new bill expected to be signed by the governor that will, among other things, beef up recall reporting.
Gov. Rod Blagojevich is expected to sign that bill, SB 526, which would amend the Illinois’ Children’s Product Safety Act. Under the current law, a “children’s product” is defined as one aimed at children 6 or younger. Under the new law, the age would be raised to 9. The bill also adds new reporting requirements for retailers and manufacturers to make it easier for parents and caregivers to learn about recalled products online or in retail stores.
The Illinois Legislature also became the first in the nation to ban yo-yo water balls, a toy associated with hundreds of near strangulations and eye injuries. That bill, SB 1960, would ban the toy’s sale in Illinois and is similar to bans in Europe and other countries. The bill is largely a result of the efforts of Skokie mom Lisa Lipin, whose son was injured by the product.
On the national level, the U.S. Senate has approved Nancy Nord as commissioner of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. This means the commission—which has been operating without a quorum and unable to conduct most business since the end of March—can get back to work monitoring the safety of more than 15,000 kinds of consumer products, including most children’s products. Nord, a former lobbyist for Eastman Kodak Co., joins Chairman Hal Stratton and Commissioner Thomas Moore.
The following is a partial list of children’s product recalls from the commission. To report a problem with a product or to see the complete list of recalls, call (800) 638-2772 or visit www.cpsc.gov.
White Lancaster Cribs. These cribs, sold at department and children’s stores as well as Target, were made by Simplicity. The paint can flake off, posing a choking hazard for children. No injuries were reported.
Children’s Folding Chairs. Sold by Atico International at discount, drug and toy stores nationwide, the safety lock on these children’s chairs can fail, allowing the chair to collapse or fold unexpectedly. Kids’ fingers can become caught or entrapped in the hinge and slot areas of the chair, posing a pinch or cut hazard. There have been four reports of fingertip amputations and seven reports of lacerations to children’s fingers.
My First Crayon-Ball. A Chicago-area family reported to the commission that this product, sold at discount and drug stores including Walgreens, can fall apart, posing a choking hazard to small children. The Chicago family’s report led to the recall.
Nancy A. Cowles Executive director, Kids in Danger