Category Archives: Safety/Health news

Opinion Section of NYT-Volvo Weighs in on Child Car Seats

I found this article by Stephen Dubner very interesting and wanted to share it. In a nutshell Volvo has done independent crash tests and claims to have found several shortcomings with existing car seat practices. Volvo argues that:

1-Young children are much safer facing the rear of the car and should ride that way until age three or four (as they commonly do in Sweden), rather than facing forward starting at six months or one year.

2-“[C]hildren should be in booster seats until at least age 10 to ensure seatbelts are positioned correctly across their chests without riding up to their necks.”

3-“Current child seats require feeding the seatbelt and attaching a top tether, something that takes time and is often not performed properly. An RACV report in 2004 estimated that child seats were incorrectly fitted as much as 70 per cent of the time.”

After watching thres seasons of Mad Men, on AMC, a great show for those of you who have never heard of it, I got a real kick from the quote made by Henry Ford, when he was pushed to install seatbelts in Ford cars in the 1950’s. Ford feared that “selling safety” was bad for business in that it reminded people that cars were inherently unsafe.

Graco Stroller Recall

Graco Recalls Strollers Due to Fingertip Amputation and Laceration Hazards

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following products. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Graco’s Passage™, Alano™ and Spree™ Strollers and Travel Systems

Units: About 1.5 million

Manufacturer: Graco Children’s Products Inc., of Atlanta, Ga.

Hazard: The hinges on the stroller’s canopy pose a fingertip amputation and laceration hazard to the child when the consumer is opening or closing the canopy.

Incidents/Injuries: Graco has received seven reports of children placing their fingers in the stroller’s canopy hinge mechanism while the canopy was being opened or closed, resulting in five fingertip amputations and two fingertip lacerations.

Description: This recall involves Graco Passage™, Alano™ and Spree™ Strollers and Travel Systems with the following model numbers and specific hinge mechanisms:

Model Numbers
6303MYC, 6303MYC3 7240DNB, 7240DNB2
7240MKL2, 7240MKL3
7F02GLM3
6320IVY, 6320LAU 7241DDH2, 7241DHO3 7F04TAY3
6330CAP, 6330THR,
6330THR3
7255CLP, 7255CLP2,
7255CRA2, 7255CRA3,
7255CSA3, 7255GPK3,
7255GRN, 7255GRN2,
7255JJB3, 7255ORC2,
7255WLO2, 7255WLO3
7F07EMA3
6F00QIN3, 6F00RRY3 7256CLO2, 7256SPM2,
7256SPM3
7F08DSW3, 7F08LAN3
6F03GLN3 7260BAN, 7260BAN2,
7260BAN3, 7260MRA2,
7260MRA3, 7260PKR,
7260PKR2
7G00DLS3, 7G00DLS4
6G10CSE3 7270BIA, 7270BIA2 7G01CRL3
7235GGA, 7235GGA2 7E01JON2, 7E01JON3 7G04KRA3
7236CDR2 7F00LPE3, 7F00RSH3 7G05GPR3, 7G06WSR3
7237HOL2, 7237HOL3 7F01FOR3 7G07ABB3, 7G07BAT3

Graco manufactured two different styles of hinge mechanisms for these stroller models. Only strollers or travel systems with a plastic, jointed hinge mechanism that has indented canopy positioning notches (see photo below) are included in this recall. The recalled strollers were manufactured between October 2004 and February 2008. The model number and manufacture date are located on the lower inside portion of the rear frame, just above the rear wheels.

Sold at: AAFES, Burlington Coat Factory, Babies “R” Us, Toys “R” Us, Kmart, Fred Meyer, Meijers, Navy Exchange, Sears, Target, Walmart and other retailers nationwide from October 2004 and December 2009 for between $80 and $90 for the strollers and between $150 and $200 for the travel systems.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled strollers and contact Graco to receive a free protective cover repair kit.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Graco at (800) 345-4109 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s Web site at www.gracobaby.com

Another Big Crib Recall , Not Just Drop Side Cribs This Time

Dorel Asia Recalls To Replace Cribs; Pose Strangulation and Suffocation Hazards
One infant death reported, 10 injuries to infants

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Dorel Asia SRL, of Barbados, is announcing a voluntary recall to replace drop side and non-drop side cribs that pose suffocation and strangulation hazards to infants and toddlers. Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled cribs until replacement kits are obtained and installed.

Name of Product: Dorel Asia cribs

Units: About 635,000

Distributor: Dorel Asia SRL, of Barbados

Hazard: The drop side hardware can fail causing the drop side to detach from the crib. When the drop side detaches it creates a space in which an infant or toddler can become entrapped and suffocate or strangle. In addition, the recalled cribs can pose a serious entrapment and strangulation hazard when a slat is damaged. This can occur while the crib is in use, in storage, being put together, taken apart or reassembled; or during shipping and handling.

Reports: CPSC and Dorel Asia SRL received a report of the death of 6-month old child from Cedar Rapids, Iowa who became entrapped and strangled in a crib after the drop side hardware broke. The crib continued to be used after the parents tried to repair the drop side themselves. CPSC and Dorel Asia received reports of 31 drop side incidents. In six of those incidents, children were entrapped between the drop side and crib mattress. Three children suffered from bruises as a result of the entrapment. In addition, CPSC and Dorel Asia received reports of 36 incidents of slat breakage, including seven reports of bruises and scratches to children and two reports of entrapment that resulted in no injury.

Description: The following Dorel Asia cribs are involved in the recall:

Model Number Front Rail Description
WM1633 Drop side 3-1 Sleigh Crib – Cherry
WM1633-0 Drop side 3-1 Sleigh Crib – Cherry (no castors)
WM1676BC Fixed 4-1 Bethany James Crib – Walnut
WM1676BCR-DC Fixed 2-1 Crib – Walnut
WM2163 Fixed 4-1 Crib – Manhattan Walnut
WM2163DC Fixed 4-1 Crib – Manhattan Walnut
WM1633-0-DC Fixed 3-1 Sleigh Crib (no castors)
GP004B3EGR Drop side 3-1 Convertible – Espresso
GP004B3WGR Drop side 3-1 Convertible – White
GP006BCEGR Drop side Single – Espresso
GP006BCWGR Drop side Single – White
DA1615B3 Drop side 3-1 Convertible Crib – Natural
DAKM5132 Drop side 3-1 Convertible Crib – White
DASE5005 Drop side Cottage Hill Single Crib – White
DASE5009 Drop side Vintage Estate 3-1 Sleigh Crib – Cherry
DA0504KMC-1N Drop side 3-1 Heritage Crib – Natural
DA0504KMC-1W Drop side 3-1 Heritage Crib – White
DA1614B3 Drop side 3-1 Lexington Crib – Cherry
DAKM5152 Drop side Single Jenny Lind Crib – Walnut
DASE5015 Drop side 3-1 Convertible – Toffee

Sold at: K-Mart, Sears and Wal-Mart stores nationwide from January 2005 through December 2009 for between $120 and $700.

Manufactured in: China and Vietnam

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled cribs, find an alternative safe sleeping environment for your child, and contact Dorel Asia to receive a free replacement kit. Consumers should log on to www.dorel-asia.com to order the free replacement kit to prevent child entrapment in these cribs. The repair kits will be provided to owners within the next several weeks.

Consumer Contact: Call Dorel Asia toll-free at (866) 762-2304 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm’s Web site at www.dorel-asia.com

Important Message from CPSC: CPSC reminds parents not to use any crib with missing, broken, or loose parts. Make sure to tighten hardware from time to time to keep the crib sturdy. When using a drop-side crib, parents should check to make sure the drop side or any other moving part operates smoothly. Always check all sides and corners of the crib for disengagement. Disengagements can create a gap and entrap a child. In addition, do not try to repair any side of the crib, especially with duct tape, wire or rope.

Visit CPSC’s Crib Information Center for more information on Crib Safety and Recalls.

Huge Recall of OTC Products…..Again

Ways to Help Haiti

As I sat home today nursing my sick three year old back to health, I was glued to my TV watching what appeared to be Hell on Earth. The situation in Haiti is one I can not even begin to imagine. Homes lost, children lost, dead people in the street, I feel compelled to help, as I’m sure you do as well.

Chris Sacca, compiled a list of six ways to help the situation here is what he suggests in his post:

1) Text “HAITI” to “90999” to donate $10 to the Red Cross — Our friends at the US State Department, including Katie Stanton (@kateatstate), very quickly put together this number to channel relief contributions directly to first responders who will be on the ground there. I love that our government does things like this. (Update: I am told this only works in the US)

2) Text “Yele” to 501501 to donate $5 to Yele Haiti — My good friend Wyclef Jean (@wyclef) created this foundation to permanently improve the lives of the most impoverished in his home country of Haiti. Over the years, the stories I have heard from Wyclef remind me of how hard the living is there. I am humbled by Wyclef’s commitment to the region and the impact Yele Haiti has there every day. Check out more on Yele Haiti.

3) Donate to Partners in Health (click here) — PIH (@pih_org) is already on the ground in Haiti and mobilizing their relief efforts. If you have heard of Paul Farmer, this is the organization he co-founded. Working to provide health care and education to the poorest of Haiti, PIH is the real deal.

4) Donate to Architecture for Humanity (click here) — Cameron Sinclair (@casinclair) and his non-profit Architecture for Humanity (@archforhumanity) can be found at virtually every developing world disaster site on the planet. These guys are a collection of design and housing geniuses who work tirelessly to provide shelter for the most deserving.

5) Donate to charity:water (click here) — If you know me, you know how passionate I am about charity:water (@charitywater) and it’s work to bring clean water to the 1 billion people on the planet who don’t have it. Recently, the organization’s founder, my friend and inspiration Scott Harrison (@scottharrison), traveled to Haiti to commence operations in that country and already thousands of Haitians have clean water to drink. As if the situation wasn’t already bad enough, the need for clean water only intensifies in the aftermath of earthquakes. Every dollar of your support to these guys goes fully and immediately to work in the field. (Update: charity:water wrote a post encouraging you to also help their partners in Haiti.)

6) Learn more about Haiti — So often we send token amounts of charity to far-flung developing world destinations. Yet, rarely do we have a sense of what life is like there. Thus, one of the ways I believe you can also respond to a tragedy like this is to commit to learning about Haiti, it’s culture and wonder, as well as its daunting hardships. To that end, I recommend reading Paul Farmer’s book Mountains Beyond Mountains to get a taste of the hard work underway. Also, be sure to watch Ghosts of

7 Foods to Avoid for a Healthier You

A few weeks ago my husband forwarded me a great article from Food Consumer.  It had experts weigh in on certain foods to avoid, with some pretty provoking reasons. It has changed the way we have been eating in 2010, so I thought I would share.

Here is the list:

Canned Tomatoes –
The resin linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A, a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Acidity — a prominent characteristic of tomatoes — causes BPA to leach into your food.

Baby Bodyguards Solution-We have switched to boxed tomatoes. Trader Joes, makes a great product

Corn-Fed Beef
The expert: Joel Salatin, co-owner of Polyface Farms and author of books on sustainable farming
Cattle were designed to eat grass, not grains. But farmers today feed their animals corn and soybeans, which fatten up the animals faster for slaughter. A recent comprehensive study found that compared with corn-fed beef, grass-fed beef is higher in beta-carotene,

Baby Bodyguards Solution-We have switched to grass-fed beef. I have to admit, it tasted very different. I don’t know if it is my pregnancy hormones that are increasing my sensitivity to the taste. Grass-fed beef goes great in this Shepherds Pie recipe.

Microwave Popcorn-

The expert: Olga Naidenko, PhD, a senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group

Chemicals, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), in the lining of the bag, are part of a class of compounds that may be linked to infertility in humans. In animal testing, the chemicals cause liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancer. Studies show that microwaving causes the chemicals to vaporize — and migrate into your popcorn.

Baby Bodyguards Solution – We have switched to air popped. It is not as convenient as the microwave, but just as tasty

Non-organic Potatoes-

The expert: Jeffrey Moyer, chair of the National Organic Standards Board

Root vegetables absorb herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides that wind up in soil. In the case of potatoes they’re treated with fungicides during the growing season, then sprayed with herbicides to kill off the fibrous vines before harvesting. After they’re dug up, the potatoes are treated yet again to prevent them from sprouting.

Baby Bodyguards Solution-We have switched to organic potatoes sold at our local farmers market. For information about Farmers markets by you visit http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com/

Farmed Salmon-
The expert: David Carpenter, MD, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany

Nature didn’t intend for salmon to be crammed into pens and fed soy, poultry litter, and hydrolyzed chicken feathers. As a result, farmed salmon is lower in vitamin D and higher in contaminants, including carcinogens, PCBs, brominated flame retardants, and pesticides such as dioxin and DDT.

Baby Bodyguards Solution-we have switched to Atlantic Wild Salmon. Fresh Direct, sells a great product.

Milk Produced with Artificial Hormones-

The expert: Rick North, project director of the Campaign for Safe Food at the Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility

Milk producers treat their dairy cattle with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST, as it is also known) to boost milk production. But rBGH also increases udder infections and even pus in the milk. It also leads to higher levels of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor in milk. In people, high levels of IGF-1 may contribute to breast, prostate, and colon cancers.

Baby Bodyguards Solution- We had already been drinking hormone free milk. Most milk says in small print “our cows are not treated with rBST”

Conventional Apples-

The expert: Mark Kastel, codirector of the Cornucopia Institute

If fall fruits held a “most doused in pesticides contest,” apples would win. And increasing numbers of studies are starting to link a higher body burden of pesticides with Parkinson’s disease.

Baby Bodyguards Solution-We have switched to organic apples not treated with pesticides. It costs about $1 more a pound, but is not worth  the risk.

Recall of Dorel Infant Car Seats/Carriers

The Consumer Product Safety Commission recently announced a recall of nearly half a million infant car seat/carriers manufactured by Dorel Juvenile Group Inc., of Columbus, Indiana.  The company has received 77 reports of the handle coming loose when the seat was being used as an infant carrier, resulting in three injuries to infants.

This recall involves Safety 1st, Cosco, Eddie Bauer and Disney branded infant car seat/carriers with the following model numbers and that were manufactured from January 6, 2008 through April 6, 2009. The model number and manufacture date are located on a label on the side of the car seat/carrier. They were sold with Travel Systems. The stroller portion of the travel system is not affected by this recall.

Consumers should not use the handle of the car seat/carrier until the repair kit has been installed. The product can continue to be used as a car seat when properly installed in the vehicle. Contact Dorel Juvenile Group to receive a free repair kit.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Dorel Juvenile Group at (866) 762-3316 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm’s Web site at www.djgusa.com/safety_not

Child Restraint Model# Product Description
Safety 1st
22-057 DBY Safety 1st Sojourn Travel System
22-085 DWA Safety 1st Sojourn Travel System
22-057 CLN Safety 1st Sojourn Travel System
22-057 HRT Safety 1st Sojourn Travel System
22-322 HRR Safety 1st Sojourn Travel System
22-322 PTK Safety 1st Sojourn Travel System
22-057 LPH Safety 1st Sojourn Travel System
22-085 LYN Safety 1st Sojourn Travel System
22-322 KDL Safety 1st Eurostar Travel System
22-322 LXI Safety 1st Eurostar Travel System
22-322OLY Safety 1st Eurostar Travel System
22-322PRS Safety 1st Eurostar Travel System
22-322 MAI Safety 1st Eurostar Travel System
22-325 COB Safety 1st Eurostar Travel System
22-095 RBK Safety 1st Eurostar Travel System
22-380 LGA Safety 1st Lite Wave Travel System
22-380 MSA Safety 1st Lite Wave Travel System
22-627 WAV Safety 1st Vector Travel System
22-325 PAC Safety 1st Vector Travel System
Cosco
22-300 FZN Cosco Sprint Travel System
22-300 OSF Cosco Sprint Travel System
22-300 CSF Cosco Sprint Travel System
22-300 JJV Cosco Sprint Travel System
22-300 THD Cosco Sprint Travel System
22-300 TWD Cosco Sprint Travel System
Disney
22-627 AWF Disney Propack Travel System
22-355 LBF Disney Propack Travel System
22-305 NAB Disney Propack Travel System
22-305 PPH Disney Propack Travel System
22-355 PWK Disney Propack Travel System
Eddie Bauer
22-627 CGT Eddie Bauer Adventurer Travel System
22-627 FRK Eddie Bauer Adventurer Travel System
22-627 SNW Eddie Bauer Adventurer Travel System
22-627 WPR Eddie Bauer Adventurer Travel System
22-627KGS Eddie Bauer Endeavor Travel System
22-655BYTE Eddie Bauer Endeavor Travel System

Maclaren Recall

Stroller maker Maclaren announced a recall on Monday that affects about 1 million umbrella strollers that can reportedly amputate or lacerate children’s fingertips.

So far, the company said there have been 12 amputations across the country. This happens when children get their fingers stuck in between the stroller’s side hinges while it is being opened or closed.

The company announced the voluntary recall in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and advises customers to stop using the products sold since 1999 at stores including Babies R Us and Target.

Consumers can contact Maclaren at 877-688-2326 or visit www.maclaren.us/recall to receive a free repair kit.

Maclaren said the kit includes hinge covers designed to fit all Maclaren strollers.

The recall affects the following models : Volo, Triumph, Quest Sport, Quest Mod, Techno XT, TechnoXLR, Twin Triumph, Twin Techno, and Easy Traveller.

More Parents Are Using Second-Hand Baby Items, How Safe is This?

It’s no surprise that in today’s down economy, more parents are looking to purchase second-hand items for baby, or take hand-me-downs from friends and relatives. The problem is that some second-hand items may be putting your baby at risk.

Recently Toys “R” Us, Inc launched a national program to spotlight potentially unsafe baby products still in the marketplace. It was called the “Great Trade-in Event” to encourage parents to trade in older baby items, in exchange for a discount on new items. The company realizes that due to safety concerns, certain used items such as car seats and cribs, are not good candidates to be passed down or resold.

According to the consumer advocacy group, Kids in Danger (KID), less than 30% of affected items are returned when a baby product is recalled. Recalls as well as other issues such as not knowing the history of a product such as a car seat, or not spotting damage to an item can cause serious injury and even death.

Baby Bodyguards urges parents  not to buy second-hand items such as car seats, cribs, play yards and bassinets because these items in particular have a history of safety problems.

If you are going to purchase an item second-hand, there are certain precautions that should be taken, such as looking at www.cpsc.gov, to make sure the product has not been recalled. Also, check a used baby product  by looking for damage and broken or missing parts. If you find anything wrong, do not purchase that specific item as it may not be safe. A broken or missing part will not be easy to fix and still provide the safety that baby needs

Pacifier Recall

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a warning to parents and others to stop using “My Baby Soother,” a pacifier considered a choking hazard.

The commission said the distributor of the pacifiers, T & L Trading Corp. of Brooklyn, N.Y., had refused to recall the products.

The nipples on the pacifiers can detach, creating a choking hazard, the commission said. The pacifiers are red, blue, pink, white and yellow. They are heart-shaped with the words “My Baby Soother” printed on the top.

About 16,500 pacifiers have been sold for about $1 each from August 2007 to July 2009, mostly in the New York City area, the commission said in a statement Monday.

Retailers were advised to stop selling the pacifiers. Consumers were advised to take the pacifiers from babies.

Warning Issued On Infant Pacifiers