Category Archives: Safety/Health news

Recall on Britax Frontier

Some car seats are being recalled after safety experts determined they could fail to secure children in the event of a crash.

Cerain Britax Frontier child restraints are involved.

Tests reveal the harness straps may detach from the metal yoke on the back of the restraint if repeatedly loosened one strap at a time.

To fix the problem, Britax will mail to all registered owners rubber caps that prevent the straps from detaching.

To get the fix, call Britax at 800-683-2045 and request a kit.

You can also order a fix on their Web site.

The affected models include E9L54E7, E9L54H6, E9L54H7, E9L54M6 manufactured on or before September 14, 2008, and model E9L5490 manufactured on or before Sept. 17, 2008.

New Lead Law Explained

February 10th is a day that is haunting retailers. Any toys or children’s clothing that does not meet the new Federal lead requirements must be thrown away. The government issued a Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act last year, stating children’s products for ages twelve and under cannot contain more than six-hundred parts per million total lead, or contain more than point-one-percent of specific phthalates. Research shows that both lead and certain phthalates can harm children.

Toys and children’s items that are currently on the shelves will have to be sent to independent labs for testing. If they do not meet the new requirements, those items will have to be thrown out.

Stores are unofficially calling the start of this act ‘National Bankruptcy Day.’ However, a little relief was given to Thrift and Consignment stores.

On Thursday, the Consumer Product Safety Commission clarified the new requirements by adding that sellers of used children’s products, such as Thrift stores and Consignment stores, are not required to certify their products.

This is all great news for Thrift and Consignment shops, but what about small toy makers. Small toy makers of wood, organic and “lead and phthalate free” toys, including craftswomen/men and Europena toy makers will also have to pay to have their toys tested. Having a toy tested will cost thousands of dollars, which is just not an option for a lot of small toy manufacturers.

Use Caution When Giving Kids Cold and Flu Meds

 ANN ARBOR, Mich., Jan. 5 It’s cold and flu season, which means misery for kids and the parents trying to help them. But doctors are asking parents to resist the urge to give children under the age of 6 over-the-counter cough and cold medication. Such drugs can have serious side effects on the smallest of children, the Food and Drug Administration warns. Side effects include hives, drowsiness, difficulty breathing and even death. “Some 7,000 children end up in the emergency room each year because of problems associated with these medicines,” says Esther Yoon, M.D., general pediatrician in the Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases at the University of Michigan Health System. Roughly two-thirds of incidents occurred after children drank medication while unsupervised, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most problems have occurred as a result of dosing errors. To ease pain from a harsh cough or throat pain, doctors recommend using over-the-counter acetaminophen and ibuprofen in age-appropriate doses, Yoon says.    To relieve symptoms, doctors recommend the following: For blocked noses, parents should use nasal saline drops and a bulb suction to loosen up and remove mucus or have the child blow their nose. For coughs, the child should be given a teaspoon of honey or corn syrup if over the age of 1. Have the child drink warm fluids like water, apple juice and chicken broth to help with coughing. Take the child into the bathroom and run a hot shower. The steam relaxes the airways and helps with coughing spasms. Increase the humidity in the home to help reduce nasal congestion and coughing. Parents can help prevent colds by washing hands frequently, using instant hand sanitizers, teaching children to cover their mouth and nose when they cough or sneeze, and making sure children are well hydrated, have good nutrition and are getting enough sleep. “Other good tips include disinfecting the home, kitchen countertops, door knobs and toys,” Yoon says. “Children should get plenty of vitamin C and E to help fight germs and a multivitamin is also helpful.” Cold symptoms caused by a virus typically last between four and five days. But if they continue for more than five days, Yoon recommends taking the child to a doctor. If a child is having difficulty breathing or is wheezing, he or she should be seen right away. Infants younger than 3 months old with a fever should also be seen right away. For more information, visit these Web sites: FDA recommendation: What to do for colds and flu: SOURCE  University of Michigan Health System

Britax Announces Voluntary Safety Recall

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec 12, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Britax Child Safety, Inc. announced today that it is conducting a voluntary safety recall on the Frontier(TM) combination Harness-2-Booster(TM) child restraints. The recall includes Frontier child restraints manufactured between April 1, 2008 and September 14, 2008 for Model #s E9L54E7, E9L54H6, E9L54H7 and E9L54M6 and between April 1, 2008 and September 17, 2008 on Model # E9L5490.

If the harness straps are repeatedly loosened one strap at a time, then the harness strap(s) may become detached from the metal yoke located on the back of the child seat. If the harness strap(s) becomes loose or detached then the condition can be corrected by inspecting the back of the child seat and reattaching the harness straps. If this condition occurs, the child may not be properly restrained, and in the event of a vehicle crash there could be an increased risk of injury.

To address this issue, Britax will provide two rubber caps that can be easily placed on the yoke slots to prevent the harness straps from detaching. The rubber caps have been specifically designed for the Frontier yoke to provide a secure fit and have been tested to verify their effectiveness. No later than January 7, 2009, the rubber caps will be mailed with an instruction sheet to all registered Frontier child restraint owners with manufacturing dates prior to September 15 or 18, 2008. Additional caps will be made available to retailers with affected inventory of Frontiers manufactured prior to September 15 or 18, 2008. All Frontier child restraint owners should confirm whether their Frontier is affected by verifying the date of manufacture. Starting December 15, 2008, further details will be available here”

Until consumers receive their remedy kit, they should confirm that their harness system is properly attached to the metal yoke and they may continue to safely use their child restraint.

Owners of the Frontier child restraint who have not registered their product or need to verify existing registration should contact the Britax information line, toll free at 1-800-683-2045 or visit

Ikea Blinds Recalled Due To Strangulation

Karen, our friend at A Child Grows in Brooklyn posted this recall yesterday on her blog. With Ikea in Brooklyn now, I know a lot of us are trying to save money these days buy furnishing our homes there.


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 consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: IRIS and ALVINE Roman Blinds

Units: About 670,000 (an additional 4.8 million were sold outside of the United States)

Distributor: IKEA Home Furnishings, of Conshohocken, Pa.

Hazard: Strangulations can occur when a child places his/her neck in an exposed inner cord on the backside of the roman blinds.

Incidents/Injuries: On April 4, 2008, a 1-year-old girl in Greenwich, Conn. became entangled in the inner cord of an IKEA Roman Blind and strangled. The child was in a portable playpen that was located underneath a fully lowered roman blind. She was found partially suspended with the inner cord of the blind wrapped twice around her neck.

Description: This recall involves all sizes of IRIS and ALVINE Roman Blinds in white. The blinds have a sewn-in label at the top edge of the blind with the IKEA logotype, article name (IRIS or ALVINE), 5-digit supplier number 19799 or 21369, four digit date stamp (YYWW) and the words “Made in India”. On the bottom edge of the blind there is a sewn-in orange/white safety warning label. The blinds are made from 100% cotton.

Sold at: IKEA stores nationwide from July 2005 through June 2008 for between $7 and $30.

Manufactured in: India

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled Roman Blinds and return them to any IKEA store to obtain a full refund.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact IKEA toll-free at (888) 966-4532 anytime, or visit the firm’s Web site at

Note: CPSC reminds consumers to examine all Roman Blinds and shades in their homes. If looped pull cords are present or exposed inner cords are found on the back of blinds or shades and children are in the home or occasionally visit your home, please consider replacing them with blinds or shades that do not have exposed pull cords or inner cords.

Baby Trend Safety Seat Recall

NHTSA warns seats could fail in a crash
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a Consumer Advisory to alert owners of Baby Trend child safety seats that the seat base could fail and not protect a child during a collision.
The Baby Trend seats involved in the recall are the Magnum (model number 6439), Galaxy (model number 6481), Silverado (model number 6448), and the 6400S bases that were sold separately and manufactured between May 14, 2007, and April 1, 2008.
“Baby Trend is recalling the bases of these child safety seats because they could fail to adequately protect children in a collision. Baby Trend will replace the base free of charge,” NHTSA warned on its Web site.
Owners of the affected seats should contact Baby Trend at 1-800-328-7363 to obtain a free replacement base.
“In the meantime, NHTSA is urging consumers not to use the car seat with the base,” the federal safety agency cautioned.
Source: Consumer Affairs

FYI Window Guards are the Law in NYC

In NYC, every year a number of children fall out of windows because of faulty window guards or no window guards period!
This is unacceptable, avoidable and ILLEGAL!
Only window guards approved be the Health Department can be installed. They must be made of strong metal. And they must –by–law be put in right and put in tight, or they won’t work.

Here is some info from the NYC Department of Health Website (

Window guards must by law be installed on your windows…

…if you live in a building that has three or more apartments and a child under age 11 lives in your apartment. Even if you live on the first floor, you must have window guards if a child under age 11 lives with you. Every window in the apartment must have a window guard except windows leading to fire escapes. In buildings with fire escapes , window guard must be left off one window in each ground-floor apartment so that the window can be used as and emergency exit. All public hallway windows must have window guards, too.

Even if you do not have a child under age 11 living with you, you still can have window guards if you want them. You might want them because children visit you, or you babysit, or and older person needs protection. Or may be you just feel safer with window guards. You don’t have to give a reason. If you want them, they have to be installed. It’s that simple. But, remember, if a child under age 11 lives with you, there is no choice– they must be installed. It’s the law!

Your landlord or building super– not you– must install window guards in your apartment’s windows. Your landlord or super must also fix any window guards that need repairs, and install window guards in all hall windows if a child under age 11 lives in the building.

If you want or need window guards or if they are loose or need fixing, call your landlord or management company Call the Health Department’s Window Falls Prevention Program at (212) 676-2162 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Baby Bodyguard's Sun Protection Guide

A few helpful terms to be familiar with:

SPF: Sun Protection Factor. A measure of how effectively the sunscreen blocks the sun’s UVB rays. It’s calculated by comparing the amount of time needed to produce a sunburn on protected skin to the amount of time needed to cause a sunburn on unprotected skin.
UVB: Short-wave part of the spectrum of sunlight; more potent than UVA in causing sunburn, thought to be the main cause of basal and squamous cell skin cancers as well as a contributor to melanomas.
UVA: Long-wave solar rays. Less likely than UVB to cause sunburn, but penetrates the skin more deeply; considered chief cause of wrinkling and “photoaging.” Apparently increases UVB’s cancer-causing effects, but may be main culprit of melanomas. Not blocked by all sunscreens, so check the label!!
Sunscreen: absorbs UV rays.
Sunblock: Physically deflects UV rays.
“Broad-spectrum Protection”: This indicates that a product protects against UVA and UVB, but doesn’t guarantee coverage against all UVA wavelengths. Sunscreens containing avobenzone, zinc oxide, or titanium dioxide should be effective against entire UVA spectrum.

It is best to keep babies out of the sun, but if this isn’t possible, Here is a list of Baby Bodyguard approved products. All sunscreens listed here contain no parabens, phthalates, sodium laurel/laureth sulfates, propylene glycol, PEGS, dioxanes and oxybenzones.
Burts Bees Chemical Free
California baby SPF 30 Everyday and Bug Blends
TruKid Sunny Days Everyday Mineral Sunscreen
Weleda Childrens SPF 18
Jason’s Sunbrella’s Minerals

It is very important to check those expiration dates. Many sunscreen and sunblock ingredients do not have an incredibly long shelf life, so throw away the old stuff and replace it!