Tag Archive for Safety

The #1 Thing You Can Do to Keep Your Kids Safe

We all want to keep our kids safe.

I spend an irrational amount of time researching safe sunscreens, choosing stainless steel or glass containers for their food, and selecting organic foods whenever possible.

The most important and completely rational safety measure I take for my kids by far, however, is buying, installing, and correctly using the right child safety car seat.

Did you know that motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children age 1 to 13 in the USA? And that consistent use of the correct child safety seat in the car could cut fatalities by about half?

Are you sure that your child is in the correct seat? Sure enough to be his life on it?

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Toys to Trust for a Safer Christmas

With all the recalls, I’ve been busy looking for toys I can trust.

So, my personal blog has suffered a bit, but it is for a good cause! I have put together a guide of lead-free, non-toxic, safer toy options. Right now it has online retailers that take special care in identifying where the toys are manufactured, selecting only toys from brands with impeccable safety records, testing toys themselves, and in some cases all three:

Toys to Trust from Mamanista!

And we are also giving away lots of safer toys and other gifts:

12 Days of Giveaways from Mamanista!

So far we are half-way through:

  1. The First Adventures of the Incredible You, a Fun and Funky Personalized Storybook (ends 11/27)
  2. Name Your Tune, an exciting collection of personalized children’s songs (ends 11/28)
  3. Let’s Play Mail, an imaginative felt play set from Craftsbury Kids (ends 11/29)
  4. Jabber Jot, a fun, educational game from Learning is an Art (ends 11/30)
  5. $100 Gift Certificate to Natural Pod, natural and organic toys and products for living (ends 12/01)
  6. Three Wooden Puzzles from ImagiPLAY’s collection of non-toxic, socially responsible, and environmentally-friendly toys (ends 12/03)

…with more to come!

We also have two more fabulous giveaways on the site:

We aren’t the only ones who are focused on safe, non-toxic, lead-free toys this season. Of course I would like you to browse our guide, do your shopping with our links, enter our giveaways, and grab our buttons to spread the word, but I also really want you to have a safe Holiday with your family! So, for even more information, Cool Mom Picks has a Safer Toy Guide with their favorite picks and My Two Boys is keeping a list of Lead-Free Toys, and checking it twice. I also hear that my favorite Crunchy Domestic Goddess is working on a guide, and you can always check her out for eco-friendly, natural, and child safe tips.

Now THAT’S a Recall

I was going to blog about the inane recall a while ago with the Gerber Oatmeal that, gee, clumps if you don’t stir it, but I’m a little slow on the draw and lots of other bloggers beat me to it.

Recalls should be saved for items, like, hmmm, let’s see… oh, yes:

Toy Recalled for Possibly Containing Date Rape Drug

Millions of Chinese-made toys for children have been pulled from shelves in North America and Australia after scientists found they contain a chemical that converts into a powerful date rape drug when ingested. Two children in the U.S. and three in Australia were hospitalized after swallowing the beads.

Seriously, sometimes I just want to scrap it all and just live without. This was supposed to be the “hot toy” this season. And while I question the wisdom of allowing toddlers anywhere near any sort of beads, obviously you don’t want any craft product or toy marketed to children TO CONTAIN CHEMICALS THAT CAUSE COMAS WHEN INGESTED.

Lead in the toys and in my red lipstick, cancer-causing agents in the sippy cup plastic, and now date-rape drugs in the craft supplies.

I am wondering if Rome really did fall because of lead pipes.

Taking a nap now. Wake me up when its safe again.

Unwanted Gifts: What Do YOU Do?

This may be a touchy subject, but I think it is especially relevant now with all these toy recalls.

How do you handle gifts that you don’t want?

There’s a story going around that Christina Aguilera (generally known for diva behavior) has thrown out some toys from her husband’s family.

According to the story, it is because they were from Babies R Us and not from the chic boutiques she believes better fit her celeb status.

We don’t know if the story is even true, or if that is in fact the reason she disposed of the gifts.

Aside from such snobbery, though, what if the gifts you receive just do not reflect your values or, worse, you are concerned about whether or not the toys are safe?

Obviously no one should ever feel obligated to give a gift…and it is truly the thought that counts. I always appreciate that someone thought of me and my family, regardless of what the actual gift is–a card is always lovely, too! But, whether you are pledging to toss everything from China after the lead paint scares, ban all Bratz paraphernalia, or donate items with licensed characters, is there any polite way to communicate this to friends and family who are likely to give gifts to your kiddos?

I have a friend who recently sent out an informational e-mail about stores and brands that are made in the USA. And on Mamanista I’ve been creating a list of stores that take special care in ensuring the safety of their toys and informing their customers about where the toys were made. Right now I have those stores starred on our shop page and soon I’ll be posting some of my favorite picks. You could also point people to some of the lists at Crunchy Domestic Goddess or the great independent and sometimes handmade finds at Cool Mom Picks.

But some people still either won’t get the hint or won’t care about your concerns. So, what do you do then?

Are you a terrible person if you write a nice thank you note and then return store bought gifts? Better to put them in a box and take them out when the gift giver visits and then donate when enough time has passed? Or just keep them around, even if you are not comfortable with the gift?

Is there a right way to go about this?

I would love to hear others’ thoughts on this topic!

The Great Toy Recall of ’07

Cross-posted from the Mamanista! Friday Playgroup:

The Parentosphere is abuzz about the lead paint recalls. At Mamanista! we recommend some stores for lead-free toys and a test kit, AmyGeekGrl has some more options and good news from Melissa & Doug (Crunchy Domestic Goddess), Stephanie is turning to homemade playthings (Adventures in Babywearing), and cardboard boxes are looking better and better (Cool Mom Picks).