As the holidays draw near, it is crucial that parents and caregivers pay extra-close attention to the reports about unsafe children’s toys, cribs, and other products that have flooded the marketplace.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has dropped the ball on protecting all of us from dangerous products entering the marketplace. And it has failed to focus on the fact that minority children may be at higher risk of injury and death from unsafe products.
More than 25 million toys have been recalled so far this year — many of them laden with toxic lead, dangerous magnets, or hazardous chemicals. We at Consumers Union — non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports magazine — are pushing Congress and the Administration to close the gaps in our nation’s product safety net to protect all consumers from unsafe and dangerous products.
But strong evidence indicates that minority children are more likely to have fatal accidents, such as drowning, suffocation, and poisoning, than their white counterparts.
We believe the government should study why minority children seem to be more at risk for injury and death from product-related incidents than their white counterparts, and identify ways to eliminate these increased risks of harm.
Thankfully, the House and Senate appear to agree and have included such a study in the comprehensive bills they are working on now to strengthen the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s ability to ensure that all children’s toys and other products are safer. We hope Congress can agree on a bill that makes real and positive improvements to our safety net before members break for the holidays.
Strong product safety reform will benefit every American, and will be especially important for the future safety and well-being of children.
With the holidays rapidly approaching, this would be a great present for Congress to give us all.
Janell Mayo Duncan is senior counsel of Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports magazine. She can be reached at email@example.com.