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Safety: When Sharing & Recycling
When Sharing Is NOT Safe **
Hand-me-downs and baby bazaars may be unfamiliar terms to some individuals of the current generation, but the practice of sharing children's furnishings and equipment with friends, families, caregivers, and child care programs is quite common. Concerns arise when such generosity involves the continued recycling of items for which safety alerts or product recalls have been issued. As part of its national Recall Round-Up campaign, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) suggests doing some spring cleaning in attics, basements, and other areas used to store old products that could be hazardous. Examples of such products include:
  • play yards/playpens with protruding rivets: these pose a strangulation hazard to toddlers if pacifier strings or loosely woven clothing catch on the rivets; and

  • some models of infant car-seat carriers with handles that unexpectedly release, causing the infant to flip forward and fall.
To review press releases on recalls and safety alerts issued since 1989-- or to search by specific product names--click on the CPSC's Website address shown here.

http://www.cpsc.gov

To obtain by mail a list of major recalls, consumers should send a postcard to:

Recall List
CPSC
Washington, DC 20207

Make sure to check on the safety of items you are saving for later use or sharing with someone now. If you are the fortunate recipient of someone's sharing, take a few minutes to check out the safety status of any donated items of furnishings or equipment. CPSC and manufacturers see to it that products with hazardous potential are removed from store shelves, but only you can see that such products are removed from your home or center.

** This article appeared in "Young Children" magazine (issue=July 1999),
The Journal of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Excerpted with permission.

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