Sunday, April 5, 2009

Easter Basket Shopping

Easter, for most Christians, and those non-Christians who celebrate the day as a spring holiday, is only a week away. Have you done your shopping for Easter Baskets or Easter Basket goodies for your little ones? This is one year I'm happy that I had taken advantage of the post season sales last year and bought ahead.

I have 4 grandkids now, so I have 4 children's Easter baskets to put together (I've never bought the pre-made ones) and based on some of the information I'm reading on the issues with children's product recalls, I'm wondering what's left out there to buy? I don't know what you've been running into when shopping for your kids, but my daughter related (very loudly) some of the problems she's had in buying even the "necessities" for her kids just this past week. Hair bows and those little non-tangle hair bands? Recalled... potty training seat? recalled... stuffed animal? recalled. Pretty much anything plastic? recalled... they're still on the shelves in the stores, but they get you at the cash register and tell you that you can't buy them.

Here's links to the Consumer Protection Safety Commission website and their lists of recalled toys - and recalled non-toy children's items

Pretty amazing lists, don't you think? I want my grandkids to be safe and reasonably protected just like I'm sure anyone with kids or grandkids does, and to that regard I support the theory behind the CPSIA's recall action. Do I think they've gone a bit overboard? Yes. I guess I've always been of the mindset (probably because I was raised by a very overprotective mother) that kids need to be able to have toys to play with and learn from and that they need to be shown how to safely use those toys. And if you have young children, you need to be aware of what they are putting in their mouths. That is just common sense.

In my opinion, we need to find a way to bring production back to the US instead of relying on the non-existant or sorely lacking production standards of foreign countries that instigated this whole latest set of legislation in the first place. Didn't anyone put two and two together to realized that lower production costs overseas are lower for a reason? Why aren't there stricter design standards to help avoid some of these hazards? Or are we turning into a paranoid society who is heading towards no small parts on anything because our three year old might find a way to unscrew the screws on vacuum cleaner... or forget the requirement that testing be required just on items deemed for use by the under 13 crowd, because anyone with a child under the age of 1 knows that EVERYTHING goes in their mouth - unless of course, you're extremely vigilant and responsible - you know, like you should be as a caretaker or parent.

Again, I think it all goes back to common sense and that there is such a thing as being overly protective and pro-active. I'm not sure where the happy medium is, but I do know that my kids survived without these stringent laws, never had a broken bone, never got poisoned, never swallowed things they weren't supposed to, probably got exposed to more chemicals in the school cafeteria food than they ever could from the finish on a toy, and as far as I can tell, all three of them are healthy, happy, well adjusted adults. Some safety laws are wonderful - kids should be in car seats or toddler seats, seat belts can save lives, second hand smoke is dangerous, poisons should be labeled, pools should have safety gates. But again, isn't that all common sense?

I guess I find it hard to believe that our children's safety will be significantly compromised simply by them reading an old book, or playing on swingsets, or doing most of the things that kids do. Knowledge is power and perhaps the better way to handle things is to make people more aware of what goes into the production of the goods they buy and how those products can affect their health and well-being...and then let them use due diligence. The care and safety of our children's health (as well as our own) is ultimately our responsibility.

Am I sure that the stuffed animals and books and other little goodies that my grandkids will get from me for Easter this year are compliant with the new laws? No, but I feel reasonably sure that my grandkids are well taken care of and that their parents are on the ball and watching that the items are used properly - and that is good enough for me.


AMIdesigns said...

Really interesting to read your opinion! and what very lucky grandchildren you have :)

Baroness Bijoutery said...

I think you a right about so much of this. My kids managed to survive childhood with no ill affects. Even my brother and I survived our childhood. But then we were taught what you did and didn't put in your mouth. We even managed to survive Lead Paint on the walls..we just didn't eat it. Your are so right about common sense..seems alittle lacking at times today.

Rose Ridge Creations said...

I have a great idea for an Easter gift. I've sold quite a few of these for special little girls.

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