TRENTON – Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman and the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs today announced the beginning of Children’s Product Safety Awareness month with a reminder to parents that dangers can lurk in even the most common items their children come into contact with each day.
Items from night lights and pencils cases to children’s wrist watches and clothing were among those recalled as safety hazards by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) in recent weeks.
“Children’s Product Safety Awareness month was designated to create awareness that all products used by children – not just toys – must be thoroughly vetted for safety,” said Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman. “From nightlights that pose shock hazards to watches that cause chemical burns, there could be hidden dangers lurking in even the most common items children handle on a regular basis.”
“Most parents often make sure they train a discerning eye on the toys and other play equipment they choose for their kids, but many don’t realize that other items must be scrutinized just as carefully,” said New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Acting Director Steve Lee. “This month is a golden opportunity to remind parents to be aware of all safety recalls – including clothing, furniture, and other common household items –and to report any products they find to be unsafe.”
Children’s Product Safety Awareness Month was enacted into law in 2013 at the urging of a group of school children who wanted to make life safer for children across New Jersey.
The students, third-through-fifth-graders at Stillman Elementary School in Tenafly, were part of W.I.T.S. (World Improvement by Tenafly Students), an afterschool club devoted to identifying problems in society and pushing for changes in the law to rectify those problems.
In 2009, the members of W.I.T.S went to Trenton to see a bill on children’s product safety pass. A year later, the club was compelled to make the law more apparent by designating November as Children’s Product Safety Awareness Month. Students spoke before members of the state Assembly in support of the initiative. Governor Chris Christie signed the bill into law on May 9, 2013.
Before purchasing any item for children, parents should check to make sure it’s a high quality product, labeled non-toxic, contain less than 7-inch cords, and be large enough not to be a choking hazard.
Parents are also encouraged to regularly check for recall notifications at the CPSC website at www.saferproducts.gov. The site also provides safety alerts, consumer tips, and a place to report potentially dangerous products.