You’ll Love These!

I sure did. Ridiculous recalls:

39 Responses

  1. Actually agree with the manicure set recall. Totally imaginable scenario: 5 yr old girl does her toddler sister’s nails, and the kid sucks on fingers while drying. I would consider that a safe and reasonable way of playing with the product since it’s assumed to be nontoxic. As I understand it, lead paint is usually not a problem unless it’s chipping, or on an object that is easily swallowed, as the glitter would be.

    Most ridiculous I think is the car seat pillow.

    The oven probably didn’t warrent a recall, but it does sound like a poor design. I think I remember reading that the ovens were redesigned from the retro models- and ended up not working as well, resulting in more burns, and generally being crappier. Maybe they should reacall them just for shame.

  2. Yeah, loved seeing how Fox News ridiculed the Easy Bake Oven toy recall, then checking the CPSC to discover the recall was in fact based on this:

    “Since the repair program announced in February, Easy-Bake has received 249 reports of children getting their hands or fingers caught in the oven’s opening, including 77 reports of burns, 16 of which were reported as second and third-degree burns. Easy-Bake also received one report of a serious burn that required a partial finger amputation to a 5-year-old girl.”

    Come on Lenore, don’t become like so many other activist sites that regurgitate anything supports their worldview, no matter how dubious the basis 😦

  3. Maegan: Yep. Agreed. That manicure set recall was a good call. I can free-range with the best of ’em, but lead seriously sketches me out. Plus, who doesn’t love to eat glitter?

  4. @gavin: I think it’s much much too late for that plea.

  5. The more I think about this, the more I think most of these recalls are warrented.

    The cool looking chair, SHOULD have a warning, because many parents are still unaware of how dangerous it is to place babies in seats on high spots. It is hazardous to sell this product wihout outlining safe use. Recall.

    The lead paint recalls are not necessarily about whether the products pose a real threat to children. This is a case of companies having clear regulations for children’s products, and not following them. The alternitive to a recall is non-enforcement of lead regulations. This seems to me like an extremely bad precident to set.

    But I still think the carseat pillow recall is idiotic.

  6. The lead recalls are likely due to the new CPSIA legislation, which Lenore has posted about previously. It sets ridiculous rules about lead content and testing of *anything* meant to be used by children 12 or younger, regardless of the likelihood that a kid will be able to eat it (like the ice skates). So you can blame an overzealous congress for those.

  7. I like that cushy carseat with the cup holder. Is that where they put their morning latte? 😉

  8. Jessie, lawmakers are like border collies with not enough to do. So they create problems and then fix them. They can call themselves consumer advocates!

  9. The Bumbo Baby seat should have been left to die a natural death. What a waste of plastic.

  10. Re: The glitter. It says the lettering on the kits pouch contained lead. Not the nail polish itself. I think it’s MUCH MORE LIKELY for someone to suck on/chew on nail polish than to eat the paint on the pouch.

  11. @Jan i have friends who SWEAR by the Bumbo baby seat and I just don’t get it. Glad I am not the only one.

  12. These mention how difficult it would be to actually ingest enough lead to be dangerous, but what about during the manufacturing process? By not creating a market for unnecessary lead, are we perhaps improving conditions for might-as-well-be-slave workers who make the things we ‘consume’?

  13. Clearly a lot of toys these days are being given to children younger than the target audience.

  14. @Jessie, @Jan

    First, I see no reason included in the slide show to indicate that the recalls were a result of the new laws since there was a batstorm of lead recalls a couple years ago, before the law was even proposed.

    Second, the law in question is ridiculous not because of the manditory testing, but because the testing extended to small businesses, crafters, and second hand book sellers, for whom it would be prohibitively expensive. I see nothing problematic about requiring major toy manufacturers to prove the toys are safe since they keep proving they are NOT safe.

    Third, the “ridiculously small” amount is determined by lawyers in a courtroom, not doctors. My pediatrician Father-in-law gets really grumpy if you talk to him about “ridiculously small” amouts of lead in toys (and candy!).

    Finally, if it IS a bad law, the best way to get it repealed is through consistant enforcement. Inconsistant enforcement allows for abusive SELECTIVE enforcement, unpredictable penalties, and is less likely to be fought and defeated. Long term, occasional enforcement of a bad law does more damage than immediate, consistant enforcement.

  15. The notice about the carseat recall is on the wall at my pediatrician’s office and I get irritated every time I see it.

    Re: the Bumbo
    I too thought these were silly until I wound up with a 2 month old who wanted to sit up all the time. We have another brand called the Bebe pod (it was a hand me down) and my son loves. It was a godsend for that month when he was so insistent on sitting up all the time that I couldn’t set him down flat or even in a semi-reclining without him screaming (and you’ve got to go to the bathroom sometime :).

  16. wow, how did any of us over 30 survive childhood?
    My easy bake oven got so hot it scorched the top of our formica table once! (after that mom threw the stupid thing out and just taught me how to bake a real cake).

  17. Quite frankly, I think it’s more likely that a child will ingest glitter from nail polish (I’m an ADULT and my fingers are in my mouth ALL the time) then they would be to eat paint off their walls and no one is objecting to having lead-free paint in their house. Shame on FOX for making fun of these recalls and SHAME on Lenore for perpetuating this. I am all about the “free-range” mentality but having a chemical linked to learning and behavior disorders as well as being toxic to body systems including the cardiovascular, hematopoietic, reproductive, and nervous systems hidden in my children’s toys is just not Okay with me.

  18. Jeffa, lead paint isn’t a problem when it’s new. Lead paint in homes has always been a problem for poorer families, when it’s cracking and peeling and making little chips that babies and toddlers (the most vulnerable kids) will put in their mouths and, worse, making dust that will collect on every surface not only for babies and toddlers to put in their mouths (or to get on their hands and then put their hands in their mouths) but to breathe in.

    Rich makes a good point – these laws, if properly enforced, will help protect workers as much as children. (Of course, we don’t need new, onerous laws that exempt the biggest manufacturers, aka “the folks that got us into this mess in the first place”. We NEED to enforce the laws we already have!)

  19. If I had burnt my fingers on my easy bake oven, my mother would have said “I told you not to touch it” and life would have gone on.

    And for the poor 5 yr old who’s finger was so burnt in needed partial amputation… it says right in the box, 8 yrs old and up.

    I am so confused. Parents these days are so afraid to let their kids do simple things (play in the yard without sitting with them) yet they buy toys for them that are clearly above the age requirement which cause them to get hurt when left unsupervised.

  20. Some of these are not ridiculous, some are. Free range doesn’t have to mean let your kids do anything and who cares what the consequences are. Forget all brains and just let them run wild.

    I do have to wonder how big that light bulb is that’s causing such nasty burns. Yikes. I was never able to get my hands in mine (clearly remember getting something stuck in my Easy Bake Oven as a kid and trying to get it out).

    And just because we lived through our childhood doesn’t mean we don’t change. I grew up when no one was in a car seat, there weren’t even car seats to be had if you wanted one. You sat on Mom’s lap in the front seat. Yeah, some changes are very good.

  21. As far as the lead goes, after talking with others and doing some reading, it is pretty reasonable to expect that a child who may have one of these things being recalled is because of the very good chance that the child has younger siblings who very well may put these things into their mouths. there is no way in heck I could keep all certain toys meant for older children away from younger children. Even Legos are an issue and the small little ones do make their way into the hands of toddlers and infants. So, I think this one falls under the common sense of the family and its makeup on what is truly a problem and what truly wouldn’t be.

  22. Uly. . . here is some research:

    Environmental lead is ubiquitous, and everyone has some measurable level of lead in their blood.[26][1] Exposure occurs through inhalation, ingestion or occasionally skin contact. Lead may be taken in through direct contact with mouth, nose, and eyes (mucous membranes), and through breaks in the skin. Inorganic lead (compounds without carbon), found in paint, food, and most products, is only minimally absorbed through the skin, but tetra-ethyl lead, which was a gasoline additive and is still used in some fuels such as aviation fuel, does pass through the skin.[21] The main sources of absorption of inorganic lead are from ingestion and inhalation.[20] In adults, about 35–40% of inhaled lead dust is deposited in the lungs, and about 95% of that goes into the bloodstream.[20] However, absorption in the lungs depends on the size of the particles inhaled.[64] Of ingested inorganic lead, about 15% is absorbed, but this percentage is higher in children, pregnant women, and people with deficiencies of calcium, zinc, or iron.[1] Children and infants may absorb about 50% of ingested lead, but little is known about absorption rates in children.[65]

    Laura said everything I would have. . . Babies put everything in their mouths. To assume that the paint will not chip off exposing my baby to lead is just plain irresponsible. LEAD IS ILLEGAL IN HOUSEPAINT because it chips and just plain dangerous. There is no amount of lead that has been deemed safe. Look up Lead Poisoning on Wikepedia. Scary stuff!

  23. As to the kids chewing on ice skates… my grandson, smart, articulate, coordinated… for some reason LOVES to chew his shoes. I am admittedly much more concerned about the ingestion of whatever questionable gag is on the ground in the park that he wouldn’t eat, than what might be in his shoe materials themselves. It is just gross, though, let me assure you, to be peacefully driving along, looking over the shoulder before changing lanes, and seeing the shoe in the mouth. “Yuck!” I say… “Don’t chew on your shoes!” I say… he proudly displays the channels he has scraped into the soles with his teeth. Oh, ack. Goose poop anybody?

  24. Jeffa, I never said we should have lead in housepaint. What I *said* is that lead poisoning was – and is – primarily a problem with poorer families who cannot afford to keep their paint fresh. That’s as true today as it’s ever been.

    As far as toys – no, I don’t think lead should be in the paint in toys. I *agreed* with you, so please don’t go copypasting at me like we’re arguing.

  25. I don’t understand why all of these products are recalled, yet I can STILL walk into any store at holiday time and throw down my $5.99 for a string of lights connected by wires that are covered with lead-mixed plastic (for flexibility). I am advised to wash my hands after touching them. Yuck!
    Just try to buy xmas lights that DON’T have lead on the cords. If you succeed, tell me where.

    Inch for inch, I bet these cords (and the cords on many consumer electronics) do a lot more neurological damage (to humans in general!) than the collar on that little dog.

  26. Meagan—My comment about lawmakers was merely a general one. I’m getting tired of living in such a regulated world. I’m particularly irritated with building codes and the city of Roslyn lately and The Joint Commission drives me up the wall. Haven’t researched any specific laws regarding weird plastic baby seats..

  27. Speaking of car seats, I apologize if this is in the book that I still haven’t read, but there’s actually no statistical support that car seats are safer for kids (as opposed to infants). But the child car seat industry has succeeded in witch hunting that one into a non-option.

  28. @ Rich

    I don’t know anything about statistics, but my nieces (5 and 7) both sit in child seats. Just from watching them it looks like it might be safer simply because it’s more comfortable. When I was 7 (and even older, I was a small kid) the part of the seatbelt that goes across your chest hit me right at throat level. Not only was this uncomfortable, I had visions of getting in an accident and having my windpipe crushed. Whenever I put my seatbelt on, I automatically shifted around so the strap was behind me, doing nothing.

    My nieces meanwhile, more or less (they’re kids after all, and still squirmy) always wear their seatbelts properly, because the strap hits them about where it’s supposed to. I don’t know if it’s been proven to be safer or not, but it seems logical that if it helps them wear their seatbelts properly, it ought to be safer, right?

  29. The lead was not in the nail polish, it was on the bag!

    I don’t understand how people are amazed that the easy bake oven gets hot….it’s an oven. I also had a mini oven/stove as a child. It looked like this one and we used little esbit blocks that were lit with a match, so there was actual fire in our easy bake oven and we all survived without burns.

  30. While I agree that the probability of getting lead poisoning from a skate is low, and I don’t usually call for a ban on improbable issues, I think that all lead pain should be banned (which it is)

    Not just for the sake of the children, but because it is dangerous in general and offers no real benefit to society other than it being cheaper to use than non-lead based paints.

  31. Another thing to keep in mind with lead is that it’s a cumulative effect. If you get a bunch of ‘ridiculously small’ exposures, it can add up to a ‘not so ridiculously small’ exposure.

    @Meagan- seat belts can be made to fit kids. Another point Levitt makes is that car seats are complex enough that they are often used incorrectly. The statistics are pretty simple. Kid over age 2 have the same survival rate in seat belts as car seats. And crash tests show the same thing. That is, after they found someone who would run the tests for them. Nobody wanted to because the child car seat industry is their meal ticket. They only ran the tests under an agreement of anonymity.

  32. @Rich: Steven Levitt may be brilliant enough to speak at TED, but he knows jack about child physiology and safety. Nevertheless, he makes an important point in that seatbelts in cars should be designed to protect children and that belts designed for adults are NOT designed to ensure the safety for children (15:00ish). And the statistics, no matter how simple you claim they are, are NOT simple by any stretch. And, in the Q&A section, he admits that there are discrepancies in some data he had and he wanted to work with the docs that did the study to figure out why that was. AND that was filmed in 2005, and significant changes have been made in car seat design since that time.

    So yes, not as simple as you make it seem. For more info, go to
    AND, his talk is from 2005, where in the

  33. It is very funny to me to read all these comments. None of you seems to have a degree in either biology or chemistry, however, all claim to know the process and danger involving lead and other chemical exposure… I think, it is more sickening to give a child nail polish in the first place than the harm that comes from the toxic effect from the wrapping/packaging. Most of the risks that led to the recall are just perceived risks and not real statistical proven risks… I would rather make it a case why these toys and stuff that I would consider crap even make onto the toy shelves. Why not spent money on high quality stuff instead of all glitter and plastic just to teach girls how to be princesses. I am always so amazed why people buy these cheaply made things and then wonder when these items come with negative side effects (whether real or perceived). Just buy less, spend more on a few items and make a clear statement about quality and how you would like to raise your kids.

  34. One man might believe children are just as safe in a seat belt, I will keep my car seat. It doesn’t cost me anything to keep it in the car. I already have it purchased. And the idea of my child as a projectile doesn’t excite me, so I will keep paranoid on that one if that’s what I am.

  35. Thank you, Ines. Your firm condemnation of the occasional sparkly treat has convinced me that nail polish is of the devil. I will go right now and set about removing it from my local store. Oh, it may cost me a fortune, but I will persevere!

    Where’d you get that degree in child psychology, btw?

  36. Car seats vs. Seat belts:

    I’m not about to throw out my car seat either. For one, my seat belt is NOT designed to hold my 2.5 year old, and I’d be breaking the law. And I’m sure Levitt isn’t suggesting you do either. What he IS suggesting is that we question these ‘basic beliefs’, especially when the evidence doesn’t support it. Rather than accepting expensive complex car seats that people often don’t use correctly anyway, why NOT look at better seat belt designs? This isn’t a little picture “change what you do” thing, it’s a big picture “what’s the best direction for the industry” thing.

    Unfortunately, the direction of the industry is both codified, and ingrained as gospel.

    And if you think looking at the statistics is bad, then where are we on the risk of stranger abduction thing now?

  37. @Meagan

    Re: Shoulder Straps

    I’m a tall adult (5’9″ female) and my car’s seatbelt *still* goes across my throat, in part because of the way I’m built.

    I actually had a run-in with a shoulder strap when I was a kid, too. It wasn’t in a car, thank goodness, but it was enough to make me not even want to *think* about what it would have been like had it been a car.

    It was the first time for me driving a go-kart by myself, and the go-karts at that place had seat belts with shoulder straps. I crashed into the island in the middle (it was a basic oval track) and the shoulder strap scraped across my throat. I was left with a painful, though thankfully minor, scrape and “road-rash” type burn on my neck.

  38. Hey, you have a great blog here! I’m definitely going to bookmark you! Thank you for your info.And this is Home Improvement site/blog. It pretty much covers Home Improvement related stuff.

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