You Must Be 15 to…

…wear this hat. Or so the manufacturer recommends:

Because a 14-year-old might eat it? (And thanks to reader Sierra for this photo.)

28 Responses

  1. Weird – I’d have expected 13+, given the US lead rules (because I imagine there’s some lead in the circuitry for the lights) for toys/products intended for children 12 and under. (Which is a whole other rant, depending on where the lead is, but as a CYA it would at least make sense. 15+? Although at least it doesn’t recommend that 14 and under NOT use it, it just refrains from recommending that they DO.)

  2. My own recommendation is that nobody wears this damn monstrosity ;D
    Lorene, great post.

  3. We have sunglasses at the store I work at that suggest those under 12 not wear them. I hope it’s because the UV guidelines for under 12 aren’t met or something of that nature and not lead content. D:

  4. Duh… it’s probably a size issue? Haters!

  5. I think it’s just a size issue.

    The hat looks big and heavy, and while a large 13 or 14 year old would probably be fine, anyone much smaller than the average adult might have trouble wearing it. So, IMHO, not a safety thing, just the manufacturer’s way of saying it is sized for grownups.

  6. Yes, the lead issue is, I am sure, what is going on. The mfr is being cautious, b/c even if you label a product 13+, if the Consumer Product Safety Commission deems the object to be a “children’s product” that you have deceptively labeled otherwise, they can still order a recall. By labeling the item 15+, it looks less like the mfr is encouraging underage kids to buy/wear the item.

    And on the 13+ law, it isn’t just the lead content or other substantive issue, but the testing. All children’s products must be tested post production for lead content (and other issues), whether or not the components have been tested before manufacture. This is a huge added expense for small producers, and also means that there is NO review of lots of things kids do play with. For example, if you go into Walmart you will see that the hand crafted jewelry supplies are in two places — one is crap for kids (it has, however, been tested.) The other stuff is clearly labeled 14+ — b/c it hasn’t been tested.

    And lots of the untested stuff won’t meet the 100 ppm lead limits set for kids products. 100 ppm is very, very low. Very few glass or metal objects meet this level. I don’t know if the sunglasses would or wouldn’t. But I wouldn’t worry – lead isn’t like mercury. It doesn’t vaporize. If you dissolve the object in concentrated acid and drink it, then you will get the lead exposure – but at that point it won’t matter.

    The European regulations limit bio-available lead – what can actually be absorbed by the blood, as are the U.S. rules governing lead in dishes and cutlery. Under these rules, lead in paint is much more tightly regulated than lead in glass. In fact, lead crystal is 24% lead by weight, but the lead is trapped in the glass (substrate). You can legally eat off lead crystal.

    Compact Fluorescent bulbs contain, mercury, btw, so don’t throw them out, recycle — and make sure they don’t break. (Good luck with that).

    If all of this sounds scientifically and medically incoherent, it is.

  7. @JaneW: If this is a size issue, then why not simply put the size on the package somewhere? “Size XL” takes up a lot less real estate on the box than “Recommended for ages 15 and up”.

    I personally agree with Harry. Why would anyone wear this thing at all?

  8. I agree with Rebecca. It’s the testing rules required for anything made for kids. The rules are incredibly strict right now. There was a big fuss when the rules were being considered because it’s a huge hardship on smaller businesses, as all kinds of things need testing constantly. I believe a few changes were made to allow for certain things that just plain don’t have a problem in that way, but it’s still difficult for small businesses to cope with the rules.

  9. Why would anyone over 15 want to wear that hat? I can totally see my 6 year old wanting one, but I hope she has a little more fashion-sense by 15.

  10. Because a 14 year old might not realize its caught fire?

  11. just part of a country with out common sense

  12. Hatters are gonna hat

  13. Would anyone over 15 want to wear that hat?

  14. Our 14 year-old is delighted that he doesn’t have to choose wether or not to wear it. However, he doesn’t think it would be a hard choice. “No! Most definitely, no.”

  15. I might consider it on a bad day….. I missed the wacky wigs after Halloween this year.

  16. I think it’s because it’d be too heavy for anyone under 15. You don’t have strong enough neck control. I am only 5’2″ and I’m pretty sure I would crumple under that hat.

    Aside from the fact that I’d be invisible…


  17. The 14-year-old will die from embarrassment…

  18. Amen, Mike, amen Ugly! Am considering buying one for my ten-year-old for Christmas, if they’re available down here – she’s been annoying the hell out of me recently, and it would serve her right 🙂 !

  19. My new Dirt Devil says it is not to be used as a toy…. and not recommended for use by children under 12…. and then under close supervision….

  20. Yeah, I always thought things like that was because it wouldn’t fit younger people’s heads. Which is dumb in itself, because by the time you’re 2 years old your head is 90% of it’s adult size.

  21. The dirt devil thing is probably the risk of static electricity shock.

  22. I think it’s a sex issue: anyone who is wearing this hat is totes getting laid. I mean c’mon, I can barely resist the photo in the ad….

  23. I also would have assumed it was a size issue.

  24. lol. As dumb as the “recommendation” is, I don’t think any teen would wear that…ummm…hat. They’d probably rather be smothered with kisses and pinched cheeks from Grandma, Aunties and Grand Aunties. lol

  25. A lead-based age restriction doesn’t mean the thing is likely to actually have lead in it, it probably just means that it’s not worth it to the manufacturer to put it through the lead-testing process so that it can be approved for all ages. Pretty much any manufactured good now has to be lead-tested to be deemed safe for use by children, even things you couldn’t put lead in if you tried. So it’s simpler just to put a “not for use under age X” label on it.

    I can’t think of any place you’d put lead in a bunch of Christmas lights attached to a plastic garland if you *wanted* to, except maybe the paint, but I’m not even sure it’s common to use lead-based paints to dye that kind of plastic goods. Perhaps I’m wrong, though.

  26. Meanwhile, I saw these pirate stockings at a store the other day and the packaging said “For girls 14+”. I’d like to know the parent that would let his 14 year old wear these:

  27. pentamom: Christmas lights have lead in the sockets.

  28. Thanks, Kyohaku, someone else pointed out to me privately where lead can be in stuff like that. But really, I think the main point is that the stuff isn’t tested, not that the amount of lead presents any danger.

    I mean, like a kid half that age, let alone an actual 14 year old, is going to pull the lights out of the sockets and suck on them? I doubt ANYBODY thinks that. They just can’t say it’s kid safe unless they go through all the expense of certification, which probably isn’t cost-effective for a seasonal item.

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