Guest Author - Bonnie Sayers
Have you noticed that the recalls are happening on a daily basis? I get emails listing more than one recall everyday from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). They seem to be either contaminated food products for people and pets or toys and products that families utilize.
The colorful thermal lunchboxes have lead, Thomas the tank engine toys were recalled and now SpongeBob Squarepants notebooks and address books have turned up to have lead in them. I tossed out the pencils just to be on the safe side.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is located at - www.cpsc.gov/ - here you can order publications, sign up for email announcements on recalls and safety information. There is also a section where consumers can report defective and unsafe products. Medical professionals can file incident reports at this section also. Read about home heating hazards here also.
There is another site for online recalls at - www.recalls.gov/
This website has separate sections for food, medicine, cosmetics, environmental products, motor vehicles, boats and consumer products. Their website has this data available in Spanish, plus you can sign up for email alerts. They have a section to search for recalls and to check most recent ones
Since my son started on antipsychotic medication I started subscribing to MedWatch - The FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program. You can subscribe to the list at -
There is also the FDA Patient Safety News (PSN), which is a monthly video news show for healthcare professionals. It covers significant new product approvals, recalls and safety alerts, and offers important tips on protecting patients. You can read the complete stories and watch or download the video at www.fda.gov/psn
Product Recalls in Australia
Hewlett-Packard and Compaq - product replacements and alerts
Children's Products in Canada
Dell Battery Return Program - this site is available to read in other languages as well.
With school starting a new year it is imperative that parents discuss with the teachers and therapists about these toy recalls that have taken place over the summer. We need to make sure they are aware of them and check their toys. Since our speech and occupational therapists are new this year I want to see what items they will be utilizing with my child and then the balls and other equipment that the Adaptive Physical Education teacher will be bringing along.
KIds also bring toys in their backpacks and there can be language barriers among the families. Those that speak Spanish only need to be notified of the toy recalls as well. The clinics where children have therapies are also filled with a variety of toy products. Take the extra time to inquire at the front desk or the office manager about toy recalls and what steps they have taken to make sure only safe toys are used. You might also want to ask about their cleaning policy and how often this is done.
Here is a listing of websites that sell toys and other products related to children and families that are American made. I suggest checking into them for birthday gifts and to plan for Christmas and other year-end holiday events. Make a list of sites and/or products that you will allow into your household and give it to relatives and friends who you exchange gifts with. They can opt for a gift certificate so you can choose safe products for your loved one on the Autism Spectrum and the rest of your family members.
I heard on the radio of a family that went one year without buying any products from China. In the newspaper and on the news today was a story about a mother to two toddlers that packed up all their toys and drove out to the Mattel Headquarters and asked their staff to check the toys against their recalled products.
Fat Brain Toys - there are 158 items in their American Made toys section. This includes slinky, I spy preschool game, dinosuaur plant, log cabin canister, pickup sticks, card and board games, bingo and a one pound bag of super snow. These items have ratings to get more feedback on them. I am leaning toward getting the snow kit since we are in Los Angeles and my kids have not experienced snow. Fat Brain Toys - 1507 North 203rd Street, Elkhorn, Nebraska USA 68022 1-800-590-5987
Our Green House - they have toys made in the USA that include - wooden wands, natural bell rattle, doll baskets, modeling soap, wooden jump rope set, rag doll kit, weaving looms, sewing cards, lacing beads, wooden blocks, wooden hobby horse and trucks.
This site also sells organic mattresses, organic clothing, organic garden supplies, healthy pet supplies, giftbaskets and jewelry. Our Green House - 4 Washington Avenue, Sandy Hook, CT 06482 (203)364-1484
Shop For America this site is great for back to school shopping as they have backpacks. They also have bibs, which is great for new parents. I remember one of the recalls of items made in China that was recalled were bibs you could buy at Toys R Us. This site is a good alternative to get a safe babyshower gift. This site also carries holiday ties, mittens for children, colorforms, aprons, hats, leggings, uncle wiggly game, blocks, infant rocker along with other items that make 9 pages of products.
There is a shop for America Blog and a link about free shipping. Another section for pets and sale items to look into as well. Shop For America - 141 Magazine Street, Cambridge, MA 02139 1-877-433-9094
U.S. Made Toys - game boards,train sets, building toys, sports items, puzzles, nature toys, science kits and craft sets. These include tic-tac-toe, dominos, hopscotch, boomerang, checkers, rattles, jump ropes, tower-ifics, log cabin, triangles and much more. I see some items I want to get for my son Matthew, so reviews will be in the near future as well.
This vendor accepts paypal also. U.S. Made Toys - Southbridge, MA 01550 508-765-1226
Purchase American- this site will be changing their name to www.OneStopAmericanShop.com in the near future. There are many categories to choose from - automotive products, college products, bath/beauty, furniture, jewelry, pet supplies, teddy bears and wooden utensils. There is a children's section plus one for toys.
For children there are tooth fairy pillows, potty training products, child-proof seatbelts, personalized books, backpacks, sleeping bags, stroller covers, rugs and kids id items. The toy section has vermont teddy bear, puzzles, sandboxes, woodway toys, trampolines, toy pianos and boat kits.
When you click on a link to a product it takes you to that company, therefore there is no contact information for Purchase American except to email firstname.lastname@example.org. For many sites she has information on where to find the Made in U.S.A. information for that company and products. This is a good site to find many more Made in USA products in a multitude of categories for all your household needs.
The companies this takes you to are as follows:
Story Board Toys - Colorado
Uncle Goose - Michigan
Kathys Kreations -stuffed animals
Yard Candy -outdoor wooden sandbox
Potty Training Stuff
Still Made in USA - here is another online shopping resource to find products Made in USA. Their categories include - appliances, baby gear, home decor, sporting goods and toys and games.
You can shop by brand in the toy section or sub-category like flying toys, outdoor play, dolls, puzzles, games, ride-ons, stuffed animals, wooden toys and dollhouses. The following are some of the websites to shop from:
Tag Toys - California
Wild Apples - NY
Turner Toys - VT
Stack and Stick - IN
Holgate Toy - PA
All these sites have great safe products to try out and test with our families. I have many ideas now for Christmas gifts for my kids and will be buying soon and writing reviews.
Check out reviews on LEGO TOYS. They are made in the U.S.A.
Educational Autism Tips for Families 71 page resourceful ebook for families entering the school system with a recent autism diagnosis. Find out what issues take place over the course of a school day and meet these challenges head on.