As part of our Round of Applause series, we will feature a guest post about a person or organization that's working to end injury. This week, we honor Kids In Danger, a non-profit dedicated to children's product safety.
Kids In Danger (KID) has been a voice for children and product safety since 1998. That was the year Danny Keysar, a Chicago toddler, died when a portable crib collapsed around his neck at child care. His parents, Linda Ginzel and Boaz Keysar, founded KID to keep other children safe.
Danny’s legacy is vast: state laws in Illinois and 9 other states that protect children from recalled products in child care or the second-hand market; a federal bill carrying his name that requires strong safety standards and independent testing for infant and toddler products; and greater awareness of and access to information about recalled and other dangerous children’s products.
We have a three prong mission at KID:
- promote the development of safer children’s products,
- advocate for children, and
- educate the public, especially parents and caregivers about dangerous children’s products.
What does that look like on a day-to-day basis?
To promote safer products, KID participates in standard-setting activities through ASTM International for juvenile products, furniture, toys and children’s jewelry. Often one of a handful of consumer representatives in the process, KID gives parents a voice at this important table – making sure the products they buy for their children are safe before they reach store shelves. And to build a stronger culture of safety, KID works through our Teach Early Safety Testing (TEST) Program to reach engineering students with important lessons on design safety and hazard analysis.
Regulators, product manufacturers, and retailers all have the power to keep children safer. KID speaks for children in state legislatures and Congress, before the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and in other venues where their voices might not otherwise be heard. Currently KID is working to pass bans on the sale of crib bumper pads – a sometimes deadly crib accessory – in states because there has been no action nationally and our children can’t wait. Whether submitting comments to CPSC on a proposed new standard, testifying before a congressional committee on crib safety, or convincing states to be leaders on safety, KID takes our role as advocates for children seriously.
Parents and caregivers need information and tools to keep their children safe – KID provides both. Our mobile website allows a parent to search for recalls when shopping at a rummage sale or accepting hand-me-downs from her sister. Our publications give clear safety information on a range of topics including safe sleep, choking hazards, magnet dangers, and checking for recalls. Our highly-rated training program for child care providers provides the tools they need to keep children safe and pass that information on to families. Through these and other programs, we have direct impact on thousands of families each year.
Our work is Danny’s legacy and the legacy of all children killed or injured by unsafe products. Our hearts break with each new family we meet who has lost a child to a hazardous children’s product, but it only strengthens our resolve to keep working until all products are tested to be safe and parents have the tools they need to keep their children from harm.
About the author: Nancy A. Cowles is executive director of Kids In Danger (KID), a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting children by improving children’s product safety. Nancy has over 25 years of experience conceiving, building, and directing organizations to investigate a wide variety of consumer issues and to craft regulatory solutions.
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