Sunday, May 25, 2008

When colors can kill

Roaming the aisles of a toy store can be multi-sensory overload, but it can be eye candy at the same time. All those bright shades of red and yellow and the yummy pinks and lilacs draw the eyes, and one shouldn't be surprised that kiddies find them just as attractive.

But then, when we featured toy recall updates last year, with some information on the lead paint issue, that's when I realized that the shinier and more colorful surfaces usually end up containing the highest amount of lead.

Now here's a news report stating that the toy recalls in 2008 so far are record-breaking in terms of numbers -- and we're not even halfway through the year yet! Parents, do take notice. And do consider the possibility of getting your kids simple, wooden and unvarnished playthings. Just because something sparkles, rings, beeps and lights up, that doesn't necessarily mean it's good for your kid.


Record number of toys being recalled in '08

Published: Saturday, May 24, 2008 12:36 a.m. MDT

Nearly 10 million toys and other products have been recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission between January and April — a rate that, by year's end, could exceed 2007's record number of recalls by 70 percent.

That's according to an analysis issued this month by Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports.

The group is calling on Congress to modernize the Consumer Product Safety Commission "to help protect our children from hazardous products," policy counsel Ami Gadhia said. Bill provisions they want adopted include improved safety standards for children's products and an accessible incidents database to keep families informed.

Moms, including one whose baby died in an unsafe crib, accompanied consumer advocates in Washington last week to drive home the point.

"Consumers' illusion that our product safety system is working has been shattered by the many recalls of children's toys," Rachel Wintraub, director of product safety and senior counsel for Consumer Federation of America, said in a prepared statement.

The commission has initiated 121 product recalls through April, for a total of nearly 10 million products, Consumers Union reports. Almost 6 million were for children's products, including toys, clothes, bikes, games, pacifiers, rattles and cribs.

Read the whole thing at Deseret News

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

For the merry month of May...

That's Claudia Sofia Bozgan gracing the cover of Baby magazine's May issue, photographed by Ralph Alejandrino on the balcony of his home studio. I had never thought about bubbles as much as when we had that pictorial. They are a challenge to navigate! Go here! More there! No, they're covering Sofia's face...! Perfect... oh, but she's looking down... Now! Now! She's smiling! Ang bagal naman lumabas ng bubbles, nyar, nyar...!

Then we got the shot you see on the cover. (By the way, I don't know yet how to edit photos, so the washed-out version stays for now. I assure you, the real thing looks much better)

I don't remember mentioning it here, but a few months ago we got an email from a mom who was lamenting the fact that she couldn't spend as much time as she wanted to with her baby, and it felt like the little one was growing up without her. Of course she would be with him at the end of each day, but that was in the evening after she got home from work. Sometimes she'd be fast asleep by the time she arrived home and she'd simply cradle her in her arms.

This situation that many parents find themselves in is what prompted us to devote a good number of pages of the Mother's Day issue to moms who are in business. Hopefully, readers will get ideas from them and be equipped with the know-how (as well as the courage) to pursue their own business ventures someday. This is our way of helping all you moms who yearn to find a way to spend more time with your families yet need to earn a living. You'll also find information about agencies and schools that offer entrepreneurship courses in this issue, such as the TLRC, UP-ISSI, and the Phil. Center for Entrepreneurship.

Now, to give you mommy readers a bit of fun, we have some contests between the pages, which will get you thinking. It's the Mother's Day Giveaway and we have companies such as Roots and Wings Trading, Procreation, Perfumeria Espanol, Urban Spa, Playtex and OMF Literature to thank for their participation. Funky Feet is also providing some really charming baby socks (which I blogged about briefly a couple of days ago) as instant prizes!

I haven't even talked about the topics covered in this issue besides the "mom-preneurs" feature. Well, you'll just have to get a copy then :-)

Calling all moms (and dads)

There are going to be interactive exhibits of products and services for moms and kids. There'll be a special section devoted to mom-preneurs (and mom-preneurs know what moms and kids need). Then of course special discounts will be given by retailers during this event. And talks on a variety of topics the whole day.

And, Baby magazine will be there.

Find out more here

New links

I've added some sites to the list of links on the right. Check them out!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Tiny fashionistas

Look at these little girls, all dressed up from head to toe. They're even shod in splendid Mary Janes to complete their outfits.

Or are they?

They're just socks! And we're giving them away in this month's issue of Baby magazine. You'll have to get a copy to know how you can bring home a set of these dainty not-quite-shoes. Only a few days more and the mags will be in the stores.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Lost and found, courtesy of a boy scout

When an 11-year-old Boy Scout found someone's wallet with $800 inside, he understood what the person who lost it was going through.

Only a few weeks before, he had lost his own wallet and the $45 it contained.

J.R. Bouterse immediately told an adult about his discovery, which was turned over to a law-enforcement official and returned to its grateful owner.

''We're just so proud of him,'' said the boy's mother, Michelle Bouterse, 41. ''We can't say enough.''

To reward the boy, the Michigan State Police threw a pizza party Monday night, not only for the law-abiding child but for all 30 Scouts in Troop 90.

Another guest at the party, to J.R.'s surprise, was 20-year-old Jessica Cutler, the wallet's owner, who wanted to personally thank him for his act of honesty.

''I can't believe someone would find a wallet with that much money in it and not take some,'' she said. ''A lot of people maybe wouldn't have done that same thing. I'm just glad he found it and not someone else.''

J.R. found the wallet a little more than a week ago while leaving a Scout meeting at the church.

''I knew exactly how she felt,'' he said.

Not exactly: His own wallet has not been returned to him.

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