Here are the latest recalls from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). (For complete reports, go to http://www.cpsc.gov). Parents are urged to take all products away from children immediately and to discard or return to the manufacturers:
Reebok Children's Fleece
Pullover/Pant Sets: The zipper slider and pull on the fleece pullovers can detach, posing a choking hazard to young children. To view this recall online, go to: www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml06/06001.html.
Target/Jumbo Pencils with Sharpeners: The sharpener's razor blade is exposed when the cover is removed. And the pencil sharpener hole is large enough to allow a finger to fit inside. To view this recall online, go to: www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml06/06009.html.
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store/Miniature Musical Bells Christmas Trees: The tree could overheat and melt, posing a fire hazard. To view this recall online, go to: www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml06/06013.html.
How to report a problem:
To report a dangerous product or product-related injury, call CPSC’s hotline at (800) 638-2772. CPSC’s website can also be accessed at www.cpsc.gov. Consumers can report product hazards to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch those blinds and cords!
You may have noticed the recent campaign in home stores, raising awareness of the potential strangulation hazards window cords can pose to young children. As they do with frequency, the CPSC has joined forces with the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC), urging parents to replace or retrofit mini-blinds and corded window coverings purchased before 2001.
According to the CPSC, since 1991, more than 175 infants and young children have died from accidental window cord strangulations.
The WCSC urges parents to:
• Move all cribs, beds, furniture and toys away from windows and window cords, preferably to another wall.
• Keep all window pull cords and inner lift cords out of the reach of children. Make sure that tasseled pull cords are short, that continuous-loop cords are permanently anchored to the floor or wall, and that cord stops are properly installed and adjusted to limit movement of inner lift cords.
• Lock cords into position whenever horizontal blinds or shades are lowered, including when they come to rest on a windowsill.
• Consider installing cordless window coverings in children’s bedrooms and play areas.
• Replace window blinds, corded shades and draperies manufactured before 2001with today’s safer products, or retrofit them with cord-retrofit devices.
Details on ordering free retrofit devices are available by calling the WCSC toll-free at 1-800-506-4636, or though their website: www.windowcoverings.org.
Everyday Green Choices
The Fish Dilemma: Getting Essential Oils Without The Toxins
By Lisa Cohn
Breastfeeding mothers — as well as all parents — face a dilemma when it comes to providing their children with Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA), an Omega-3 fatty acid that’s essential to the growth and functioning of the brain. It’s easiest to get DHA from eating fish, but fish are often contaminated with heavy metals, says Dr. David Perlmutter, a neurologist who is author of The Better Brain Book and medical director of the Perlmutter Health Center, Naples, FL.
Fish can contain toxins such as Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), mercury and pesticides that undermine cognition, he says. "We see kids every day with cognitive issues because of heavy metal toxicity. Parents should be taking this information seriously about the toxins in fish," says Dr. Perlmutter.
The benefits of consuming DHA are numerous, says Gretchen K. Vannice, a registered dietician and Research Coordinator for Nordic Naturals, Watsonville, CA., which produces fish oil supplements designed to be toxin-free.
In particular, DHA is required for infant development, says Vannice. Research has shown that infants who get enough DHA through their mother’s dietary intake (in the womb and through breast milk) have better cognitive development and vision. In addition, mothers who consume enough DHA are more likely to have full-term babies, she says.
Additional critical ingredients in fish are the other Omega-3 fatty acids, Vannice says.
"Omega-3 fatty acids help with joint health and brain health." They’re also good for the heart.
To ensure kids don’t consume contaminants, parents should avoid shark, swordfish, tilefish and king mackerel, says Lorna Pascal, a registered dietician at the Dave Winfield Nutrition Center at Hackensack University Medical Center. Toxins concentrate in the fat of these large fish, she says.
And parents should avoid farm-raised fish, which often are trapped in an environment that contains their own "droppings", says Dr. Perlmutter. Wild salmon is an excellent source of DHA and Omega-3 oils, he adds.
Parents should also consider supplements, says Dr. Perlmutter. They may want to consider non-fish sources of DHA, including Golden Circle Farm Eggs and oil products made from marine algae. Two examples are "Neuromins DHA" and GoldMinds DHA, which are produced by Martek DHA.
Lisa Cohn, co-author of ‘Everyday Green Choices’, is a writer who specializes in parenting and environmental issues. Visit her at www.realwriters.net.