Turning grief into a grass-roots movement

Parents of children who were injured or killed while using baby products are turning their grief into a grassroots movement to promote child safety.

Ten years before Danny Keysar died when a Playskool Travel-Lite portable crib collapsed, a different Danny was killed in a full-size crib. Danny Lineweaver's parents started a foundation and fought for crib-safety legislation in California. A similar law has been passed in Colorado, Washington, Pennsylvania, and Arizona.

Kids in Danger, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving children's product safety, fought for a version of that law to be expanded to cover durable children's products. The result, the Children's Product Safety Act, was passed in Illinois in 1999.

The law makes it illegal to sell recalled or unsafe children's products and also requires that all licensed day-care centers be inspected for such products. Danny Keysar's death occurred at a licensed day- care center, which had passed inspection just eight days earlier. The inspectors had no idea the product had been recalled.

Similar laws have been passed in Michigan and Arkansas and are pending in Lousiana and Vermont, says Linda Ginzel, Danny Keysar's mother and the founder, with her husband, of Kids in Danger.

Kids In Danger also helped draft federal legislation in 1999 that focused on recall issues. Known as the Daniel Keysar Memorial and Children's Consumer Product Safety Act of 1999, the bill was to have been reintroduced this session by Illinois Congressman Rod Blagojevich.

The bill calls for a pilot program between CPSC, retailers, and manufacturers to identify consumers at the point of purchase through a product-registration card similar to the one used for car seats.

The bill would also restore CPSC's budget and staffing, free CPSC from some of the industry constraints, and require independent, third-party certification for all durable children's products.

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(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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