South Carolina will begin selling ad space inside their public school buses—11-inch strips above the windows are now for sale, and “Interested school districts get about $2,100 per month per bus.”
Woolworths in London has pulled its Lolita bed from its online store after complaints from parents. A Woolworths spokesman said, “What seems to have happened is the staff who run the website had never heard of Lolita, and to be honest no one else here had either. We had to look it up on Wikipedia.
Members Of Congress Implore Mattel To "Do The Right Thing," Recall Lead-Tainted Toy Blood-Pressure Cuff
56 Members of Congress want to know why Mattel CEO Robert Eckert refuses to issue a nationwide recall for a toy blood-pressure cuff that is contaminated with lead. The affected blood-pressure cuff, sold as part of the Fisher-Price Medical Kit, was recalled exclusively in Illinois after Mattel received a complaint from State Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Legislators want Eckert to stand by a pledge made to reassure a jittery public before the holiday buying season that Mattel would ‘earn back our trust with deeds, not just with words.’
Thomas the Tank Engine makers have settled a class-action-lawsuit against for $30 million, stemming from their production of anthropomorphic toy trains brought to life with lead-tainted paint. Under the terms, RC2 will give cash refunds or replacement toys, plus a “bonus” toy. Hopefully this time RC2 will check to make sure the apology choo-choos aren’t lead-tainted as well.
Several toy makers are refusing to issue recalls for their toys, even though tests have proved they contain over 500 times the legal limit for lead. One says that it’s leadly charm bracelets are not toys and therefore not subject to toy rules. Ty, which famously makes Beanie Babies, is refusing to pull “Jammin’ Jenna,” because while state law bans vinyl toys with more lead than 600 parts per million limit, the federal law doesn’t – an argument that won’t go over well with the attorney general’s office, or parents.
In the list of most popular regrets, the “if only my parents had taught me that” one usually ranks pretty high, which is why we’re glad to have found this post titled “How to talk to your teenager about personal finance.”
Hannah Devane is 3 years old and is allergic to food. Not certain specific foods. Hannah has a rare disorder that makes her allergic to every kind of food except a certain formula that her insurance company says is a “nutritional supplement.” Feeding Hannah costs $300 a week, but without the formula Hannah can’t eat enough to survive without doing permanent damage to her esophagus.
Consumer Reports says that Fisher-Price has finished testing another toy blood pressure cuff and have found that it exceeds the Illinois lead limit for toys.
You may want to write your own letter from Santa to the kids this year. Canada Post has temporarily shut down their popular “Write to Santa” program, which delivers over a million letters to kids in Canada and elsewhere, while they track down the volunteer who’s been sending out obscene letters to kids.
Toy injuries were responsible for 22 deaths and 220,500 emergency room visits in 2006, according to a report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The report looked at injuries affecting children under 15 and found that most deaths were caused by asphyxiation or collisions associated with riding toys, scooters, toy pegs, and rubber balls.
Kids who spin yo-yo waterballs around their heads can get them wrapped around their necks, leading to tales of temporary blindness, blackouts, and neck scars. Today New Jersey voted 71-to-7 to ban sales of the toy. [Newsday]
The CEO of Toys “R” Us tells the AP that all this testing of toys by advocacy groups is frustrating: “We’ve had many, many cases where we have taken the products and retested them and found them to be totally safe.” Stupid advocacy groups! The toy store will protect us! [Associated Press]
Merck is recalling 1.2 million of its PedvaxHIB and Comvax vaccines after “quality-control checks found production equipment may not have been properly sterilized.” There have been no reports of problems—they’re just being extra careful. [Reuters]
J.D. at GetRichSlowly was asked by a reader for suggestions on good presonal finance books to give as a gift this year. He points out that giving such a gift is a sensitive matter, since it can be received poorly if the recipient isn’t in the right frame of mind. On the other hand, he writes, “It was because a friend gave me a copy of Your Money or Your Life that I finally turned my finances around.” Here are his suggestions for books geared toward children, teenagers, young adults, and “old folks.”
We can probably all agree that there haven’t been enough tainted-toy stories this year, so the Wall Street Journal is reporting that tests on about 1,200 toys by consumer and health organizations have revealed that about a third contain not just lead but “other potentially harmful chemicals, including mercury, cadmium and arsenic.” Oh, they must be talking about the new Bratz Heavy Metal dolls, R’senic and Mercurie.
Score another win for folk treatments: a new study says that honey is more effective than over-the-counter dextromethorphan syrups at treating a child’s cough: “The results were so strong that we were able to say clearly that honey was better than no treatment and dextromethorphan was not.”
Toy drive organizers are recruiting extra volunteers to help them “throw away” recalled toys, says USAToday.
While Aquadots grabbed all the news this month, 1,391,800 products were recalled for lead contamination. Most of them were cheap toy jewelry, cars, and action figures. The sort of stuff you see at “dollar stores.”