No lunch for you!

Lunch Ladies Teach Middle Schoolers About Debt, Trash Their Lunches If They Owe Money

It’s never too early for kids to learn that living in revolving debt is bad, but how you get that lesson across is a tricky thing. For example, let’s say that you’re the contractor that serves school lunches in a middle school, and you take away the trays of children whose parents owe the lunch vendor money and toss a few dozen perfectly edible meals in the trash. This would be a bad way to teach kids about debt. [More]

Warning: Kids Might Eat Expanding Polymer Balls That Look Like Candy

Warning: Kids Might Eat Expanding Polymer Balls That Look Like Candy

Here’s the thing: if you make something that’s brightly colored and looks like candy, kids are going to eat it. Water Balz and other similar expanding, water-absorbing polymer toys seem pretty fun, and are also bright and shiny and look like candy. The problem comes when a pet or a child who is too young to understand gets hold of one of these delicious treats and eats it. [More]

Always stay with your buddy!

UPS Fails To Use The Buddy System When One Of My Packages Wanders Off

When two items go out together as part of the same shipment, should they necessarily stay together? Nowal’s parents got her twins a table and chairs for their birthday, which shipped out in two packages. The toddlers celebrating their birthdays might understand the buddy system, but UPS doesn’t: even though the two packages shipped as a two-package shipment, one box arrived on time while the other disappeared into the bowels of the UPS system because of a damaged label. [More]

Fictional Toddler Pleads With Juice Company CEOs In The Sugar Wars

The Honest Toddler, fictional brat and online darling of parents and humor fans alike, recently pleaded with the mysterious figure who is the CEO of Juice to start lying to his or her customers already. Why are parents so concerned about sugar and corn syrup, anyway? “‘Is it 100% juice?’ It’s 100% something!” [The Honest Toddler]

We always thought Mr. Cheese was a little too perky all the time.

Mom Claims 4-Year-Old Found Drugs At Chuck E. Cheese’s, Manager Wouldn’t Call Cops

A mother in Illinois says her young daughter found an unexpected gift baggie while attending a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese’s. Making matters worse, the mom claims that the restaurant’s management refused to notify the police for fear of being shut down. [More]


Should Diners Be Rewarded For Well-Behaved Kids, Or Should That Just Be The Norm?

We’ve seen the joy that can spread when restaurant employees type in an personalized discount on diner’s receipts — perhaps complimenting the customer or simply giving a discount to wish a mother-to-be luck. In another recent case of a generous restaurant server, the worker gave a family $4 off the bill for having “well behaved kids.” Sweet, right? Or should it just be expected that if you’re dining out, you keep your kids under control?


The Natart Chelsea Dresser (left) and Million Dollar Baby's "Emily" Dresser have both been recalled.

Kids’ Dressers Recalled Following Deaths Of 3 Toddlers

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced recalls for two separate kids’ dressers following the deaths of three toddlers possibly resulting from the furniture falling on the children. [More]


‘It Really Is A Business’: Why Taking Your Own Santa Visit Pictures Makes You A Cheap Jerk

Last week, we ran a post with advice for families bringing kids to visit Santa, written by a former mall Santa who got the job despite being skinny, thirtyish, and Jewish. He explained how to keep your children from melting down on Santa’s lap. One former elf, who we’ll call “Holly,” took offense at one of that particular Santa’s tips for saving money, and wrote in to explain how things worked at the mall where she served as “elf,” or manager of the Santa set. The main thing she wants our readers to know: if you don’t buy any photos and insist on only taking your own, you’re a Grinchy jerk who is figuratively yanking money out of every employee’s pockets. [More]

(AJ Brustein)

Food Companies Have Figured Out How To Market To Kids: Smartphones, Duh

If you’re suddenly hearing things from your kids like, “Mommy, can I please have a [insert food item child has never, ever asked for before]?” just look at the piece of electronic gadgetry in your child’s hands. Food marketers have wised up to the fact that kids these days are getting smartphones younger and younger, and subsequently becoming glued to the devices early on. Ah, nothing like a captive audience to get your ad campaign across. [More]


Spangler Candy Company Delights Autistic Child, Comforts Struggling Family

At this time of year, Spangler may be best known for their candy canes, but they’re also the company behind cheap, tiny, flavorful Dum Dums lollipops. Normally, these candies come in a large bag of assorted flavors, which the discerning candy-eater will then paw through to find the cream soda-flavored ones. What you may not know is that at the company’s web site, you can find tubs of single flavors. When Rebecca learned this, she ordered up a few for her son, who is autistic and has obsessive-compulsive disorder. A single container of his favorite flavor? Perfect for him. Rebecca wrote to the company to tell them how happy this product made her son. Then they wrote back. [More]


NJ Lottery: Gambling Addiction Is Not A Merry Holiday Gift For Your Child

Sure, you can’t take your favorite 10-year-old niece with you to your favorite casino to feed electronic quarters into a dazzling slot machine until her eyes glaze over and she enters a gambling-induced trance. That’s generally illegal. What’s perfectly legal, though, is buying her a nice pile of instant lottery tickets to play. You have to be 18 years old to buy scratchers, but not to play them. Which is why the New Jersey State Lottery and the state Council on Compulsive Gambling put out a statement this week warning that giving lottery tickets to kids might just win them a lifetime of gambling addiction. [More]

Kmart Goes Above And Beyond To Help Mother Of Triplets

Kmart Goes Above And Beyond To Help Mother Of Triplets

Having one young child can be a hassle (or so I read on Facebook every day), but having triplets makes everything that much more complicated. So it was a great relief for one Consumerist reader when her local Kmart went out of its way to help her in her search for three car seats. [More]


JCPenney Shuts Down Portrait Studio Due To Broken Camera, Forgets To Tell Us

We keep hearing about how desperate JCPenney is to get customers and their wallets inside the doors these days. Well, they’re not going to get reader Kristen and her family’s money anymore. It’s too bad, too: Kristen and Mr. Kristen have twin babies. Do you know how fast kids outgrow their clothes? In duplicate? They had made an appointment at their local JCP’s portrait studio, and found the studio abandoned. The ostensible reason: the camera was broken. You’re running a portrait studio without a backup camera? [More]

Don't give into the temptation...

CDC: Kids Sure Do Love Chewing On, Getting Sick From Detergent Pods

It’s no secret that little kids like bright, shiny colorful things, and that curiosity compels them to place these objects in their mouths. But since most children under the age of five are not yet versed in the possible harms of household chemicals, lots of them are popping bright, shiny colorful detergent pods into their waiting maws. [More]

(David Bivins)

5 Best Stores For Having Playdates While You Shop

To all the parents of young children out there who are constantly wrangled into making playdates for your kid(s). Just because you’ve scheduled a playdate for your little one(s), it doesn’t mean you can’t also get in some all-important shopping while the youngsters amuse each other for a few hours. [More]

Should Clothes For Larger Children Be Called 'Plus-Size'?

Should Clothes For Larger Children Be Called 'Plus-Size'?

People come in different sizes. This is particularly true for children, whose bodies are constantly growing and changing. Standard sizes meant for all kids don’t fit all kids, especially with an increasing percentage of overweight children. Boys’ clothing cut larger with the designation of “Husky” have been around for a while, and some kids and parents find them embarrassing. But what about girls? Some retailers of children’s clothing have introduced larger cuts of clothing for girls as young as 3, but have designated these clothes “plus size,” just like clothes for larger adult women. [More]

Potty Training Your Kids At The Restaurant Table Might Possibly Upset Nearby Diners

Potty Training Your Kids At The Restaurant Table Might Possibly Upset Nearby Diners

Whatever you might think of mom’s breastfeeding their young children in public, there are generally laws protecting those women. The same can’t be said for potty training your kids in the middle of a restaurant. [More]

Parents Of Twin Tots Appease Fellow Travelers By Handing Out Bags Of Candy, Ear Plugs

Parents Of Twin Tots Appease Fellow Travelers By Handing Out Bags Of Candy, Ear Plugs

There is nothing like the experience of being stuck thousands of feet in the air in a tiny metal tube with screaming newborns. Knowing this, it appears that the parents of one set of twin babies wanted to get in the good graces of their fellow travelers by handing out bags of candy — and offering free earplugs to — the people around them. [More]