Friday, December 5, 2008

Federal Changes in Toy Testing May Interrupt Switch Adapted Toy Making in U.S.

Is the Fed turning into the Grinch when it comes to adapted toys for orthopedically impaired children?

In an attempt to prevent lead-based paint and unsafe toys coming into the U.S., new federally imposed standards and regulations may inadverdently bring an end to the availability of switch-adapted toys in America.
Nancy Nord (pictured above) acting chief of the CPSC - Consumer Product Safety Commission,
defended her agency in light of a record number of toy recalls for safety issues last year. See the full story here.
In an article from ABC News, August of 2008, we were informed of new regulations and federal standards on toy safety:

"Mandatory federal standards will soon dictate how many children's products are made before they can be sold in stores. On Thursday, the president signed into law an expansive consumer product safety measure that includes, among many elements, tough new standards for lead and chemicals in products meant for kids younger than 12. It also calls for mandatory safety tests and sets forth more ways to keep kids safe in the event of a recall. "

I heard the other day that some of our major assistive technology toy companies in the USA may be struggling to navigate the new mandatory safety tests. The companies that adapt toys for switch activation are already combatting a downturn in our economy. The extra expense and manpower to jump through legal hoops to meet new testing criteria could pose a challenge great enough to put them out of business.

If you are a user of manufactured switch-adapted toys, you might want to research into the regulations and contact your manufacturers main headquarters and ask how you can help. I plan to contact several companies that adapt toys and get their perspectives on this. I will share what I learn and see if we can get a discussion on the talk show about it. Once we have some definite data and testimony on the issues, a letter to your congressman or woman might be in order.

The ABC news article went on to say:
"This bill will help to ensure that products Americans find on their store shelves are safe and that the regulating agencies have the resources they need to enforce law," White House Deputy Press Secretary Tony Fratto said today. "This has become an increasingly difficult and complex job as more imports from more nations are now sold in the United States than ever before. Although we had some concerns with the bill, we're pleased that Congress included some recommendations from the President's Action Plan for Import Safety."
I can see regulating and imposing safety tests on imported toys based on the recalls of toys due to toxic paint and malfunctions that damage children, but when a toy that has already passed an inspection is then adapted by another company in the United States, shouldn't there be some provisions?

Santa isn't working in his toyshop with a jolly ho, ho, ho on this one.

I will keep you posted...

All the best to you!


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