News and Hot Topics
January 22, 2014
Toys “R” Us Trade-In Event Could Save Lives—and Save You Money
By Leah Ingram
If you’ve ever tried to donate a crib or stroller to a thrift store like Goodwill, then you know that good causes often refuse these kinds of items to sell in their store. What I’ve been told when I’ve tried to make similar donations is that the organization doesn’t want to risk selling something that could have been recalled or might be dangerous to a child.
There is good reason for this concern. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), there were 77,900 nursery-product-related injuries among children younger than age five in 2012, the last year for which statistics are available. Nursery products include cribs, high chairs, and car seats. In many instances, the CPSC had recalled these products as being unsafe, but parents didn’t know. (You can always check the CPSC Recall site or subscribe to its alerts to get a heads up on anyproduct that has been recalled for being unsafe.)
Well, if you happen to be in possession of nursery products or other child paraphernalia, and you’ve been looking to declutter, good news: starting this Friday, Babies “R” Us and Toys “R” Us stores nationwide are holding a massive trade-in event that could save lives by getting possibly recalled products out of your home. It could also save you money. That’s because everyone who donates gets a discount to buy something new.
The “Great Trade-In” event, as it is called, starts on Friday, Jan. 24 and goes through Monday, Feb. 17. All Babies “R” Us and Toys “R” Us stores nationwide will accept the following:
- car seats
- travel systems
- play yards
- high chairs
- toddler/twin beds
In exchange you’ll receive a 25-percent savings certificate that can be applied towards the purchase of a new baby item, in any of these product categories. Plus, customers who trade in will receive a coupon booklet with more than $100 in extra savings.
According to Toys “R” Us, this event, which started in 2009, has resulted in the removal of more than 1 million pieces of used and potentially unsafe cribs, car seats, and more from homes, garages, and attics nationwide.
Saving lives and saving you money—that’s a win-win in my frugal book!
So what kind of baby gear might you bring to Toys “R” Us to trade in?
February 16, 2012
‘Keeping Babies Safe’ Donates 210 Cribs: Group receives grant from Toys ‘R’ Us charitable fund.
By Linda Sadlouskos
Keeping Babies Safe, which has in the past donated cribs to Somerset Hills YMCA, has now donated 210 safe, new cribs to The New Jersey Department of Children and Families and Life Choices Resource Center that will reach all of New Jersey’s 21 counties.
The cribs were purchased by the group after receiving a $25,000 grant from the Toys 'R' Us Children’s Fund through its 2011 New Jersey grant initiative.
“We wanted to reach as many families in New Jersey needing safe, federally-compliant cribs,” said Joyce Davis of Warren, president of Keeping Babies Safe.
“That’s why we donated 210 cribs directly to the New Jersey Department of Children and Families and Life Choices because collectively they reach every county in the state to ensure that parents in need have a safe crib for their baby in early 2012.”
Grants were given by the fund to alleviate economic challenges and sustain organizations that favorably impact children across New Jersey. Keeping Babies Safe was one of 54 organizations selected from 500 charities statewide requesting funding.
Keeping Babies Safe, has a long history of donating cribs throughout New Jersey through affiliations and distribution channels like the New Jersey Department of Children and Families and Life Choices, and made possible by generous grants like Toys 'R' Us—so far, more that 3,000 have been donated. In addition to giving safe cribs, Keeping Babies Safe educates these organizations’ social services professionals on safe sleep and crib practices so they in turn can pass this critical crib safety information onto the communities they serve. Our combined efforts of Keeping Babies Safe’s education, and crib donations campaigns has made an essential difference in providing safe sleep environments to babies throughout the State that otherwise would be sleeping in dangerous conditions.
“The New Jersey Department of Children and Families is extremely grateful for the work of Keeping Babies Safe,” DCF Commissioner Allison Blake said. “Through this partnership, our prevention programs are able to provide brand new, safe cribs for newborns of participating families that lack the necessary financial resources to make this essential purchase.”
The cribs are provided; along with training in crib safety and safe sleep practices, to new mothers and parents in all 21 counties of the state through their participation in the Department of Children and Families’ (DCF) home visiting programs, parenting programs and Family Success Centers.
“As a pregnancy help center located in Metuchen in central New Jersey, Life Choices Resource Center primarily serves clients from Middlesex, Somerset and Union counties, however, we accommodate anyone in New Jersey who contacts us,” says Carolyn Glodek, Director of Client Services. “While we offer emotional support to women who find themselves in an unplanned pregnancy, our efforts would be hollow if we could not assist them materially, as well. Our connection with Keeping Babies Safe allows us to, not only provide a new crib when it is needed, but one that we know will be safe. Keeping Babies Safe also provides us with their educational ‘Safe Sleep (Environments) for Babies’ materials, outlining sleep safety tips for newborns. Keeping Babies Safe fills a huge gap in the lives of many babies, and we are so grateful for their continued support.”
“As a company dedicated to children and families, Toys“R”Us shares in the commitment of Keeping Babies Safe to helping parents and caregivers keep children out of harm’s way, and we are proud that our support has enabled the organization to provide safer sleeping environments for hundreds of babies in New Jersey,” said Kathleen Waugh, Chairman, Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund. “Of the many proposals the Children’s Fund received, Keeping Babies Safe demonstrated a distinctive commitment to supporting children in New Jersey through its safety-focused outreach efforts that positively impact the lives of countless children in the state.”
Grants will support a wide array of unique programs and services aligned with the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund mission of keeping children safe and helping them in times of need. Funding was awarded to nonprofit organizations that demonstrated an immediate and specific need and directly impacted children in the state. Kids in each of New Jersey’s 21 counties will benefit from the impact of the grant initiative through community-based and statewide charities. To view the complete list of recipients, please visit: Toysrusinc.com/charitable-giving/2011NJGrants
Toys“R”Us, Inc. has a long history of giving back to the communities it serves by keeping kids safe and helping them in times of need. The company and the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund together have given hundreds of thousands of dollars in product donations and monetary grants annually to a wide range of nonprofit organizations in New Jersey. For 38 years, Toys“R”Us, Inc. has been based in New Jersey with more than 4,500 employees across more than 45 stores, regional offices, the corporate headquarters and the company’s largest retail distribution center in the country.
Keeping Babies Safe www.keepingbabiessafe.org is a 501 (c)(3) foundation that provides education, assistance and leadership in keeping babies safe from preventable injuries associated with unsafe cribs and unsafe sleep environments. Keeping Babies Safe offers safe cribs, sleep safety information, safety tips, and product recall information to empower parents with information so they can remain vigilant about keeping their babies safe. Keeping Babies Safe, in connection with the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, created “Safe Sleep (Environments) for Babies” educational videos and helpful tips that we are making available to as many parents as possible.
January 13, 2011
Registration Cards for Children’s Products a Welcome Relief
South Florida Sun Sentinel
Parents have a hard enough time juggling their kids' busy social calendars, keeping on top of their homework duties, not to mention managing the demands of their own work schedules. Keeping track of the millions of recalls on children's products doesn't even make it on most American moms' to-do list.
In the vacuum, far too many unsafe products remain in use by families unaware of the danger to their little ones' health and safety. In the past 10 years, 57 million children's products were recalled for their potential to cause injury or death. And yet a recent Consumer Reports survey found just 20 percent of 2,005 people polled realized they had bought recalled medications, food or other products that could put their family in harm's way.
Thankfully, new federal requirements are going to make it much easier for parents to stay on top of the rapid-fire recalls, but it's going to take a little work on their part.
From now on, 19 different types of long-lasting children's products — from strollers to cribs to playthings — will have to come attached with easy-to-see, postage-free registration cards. They take little time to fill out, cost nothing to send and can't be used to gather customer contact information for advertising. Those who buy the products secondhand can register online. Entered into a required database, the information will allow manufacturers to quickly alert consumers to recalled items.
For busy, safety-conscious parents, the registration system should come as welcome relief. The concern, though, is that a lack of awareness will have the same undermining effect for this program as it has for the many recall efforts.
So some major retailers like Toys R Us are promoting the effort, even initiating a safety awareness campaign that offers parents tips on tracking recalls. Sounds like a responsible business practice, and an effective way to curry customer satisfaction and loyalty. More retailers would give their customers, and themselves, a big boost by getting in on the act.
It says something about the state of product safety in America that such a quick-contact system has to be put in wide-scale use in the event a product is deemed a danger. It says it's happening far too often. Finally, something is being done to make recalls more effective.
Now, if we could improve products on the front end, and make recalls more of an exception than the rule, we'd really be making headway.
BOTTOM LINE: System should come as welcome relief to safety-conscious parents.