The latest recalls families should be aware of…. Animal Tracking Kits and Baby Mattresses

June 8, 2008 at 7:08 pm | Posted in Animals, Art, Babies, Blogroll, Parenting, Science, Toy Recals | 1 Comment
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animal tracking explorer kit

MindWare, in conjunction with the Consumer Products Safety Commission (, has issued a voluntary recall notice for Animal Tracking Explorer Kit, sold by MindWare in Fall/Winter 2007.

We have recently been informed by our supplier, Interplay UK Ltd, that some shipments of this product, which should have included Plaster of Paris, actually included calcium hydroxide. Calcium hydroxide is an irritant, misuse of which could cause irritation to the skin and eyes.

While MindWare has not received any complaints or notification of injury we are advising customers who have purchased this product and still have any material remaining in the bag marked “Plaster of Paris”, to immediately dispose of it, taking care to avoid spillage on the skin or clothing.

It is also advisable to dispose of any casts made using this kit. In case of skin contact with the calcium hydroxide, wash thoroughly with soap and water.

If you purchased this product and wish to receive a full refund for your Animal Tracking Explorer Kit or if you would like to receive a replacement pack of Plaster of Paris, free of charge, please contact us:

By mail: MindWare Customer Service, 2100 County Road C West, Roseville, MN 55113-2501
By phone: 1-800-588-1072
By email:

This information was posted directly from MindWare’s website

Pottery Barn Simmons Mattress

At Simmons Kids, our singular mission is to provide a healthy sleep environment for babies and children. Because of our commitment to ensuring that our products are as safe as possible for our youngest consumers, we, in cooperation with the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), have announced a voluntary product recall on certain open coil crib mattresses.

A small percentage (just over 1%) of full-size open coil crib mattresses have been found to fall short of the recommended minimum width for full size crib mattresses. Some mattresses may be from 1/16 inch to 1/4 inch narrower (about the size of a pencil eraser) than the 27-1/4″ minimum width recommended by federal regulations.

These mattresses were sold in the United States at Pottery Barn Kids and by a limited number of nursery furniture retailers. All of the mattresses that are part of this recall have a law tag like that shown below, which includes the date of manufacture between July 1, 2006 and March 23, 2008, and the model number. A few mattresses with a date of manufacture before July 1, 2007 will not include a model number, but can be identified by the color label attached to the top or the side of the mattress.

In order to prevent even the smallest potential for injury, we ask that you follow the instructions below in order to determine whether your product is affected. If you have any questions, please call toll-free 800-810-8611 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Thursday or 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. ET on Friday. You can also e-mail our Customer Assistance department:

In most cases, the model name and manufacture date of your mattress will be shown on the large color label that is attached to the top or the side of your mattress. The model names included in this recall are below. No other models are included in this recall.

Affected Model Names Affected Model Numbers
Pottery Barn Kids by Simmons Kids Lullaby H59044.15.0014
Simmons Kids Slumber Time Evening Star Luxury Firm M59082.15.0002
Simmons Kids Baby Mattress Series 400 M59027.15.0002
Simmons Kids Baby Mattress 234 Coil Count M59056.15.0006

If the law tag matches any of the model names and numbers listed above, you must measure the mattress to determine whether it needs to be replaced. To measure your mattress:

  • Take the mattress out of the crib
  • Remove all coverings from the mattress
  • Lay mattress on the floor with the sleep surface facing up
  • Using a reliable tape measure or yard stick, measure at the middle of the mattress from outside tape edge to outside tape edge
  • If the width measures less than 27-1/4″, contact Simmons Kids for a free replacement

To facilitate a product exchange, please call Simmons toll-free at 800-810-8611 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Thursday, or 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. ET on Friday. You can also e-mail our Customer Assistance department:

Thank you again for your cooperation as we work through this important safety measure.
Click to download: Simmons Kids Voluntary Recall Press Release (PDF)

High Tech learning is not what it is made out to be…read on…

November 3, 2007 at 7:03 pm | Posted in books, Christmas, Kindermusik, Music, Musical Instruments, Parenting, Toy Recals | Leave a comment


In this pre-Christmas, post Chinese-lead-fear, time I think it is very important to point out to parents some concerns regarding what they buy their kids for Christmas. Parents are looking for safe gifts that will benefit their children and create fun and educational kinds of experiences.

In this effort to find the perfect gifts for your young ones I want to recommend some research on your part to find the best age-appropriate gifts for your child. So I did a search online … Safe gifts for Children … and what do I see as the hot recommendation? Computer games, software and technologically advanced toys. Parents beware! Please, please do not buy computer software gifts for your 2 year old! Instead give them a movement and music experience or something active… read on why I believe this …
W..H ..Y kids D .O .N .’ .T __ N .E .E .D __ C .O .M .P .U .T .E .R .S

Don’t feel guilty about not buying your toddler a Pentium, You may be doing the kid a favor.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –



ANDREW LEONARD in a book review on Salon 21st writes…”When my soon-to-be 4-year-old daughter changed preschools a few months ago, I worried about the new school’s lack of computers. The old school had a Macintosh, and the kids would spend half an hour or so each day messing around with learning software programs and sending their parents unintelligible e-mail. But the new school was far from the computing cutting edge, and that made me feel guilty: Was I hindering my daughter’s ability to successfully compete in the 21st century?

I certainly wasn’t helping out at home. You might think that someone as obsessed with technology as a professional technology reporter would make sure his kids were programming in C++ before kindergarten. But in fact I don’t own a single “learning software” program. To my enduring shame, I’d much rather kick back and watch “The Simpsons” with my daughter than escort her through the interactive CD-ROM version of “Green Eggs and Ham.”

Bad Daddy, my daughter might blurt. But maybe not. However unwittingly, however base my motives, by limiting my daughter’s exposure to computers I may actually have been doing the right thing — at least according to Jane Healy, author of “Failure to Connect: How Computers Affect Our Children’s Minds — for Better and Worse.”

“Failure to Connect” is no neo-Luddite rant; instead, it’s a must read for anyone who cares about kids and computers. Healy is an educator with decades of experience, and she has researched her topic to exhaustion. Demolishing the hype of what she calls “technology pushers,” Healy delivers a hearty rebuttal to the conventional wisdom that declares that every child’s classroom and bedroom should have its own computer. Not only is there scant evidence that computers actually enhance “learning” in the very young, she argues, but there is good reason to believe that too much computer time can actively stunt the healthy development of a child’s mind.

“Some of the most popular education software may even be damaging to creativity, attention, and motivation,” she writes. Bold words, and not ones that the “edutainment” software industry wants to hear. But they’re well worth saying. According to Healy, the market for edutainment programs for home use in the U.S. is growing by 20 to 30 percent a year. And just last year, school expenditures on technology reached $4.34 billion.

Meanwhile, music and art programs — which, unlike computers, have been demonstrated to increase “intelligence” — are constantly being defunded, class sizes continue to rise and underpaid teachers are expected to master nonstop waves of new technology with little technical support or training. What’s wrong with this picture? ….”


Link above to the complete article…and I recommend this book to help you understand the safe use of computer software for your children and other ways of stimulating their brains to encourage the development of healthy learning.

The alternative … recommend Grandma and Grandpa buy a Kindermusik semester and some fun rhythm instruments for your child! What could be better … quality time with your child in a FUN LEARNING experience!

Have a happy and safe shopping time this Christmas! Miss Julie

Kindermusik International assures Parents “Our instruments are safe!”

August 19, 2007 at 3:47 am | Posted in Babies, Children's Music, Kindermusik, Music Making, Parenting, Toy Recals | Leave a comment




These are the two new Baby Instruments a DoSiDo Clacker and Feathers Bird Shaker. Following is a message from Michael Dougherty, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Kindermusik International.

Julie Stewart

Kindermusik International: A Message About Toy Safety  

Recent news reports have highlighted the recall of some toys found to be unsafe. These reports have understandably raised concerns from parents.  I want to be sure you know that Kindermusik shares this concern.

For years Kindermusik has gone to great lengths to assure the safety of our products. That is why parents have come to trust the Kindermusik brand. Kindermusik products are engineered to be educational, entertaining and safe before they enter into production.  Production samples of each product are then rigorously tested by an independent testing lab to ensure that our toys meet the highest safety standards.

 All Kindermusik products have comfortably passed international safety standards in mechanical and fire hazard tests. Our products have also been tested for potentially hazardous materials and have easily met safety standards for those materials. 

Two of our core values at Kindermusik International are to Always Do What is Best for the Child, and to Be Open, Honest, and Direct. At all times, and especially at times like these, our core values guide our actions. That is why we bring this information directly to Kindermusik educators so you are well equipped to answer questions from your parents.

As you have come to expect from Kindermusik, we have taken great care to test that our products are safe, and we will continue safety testing with vigilance. Please refer any further questions regarding the safety of our toys to Kindermusik International 800-628-5687 or


Michael G. Dougherty

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

Kindermusik International

With Toy Recalls every other day…Parents get back to basics

August 17, 2007 at 7:00 am | Posted in Kindermusik, Music Making, Parenting, Toy Recals | Leave a comment


Fellow Kindermusik Educator and friend, Daneille Grimes, of Atlanta wrote the following article regarding getting back to the basics of playing. Daneille is a mother, grandmother, past Kindergarten teacher and of course a Kindermusik Educator! Her roles give her a rich experience to draw from as she gives this very opportune advice. Parents take heed and provide your child with some wonderful play experiences!

“Raindrops on roses, and whiskers on kittens!”

Have you noticed how much pleasure your toddler can find in touching a
pansy petal to his cheek? …or the fascination in the eyes of a three
year old who has discovered a spider crawling on its web? Everyone who
has a one-on-one relationship with a child can get “back to basics” in a
blink of an eye. Even fuzz-balls under the fridge can capture a little
one’s interest. Think about the toys you or your child loved most…..
probably a cuddly bear, a houseful of “little round people”, wooden
building blocks, Colorforms shape sets, or play pots and pans, dishes
and some play dough “food”. A two year old can still spend hours
playing with soapy suds or digging in the sand. Remember the basics
choosing toys and there will be less frustration for you AND your
children. No batteries, raucous electronic voices or beeps, software
that disappoints, violent games, or lost pieces in the bottom of the toy
box. A gift of a big plastic tub with snap-on lid filled with age
appropriate art supplies and blank paper, a plastic drop cloth, and a
collection of “stuff” such as tissue tubes, stickers, rubber bands,
feathers, scraps of fabric and construction paper might be one of the
best gifts you could give. But don’t just set it down in front of your
child…. “Let’s see what we can make!” could be the magic words. Don’t
insist on conformity or beauty. Just the experience of construction can
bring great satisfaction. There are some good books on home-made
instruments for parents and children to make together, combining music
and craft/art. Let me hear of your successes and/or disasters. We can
all learn from each other.

Thank you Daneille! Parents let me know what kinds of fun play activities you and your children are enjoying! We might all get some good ideas!

Fisher Price Toy Recall … FYI

August 3, 2007 at 12:37 am | Posted in Babies, Our Time, Parenting, Toy Recals | 1 Comment

 Dora the Explorer and Perrito 

Fisher-Price, in cooperation with the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission is voluntarily recalling 967,000 toys, including popular Nickelodeon and Sesame Street painted toys  – Big Bird, Elmo, Dora, and Diego – produced by one specific contract manufacturer during a narrow timeframe.   The recalled products were sold in retail stores nationwide since May 1, 2007.   Paint on some of these products COULD contain lead in excess of permissible levels.  

Lead is toxic if ingested and can cause adverse health effects.

Music and Lights Phone

Find the press release and the complete product listing at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission here  A large number of these toys have already been pulled from store shelves, but, in order to be certain, check out the Mattel Consumer Relations Answer Center for detailed information and photos of the specific toys.  To read more about the recall at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, please visit here.  Keep your child safe!

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