Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Did you know there is a new law that will effect what you can buy for your children?

You may or may not be aware of a piece of new legislation. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) was passed in August of this year. It came as a result of last years crazy mess of lead and phthalates tainted children's products from China. Well your voice was heard. The CPSC with the approval of Congress and President Bush wrote a very broad law forbidding any untested products from being sold in the US market. This is great!

Well not so fast. In theory this new law is great and I am 100% in support of safe toys for our babies and children. But don't take this new law at face value. As a fellow consumer I encourage you to speak up. Because of the CPSIA you are most likely going to be paying higher prices for the toys, clothing, and gear you desire or need for your kids. The testing that is now being required is retroactive. This means retailers are going to have to pull anything that hasn't been cleared under the new guidelines, from the store shelves. Such items will be considered "hazardous materials" as of February 10, 2009. This also means, many toy makers, and clothing or gear manufacturers are going to close up shop. The cost of the now required testing is extremely high. The CPSIA requires that every variation of each item also be tested, so those companies that do remain, may limit your choices in colors and styles to help them keep their costs down. In summary- this means your selection and variety are likely going to be limited in both large and small stores. And the boutique style goods you are in love with are likely going to disappear from the market all together.

Sites like ETSY and Ebay are going to have little to no homemade goods available for your children. Crafters at your school's craft show will not be allowed to sell children's products that have not be certified by an approved testing facility. The penalty for selling untested goods are fines in the range of $50k-100k. This may even effect you, if you are a seller or designer of handmade goods.

How this effect Resa Design. Well, it hits us hard. All our products fall into the broad arms of this new act. At current costs (which are increasing daily b/c of the very high demand) we could afford to test one product, maybe too. This would mean we could keep one size shirt in short and long sleeve, but only in one color. Or we could keep two changing pads. But what kind of offering is this for you, our customer? Not much of one. But we won't go down without a fight.

We are not fighting for an exemption- we are fighting for clear instructions on how and what needs to be tested, and affordable options for every manufacturer.

So I write all this because I wanted you to know what the children's market is up to as it pertains to you, a consumer. I am sure you will be finding yourself disappointed in the selections that are going to be available to you after this law goes into action on February 10th. I pray that your favorite local baby store is able to stay open, and you will have options even at the big box stores, but without a change, this will not be the case.

What can you do?

1. Start by forwarding this information to everyone you know. Parents of young children are not the only ones touched by this legislation.

2. Vote for amending the law on Change.org. With enough votes it will be presented to President Obama in January!

3. Find your Congress people and write a letter like the sample here. Particularly if they serve on the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection or the House Committee on Small Business. If you click here you will be taken to a site that will help you automatically contact your local representatives with a form letter (very fast and easy)!

4. Send an email directly to the CPSC or contact chairperson Nancy Nord at 301-504-7923.

5. Sign this petition, to be submitted to the CPSC.

6. Check out these additional resources: 

Tell your friends and mom's groups about what's going on. And speak out as a consumer. Support safe goods for our kids, but support clear and available business practices for those who make these goods.

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I'll keep you posted.


  1. yikes, that's a lot to process all at once. I'd like to research a bit more into this. could you send me any links or where you got your sources? thanks!

  2. I'm totally upset about how the law impacts producers like Resa Design. I got a Big Sister shirt for my girl, and was planning on getting a Little Sibling shirt once baby arrives... unfortunately that will be after the 10th of February. I wouldn't have thought a few months ago that there would be any reason that I might not be able to fulfill my plan.

    Yes, that concern seems pretty frivolous, but it's just one story out of millions, of people who are potentially impacted by the CPSIA.

    Thanks for fighting to stay in business!


Thank you for sharing!!