Nancy, thank you for that kind introduction. It is so good to be here in Chicago with you, Linda and Boaz. Your organization, Kids In Danger, is a leading source for child safety information and a leading force in the development of child safety standards.
It is also an honor to join forces today with one of the top Attorneys General in the country. Lisa Madigan uses this state's strong consumer protection laws to keep children safe and to hold companies accountable if they put the safety of children at risk.
As enforcers, the Attorney General and I share a similar approach and I'm so pleased that our agencies are finding new ways to collaborate.
I also want to thank my colleague Rachel Weintraub of the Consumer Federation of America for participating in today's event. Some of the best provisions in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 are in there because of the hard work of Rachel.
Linda and Boaz, we are all joining with you today to honor Danny - we are honoring Danny by highlighting how a federal law named after him will help keep other children safe.
Section 104 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act is called the "Danny Keysar Child Product Safety Notification Act." And as of June 28, the law requires that all makers of infant and toddler products provide consumers with a prepaid registration card.
I want all consumers to know that the law prohibits these cards from having marketing information on it. You just need to provide your contact information and the brand and model information of the product.
These registration cards will help us improve the effectiveness of recalls.
We know that direct notice is vital to motivating consumers to act on a recall and these cards will enable manufacturers and retailers to make direct contact with affected consumers.
So I have a simple but important message to deliver to parents, childcare centers and other businesses: when you purchase a juvenile product, fill out the card. That is how you will be contacted in the event of a recall.
Whether it is a card like this or registering online, our message is the same: take the time to fill it out.
This new law and this new effort to track down recalled products will be successful so long as you, the customer, participate.
My message to makers and sellers of juvenile products is also a simple one: make the cards accessible to your customers and encourage them to fill it out.
Don't view this as just another mandate from the government; join us in this effort to get the word out.
Success in this effort will mean that babies, toddlers and young children will not be exposed to dangerous or defective products after they have been recalled. Parents, caregivers, businesses will be notified, they will respond, and we will prevent a tragedy like the one that happened to Danny.
This is why we are here today.
I want parents to know that the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act has another important requirement. It requires that CPSC turn all of the standards for the top juvenile products from voluntary to mandatory.
See the CPSIA is so much more than just a law that impacts lead. It is much more than that.
We at CPSC have already made the standards for baby walkers and baby bath seats into federal mandatory ones.
That is good for CPSC, because we now have more power to enforce these standards and it's good for parents, because it gives them more confidence when they go shopping.
It goes without saying that in recent years the safety of cribs has been in the spotlight of the media, the Attorney General, and the concerns of parents in Chicago and around the state.
I want everyone to know that the staff at CPSC is hard at work delivering on a promise I have made: by the end of 2010 we will have a new and improved federal mandatory crib safety standard.
In fact, the Commission voted unanimously last week to approve the proposed rules. We will be giving the public a chance to provide comments and then we will finalize the rules at the end of this year.
The standard will do away with the dangerous drop sides that have caused dozens of fatalities, mattress supports will be improved, and wood and hardware quality will be improved.
Nancy and Rachel deserve a lot of credit for their work to improve the voluntary standards for cribs, and now we at CPSC are leading the way to force a new generation of safer cribs to come to the market.
Through the new crib standard, other juvenile product standards, and education, we are making safe sleep - a safe sleep for every child - one of the highest priorities of CPSC.
In closing today, I have a message for consumers in Chicago: the CPSC of 2010 is not the CPSC of the past.
We are bigger, we respond faster, and we put the interests of children and consumers first.
Join us, take advantage of the free services we provide and the lifesaving information that is at your fingertips.
Visit our website at CPSC.gov, follow us on Twitter, check out our blog, or download our new Recalls Phone App. Yes, we now have a new app.
We want to keep you informed and help you keep your family safe.
Thank you so much for inviting me to be part of this important press event today.