By Sari Davidson, Owner, Founder, and CEO of BooginHead (Estimated reading time: 3 minutes)
So you’re gonna buy a baby product in the United States! There’s great news — for decades, there have been strict laws and regulatory bodies established at the federal level to protect babies and children from dangerous products. But there’s also some not-great news: it’s up to the manufacturers who make the products to self-regulate, self-test, and self-report their own safety and compliance, and that leaves *a lot* of opportunity to sneak under the radar for unscrupulous, uncaring baby product manufacturers. Let’s dig deeper.
Established in 1972, the CPSC, or the Consumer Product Safety Commission, is a government agency that focuses on keeping all the products we use, especially those for babies and kids, safe and reliable. They test and check things like pacifiers, pacifier clips, bibs, strollers, cribs, toys, and more to make sure they don’t have any hidden dangers that manufacturers themselves may not have accounted for – things like unexpected small or breakable parts, or chemicals like lead in surface coatings and substrate materials. If a CPSC-mandated safety test finds something isn’t safe about the product being tested, the CPSC can get the item removed from the market. The safest brands (like BooginHead!) will actually test their products multiple times before they ever hit the market to ensure what goes on the shelves is the safest it can possibly be, at the highest quality.
The CPSIA, or Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, was signed into law in 2008. It is an extensive set of important rules, detailed testing methods, and safety guidelines that help make sure items are tested to mandatory standards before they are sold and it made consumer products safer by practically eliminating lead levels and banning phthalates in children’s products.
This is excellent and reassuring that baby products sold in the United States are going to be safe, but here’s the bummer. Adherence to CPSC and CPSIA regulations is a self-governing process. Baby product manufacturers are expected to self-regulate. The CPSC doesn’t have the resources to test every single product or catch every company’s mistakes or violations. Instead, they set out the rules and expectations, and companies are responsible for testing their products and making sure they meet the safety standards in CPSC/CPSIA guidelines. This means that while these regulations provide an essential framework for product safety, it’s crucial for companies to take their responsibilities seriously and ensure their products are safe for consumers.
You may be familiar with the massive amount of baby and children’s products being sold very cheaply online by strange brands with wild names like JOOFOSS, or maybe SMLPUAME, or maybe AIXMEET — odd strings of letters selling baby products that look similar to baby products you’d find from trusted brands like Munchkin, or Dr. Brown’s, or BooginHead. Unfortunately, many of these strange sellers on e-commerce marketplaces like Amazon.com often fall short in effectively self-regulating their products according to CPSC and CPSIA guidelines. Unlike established and reputable companies that prioritize adherence to safety standards, unfamiliar brands may not rigorously test or ensure their products meet the necessary safety requirements. Online shoppers need to exercise caution and research products and brands, leaning towards ones they recognize or have credible recommendations for, to ensure the safety and well-being of their family.
But it’s not all doom and gloom! One simple green flag to confirm whether a baby product complies with CPSC and CPSIA guidelines is to check if it’s sold in the baby aisle of a major brick and mortar retailer. Brick and mortar stores like Walmart and Dollar Tree do a thorough safety check and review of a product’s documentation before placing it in the baby aisle, essentially doing the legwork for new parents concerned about a product’s safety. BooginHead is very familiar with this process. We have to submit our safety testing documentation to our retail partners yearly. If you find your item in a baby aisle, you can be confident in its safety.
If you’re interested to learn more about baby product safety, BooginHead is all over social media talking about what makes baby products safe! Check us out @booginhead on TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. We love to hear from you, answer your questions, and investigate baby products together. Shop safe, everyone!
About the Author
Sari is the owner, founder, and CEO of BooginHead. What she built in her kitchen in 2005 has grown into a globally distributed brand of stylish baby essentials like pacifier clips, baby bibs, cup tethers, and teethers, trusted by parents around the world to keep their babies safe, comforted, and soothed. Now 15 years in business and growing faster than ever, BooginHead understands parenting is a challenge. They make it easier with stylish, universal, affordable baby products that lend a helping hand when you need it most. Happy parents, happy babies, joyful families. @booginhead on TikTok, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook!