Category Archives: Toddlers

Graco recalls Quattro and MetroLite strollers due to risk of entrapment and strangulation

Graco Quattro & Metrolite strollers recalled

Graco Quattro & Metrolite strollers recalled

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Graco, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer products:

– Graco Quattro Tour™ strollers and travel systems manufactured prior to November 2006

– MetroLite™ strollers and travel systems manufactured prior to July 2007

CPSC and Graco have received four reports of infant strangulations resulting in death that occurred in these strollers between 2003 and 2005. In addition, CPSC is aware of five reports of infants becoming entrapped, resulting in cuts and bruises, and one report of an infant having difficulty breathing.

Entrapment and strangulation can occur, especially to infants younger than 12 months of age, when a child is not harnessed. An infant can pass through the opening between the stroller tray and seat bottom, but his/her head and neck can become entrapped by the tray. Infants who become entrapped at the neck are at risk of strangulation.

About 2 million strollers are affected due to risk of entrapment and strangulation. For a complete list of the Graco stroller model numbers involved in this recall, visit this US CPSC website page.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled strollers and contact Graco for a free repair kit. To order a repair kit, contact Graco toll-free at 877-828-4046 anytime, or visit the firm’s website at www.gracobaby.com. Consumers can continue use of the stroller as a “travel system.” When the stroller is used with the infant car seat, the entrapment and strangulation hazards posed by the space gap are not present.

Also check Tike Tech and Valco’s recall of jogging strollers on October 6, 2010.

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Our up-close-and-personal encounter with Mo Willems – the “Knuffle Bunny Free” book tour

Knuffle Bunny Free by Mo Willems

Knuffle Bunny Free by Mo Willems

As I was counting the days until the release of Mo Willems’ new “Knuffle Bunny Free” book last week, I had made plans to visit our local bookstore this week and read it with my kids. So I visited Barnes & Noble this past Thursday with my two-and-a-half year old son, whose patience didn’t last beyond the moment where Trixie realizes something… How the heck can he walk away from the book right now? I wondered, as I frantically devoured the rest of the book while my son rushed to play with the Thomas train table. Gosh, I knew this was going to be the last of the Knuffle Bunny series, but I didn’t anticipate Mo Willems to finish it so well, including his personal note to the “real Trixie”. I cannot and do not want to imagine my boys growing up yet, so kudos to Willems for daring to do so in such a perfect way!

Back home, I felt the urge to read more about Willems, so I ended up visiting his website and then his blog. There I found out he just started a book tour for “Knuffle Bunny Free”. Secretly hoping he’d make a pit stop in San Diego, I scrolled through the tour dates and locations, and found the only California stop to occur in Mission Viejo, a 90-minute drive with traffic from our house, on this very Saturday! Well, I thought, when will an opportunity like this occur again in my kids’ life? Let’s seize the day and set off on an adventure!

So this morning, we packed our car for the day and drove North. We stopped for lunch at California Pizza Kitchen in Mission Viejo. There my four-year-old son asked me to take a look around every 10 minutes to check if Mo Willems was having lunch at a table next to us (he didn’t show up). After wolfing down our pizza and brownie sundae, we headed to the Civic Center and took a seat on the floor at the very front of the auditorium, impatiently waiting for Willems to appear. Where’s Mo Willems? kept asking my youngest. He’s coming, he’s coming… Finally, after a couple of introductions, Willems did appear, gave a short talk, and read his new Elephant and Piggy book “We are in a book”. Willems answered a few questions, then read “Knuffle Bunny Free“:

Mo Willems reading "Knuffle Bunny Free"

Mo Willems reading "Knuffle Bunny Free"

Mo Willems reading "Knuffle Bunny Free" - the dream of the Knuffle Bunnies

Mo Willems reading "Knuffle Bunny Free" - the dream of the Knuffle Bunnies

This was followed by more questions and answers. When someone asked him if everything in the Knuffle Bunny books was true, Willems answered “Everything in there is true, except for the parts that I made up“. Willems encouraged the kids in the room to stimulate their own imagination and reminded them that we’re all storytellers. Actually, I believe he said that creative writing assignments in school are the only times you’re encouraged to lie during your academic life. You go, Mo!

My kids got their Knuffle Bunny Free book dedicated and signed, and enjoyed a few minutes of free play with a larger-than-life Knuffle Bunny!

Fun times with Knuffle Bunny!

Fun times with Knuffle Bunny!

By the time we got back in the car and on the freeway, my two little guys were dreaming away, possibly of giant Knuffle bunnies, or maybe of decadent brownie sundaes, I’m not sure. We finished the day with another reading of “Knuffle Bunny Free” during story time. Ah, the perfect end to a really cool day… If my boys ever forget the day they met Mo Willems, it will be up to us, their parents, to tell them the story, again and again. Indeed, we all are storytellers.

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Fisher-Price recalls more than 10 million products: tricycles, activity centers, high chairs and Little People

Fisher-Price High Chairs recalled

Fisher-Price High Chairs recalled

Well, it’s been a while since we’ve heard of a major recall, but here it is! And that’s a massive recall in my opinion – over 10 million items, covering quite a range of baby and young children’s products.

For complete details on this Fisher-Price recall and to see which exact product models are affected, visit the Fisher-Price recall dedicated page on the US Consumer Product Safety Commission website. This recall affects the following Fisher-Price products:

– 14 models of Trike and Tough Trike toddler tricycles (kids can get hurt on the plastic ignition key)
– 7 models of infant activity centers with inflatable balls (the valve can come off the ball, causing a choking hazard to babies)
– 950,000 high chairs (children cause fall and get hurt on the leg pegs)
– Little People Wheelies Stand ‘n Play Rampway (car wheels can come off, causing a choking hazard)

Fisher-Price Tough Trike

Fisher-Price Tough Trike

Our household is actually affected by this recall. We own the Go, Diego Go Tough Trike (left) and I just ordered my modification kit on the Fisher-Price website. It was a painless and quick process, but I apparently have to wait 8 to 12 weeks to receive it! Obviously, the Fisher-Price people have never had to reason with little kids who absolutely want to use their toys RIGHT NOW! We have another, more sturdy trike we’d like our son to start using, so this seems like the perfect opportunity!

I was planning to resell the trike when my youngest would outgrow it, but it’s out of the question now, even with the modification kit (it’s illegal to sell or resell recalled products). No biggie, safety first. Check out your Fisher-Price stock and make sure you’re OK too!

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Mo Willems – Can I play too?

We’re big fans of Mo Willems at our house, kids and parents alike. The Knuffle Bunny series (see my previous review on Knuffle Bunny) is one of our bedtime favorites and we always enjoy reading the new adventures of Elephant and Piggie.

Can I play too? by Mo Willems

Can I play too? by Mo Willems

In the 2010 release of “Can I play too?“, Mo Willems revisits the frienship theme between Elephant and Piggie by having the two best friends play ball together. Suddenly, a snake appears and asks if he can play ball with them. What follows is a series of attempts to figure out how to play ball with an armless catcher. If the poor snake can’t catch one ball, maybe MORE BALLS will help??? My words can’t do justice to the hilarious dialogue and facial expressions assigned to the various characters throughout the book. Both children and parents will get a great laugh and want to read the story over and over until their stomach muscles ache. Hey, wait a minute! Does that count as a workout? I think it does after three repetitions! Oh, and you’ll get a kick out of Mo Willems’ updating of the “lightbulb over the head” concept with the new energy-efficient version. It’s about time we saved electricity in children’s books!

If you enjoy this book, buy or borrow others from your favorite library. The Elephant and Piggie book series is great for kids from 2 to 6. Early readers age 4 and above can start reading the large-print text on their own. In my opinion, Mo Willems’ full mastery of the art of humor is reflected in his choice of words and illustrations, making is a highly enjoyable experience for readers of all ages. Parents won’t say no when their kids ask them to read those books again and again!

Here are our favorite in the Elephant & Piggie series in order of increasing giggle intensity:
Are you ready to play outside? – how you can have fun outside, rain or shine
Watch me throw the ball – that’s before Elephant & Piggie shared their ball with a snake
I love my new toy – a story with an interesting twist… or should I say break?
I will surprise my friend – my personal favorite, and it does include quite a surprise

Knuffle Bunny Free by Mo Willems

Knuffle Bunny Free by Mo Willems

Talking about Mo Willems, the clock is ticking louder and louder as we’re impatiently getting close to the release of the latest Knuffle bunny story with “Knuffle Bunny Free – an unexpected diversion” on September 28, 2010. I think I’ll be scheduling a trip with my boys to our local bookstore next week to read the latest and last of the series. I hear this may be a tear jerker, so I’d better bring some tissues, at least for myself. It’s hard to think that some children’s books make me want to cry. Gee, it’s tough being a mom…

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