Category Archives: children

Playtex Recalls Kids’ Dishes That May Peel, Creating Choking Hazard

Do the construction or the princess kids’ dish designs that accompany this post look familiar? Does your child have a similar plastic plate, bowl, or eating set that features animals, superheroes, or other kid-friendly themes? If so, check over those plates and bowls: They may be one of millions of dishes that could have its plastic coating peel off, posing a choking hazard to the child.

What’s happened so far

There have been 372 reports of the plastic film peeling off the area with the graphics. Of those, 11 have ended up in children’s mouths, and four caused the child to choke. Those children are now fine, but these plates and bowls should be taken away immediately.

What to look for

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is circulating images of the Playtex dish set featuring a construction scene and a princess as examples, but they are not the only designs included in this recall. Other designs that are not pictured include DC Comics superheroes, cars, and giraffes. The recalled dishes have been on the market since 2009, and were sold individually and in a “Mealtime” set with a printed cup and two utensils. They were available at Babies ‘R’ Us, Walmart, Target, and other stores where you can buy Playtex products for babies and children.

What to do

Take the dishes away and don’t use them for the child. Contact Playtex for a refund: The CPSC is not instructing consumers to bring these products back to the store where they were purchased. If you have any questions about the products or about the recall, you can call Playtex at 888-220-2075, or visit the company’s recall site at

The forgotten victims of domestic violence

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, but every day of every month of every year is a good day to help someone get away from violence. Domestic violence is an ongoing experience of physical, psychologic and/or sexual abuse in the home that is used to establish power and control over another person and spans all… The post The forgotten victims of domestic violence appeared first on BayArt.

Child Makes Adorable Case In Favor Of Toys ‘R’ Us

The filings in bankruptcy cases, especially large and complex ones, tend to be long and not terribly exciting reading. You can find important bits of information like store closing lists and gift card policies, but what one doesn’t expect to find among thousands of pages of legal forms is a handwritten letter from a child defending a chain retailer with 866 stores. Then again, most bankruptcies don’t involve toy stores. That’s why a letter to the bankruptcy judge from a concerned consumer known only as “Andrew” got its own entry on the Toys ‘R’ Us docket. Here’s a transcript of the letter, with light corrections of spelling and capitalization. Dear Judge Phillips, My name is Andrew [Redacted]. I’m 9 years old. Toys R Us closing will be bad for kids. These are the reasons why:
  1. Kids like that there is a store just for them.

  2. Kids would rather be promised a trip to Toys R Us than any other store.

  3. Kids can run through the aisles at Toys R Us and find stuff they like but in any other store there won’t just be toys. Kids might not have a device to see online stores or it’s easier to browse in a real store than online.

Please don’t let Toys R Us close it will make kids very unhappy. From, Andrew [Redacted]

This isn’t the end

This is an inspiring letter for anyone who questions the future of brick and mortar retail, though it would be interesting to catch up with Andrew in 2029 or so and find out what he thinks about buying things online rather than in a store. Andrew had the same initial reaction that many adults did when hearing about the bankruptcy filing of Toys ‘R’ Us, and assumed that “bankruptcy” means “closing its doors forever.” That isn’t necessarily the case, but the letter serves as a nice break in a pile of bankruptcy documents that has already included an old advertising jingle. The retailer may close some stores, or combine Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us stores, but as far as we know, plans to stay in business. Also, don’t run in the aisles of a store, Andrew.

Toys ‘R’ Us Expected To File For Bankruptcy This Week

Do you have a Toys ‘R’ Us or Babies ‘R’ Us gift card sitting around? It might be time to use that up,just in case: The toys and kids chain is expected to file for bankruptcy basically any day now. The rumor mill , via CNBC (warning: auto-play video at that link), says that a bankruptcy filing could come as early as this week, to reassure toy suppliers that the company won’t be buried in debt for the holiday season.

It’s all about Christmas

Last week, Bloomberg News reported that suppliers had cut back on shipments to Toys ‘R’ Us at the most important time of year. The chain is even more dependent than the rest of the retail industry on the holiday season because, for any precocious children reading this article, Santa shops there. The company didn’t do well during the 2016 holiday season. A repeat of that performance is a scary thought, since the chain normally takes in 40% of its earnings during the last 25% of the year. Toys ‘R’ Us is owned by two private equity firms and a real estate company, and it has $400 million in debt coming due in 2018. Filing for bankruptcy or finding another way to organize that debt would be a good way to show suppliers that everything is under control, and that they can keep on shipping toys through the holiday season and beyond.

Gift cards: Use ’em up now

The reason why we urge readers to use their gift cards up when a retailer may file for bankruptcy soon is that a Chapter 11 filing often voids the company’s past gift cards. That’s bad when a chain shutters all of its stores and there aren’t any stores left where you can spend the cards, but it’s especially annoying for consumers when the store stays in business, yet you can’t use the card there since a new owner purchased the retailer out of bankruptcy. The first bankruptcy of RadioShack in 2015 changed how some retailers deal with gift cards after a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The Attorney General of the company’s home state, Texas, was outraged that a company could reorganize and void millions of dollars’ worth of gift cards. He arranged a settlement where gift card holders would be paid first, before the company’s creditors, with the remaining balance of gift card funds going to the offices of states’ attorneys general. Since then, there’s been a trend to keep on accepting gift cards. Payless ShoeSource filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to unmanageable debt, just like Toys ‘R’ Us, but still accepts pre-bankruptcy gift cards. While forcing a retailer to pay out millions of dollars in cash refunds to gift card holders is a pro-consumer move, it’s easier for a retailer to just keep accepting its old cards rather than risk being forced into a settlement like RadioShack’s.

Police Say Sacramento Man Suspected Of Killing His 3 Kids Is Talking

SACRAMENTO (AP) — The father suspected of killing his three children in West Sacramento is cooperating with investigators, though they still aren’t offering a motive for the slayings, authorities said Friday. Robert William Hodges, 32, was interviewed by investigators after he was found near midnight Thursday parked alongside Interstate 80 about seven miles from the apartment where police found the three children following a domestic violence call. Police previously said Hodges was 33.
robert hodges Police Say Sacramento Man Suspected Of Killing His 3 Kids Is Talking

Robert Hodges (Yolo County Sheriff’s Dept.)

“I don’t know what they gleaned from that interview. I don’t know what the motive was,” said West Sacramento police Sgt. Roger Kinney. Hodges is being held for arraignment Monday on suspicion of three counts of murder in the slayings of 11-year-old Kelvin Hodges, 9-year-old Julie Hodges and Lucas Hodges, nearly eight months. Prosecutors expect to file formal charges Monday, said Yolo County Chief Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Raven. A message left at a telephone number linked to Hodges’ parents was not returned. Authorities said he does not yet appear to have a lawyer. Hodges also is being held on suspicion of attempted murder in the assault on his wife, Mai Hodges, which Kinney says reflects the seriousness of the attack. “She didn’t go to a hospital but what he did to her was significant enough that it did merit a charge of attempted murder from our investigators,” Kinney said. On Friday, CBS Sacramento reported that the mother of the three children allegedly slain by their father released a statement. “There’s many stories out there that aren’t true of what happened. I still can’t get it out of my head. For those that know Robbie know he was once a loving and caring father and husband. I was never in an abusive marriage. I don’t know what went thru his mind and his heart to do this. I would never have imagine he is capable of something like this.” Family members were also still struggling Friday with what triggered the slayings. Mai Hodges’ sister, Lyang Xvang, said the family was not aware of any problems between the couple. Police said they had no history of calls to the family’s apartment, and Hodges had no significant criminal history. “They love each other very much,” Xvang told The Associated Press in a Facebook messenger exchange. “Before baby Lucas was born, Robert loved my little girl so much. I just don’t understand how he made this choice.” Hodges’ wife was the one who initially called police about 9:20 p.m. Wednesday to report that she had been assaulted as she returned home, Kinney said. A “very emotional, very upset” witness then called moments later, while officers were still en route, to report “there are three possibly deceased juveniles in that apartment.” Hodges left as officers were on their way. Kinney couldn’t say when the children were killed or if they were already dead when his wife arrived home and was assaulted. He said the mother was close by when the killings occurred but didn’t witness the killings. Mai Hodges is talking with investigators as she is able while she recovers and deals with her grief, Kinney said. “It may take some days to get a really good statement from her,” he said. “I’m sure she’s going through a rollercoaster of emotions, so we’re getting what we can out of her as she’s able to communicate. “She is doing the best she can, considering her three kids were murdered, and she has lots of community support,” he added. That was illustrated, he said, by the roughly 2,000 people who attended a candlelight vigil Thursday at an elementary school attended by the two older children. Police and district attorney’s investigators planned to work through the weekend as they prepared for Hodge’s first court appearance. TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Anti-Vax Parents Using Medical Exemptions To Avoid Vaccines

SEBASTOPOL (KPIX 5) — Parents opposed to vaccines are getting around a tough, new law. California got rid of the personal belief excuse for school vaccinations, but parents may have found another way. A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows a sharp spike in medical exemptions for incoming kindergartners from 2015 to 2016. The total number of exemptions did go down, but it’s a sign, the law may not be working as hoped. In Sebastopol, one school is concerned about the high number of students opting out. Sebastopol Charter School principal Chris Topham has seen those numbers spike in his newest set of students. Topham said, “We had 30 percent, maybe even 40 per cent of our kindergarteners with the medical exemption.” The choice is ultimately up to the parents, Topham says, and he respects that. But that unvaccinated percentage doesn’t come without its concerns. He and his staff have spent days working solely on vaccination paperwork to make sure they are compliant with state laws. And there is always the threat of an outbreak that may put his students in danger. “My concern is a worst case scenario, if we had an outbreak of say measles, is that we have a high number of children unvaccinated which puts them more at risk and we may have to close school for a while,” he said. Medical ethicist Dr. Bill Anderick says that’s a valid concern. “As a member of society we have a responsibility to that society and that is to participate in the general immunity of our population. To avoid that, to not perform in that way, violates our obligations to society,” Anderick said. The other concern, he says, is ethical. Anderick says doctors need to be giving exemptions for real medical reasons, not parental concerns, and that anything else should be investigated by the state’s medical board. “Clearly patients who have immunodeficiency syndrome would be harmed by a vaccine and it would be ethically inappropriate to vaccinate them. However, to lie and report such an immunity in order to avoid their responsibility to the culture is wrong. Ethically wrong and fraudulent,” Anderick said.

Decorated Oakland Fire Captain Arrested On Child Porn Charges

OAKLAND (CBS SF) — A decorated Oakland fire captain was being held on $200,000 bail Thursday after child pornography was discovered on his home computer, authorities said. In a press release, the Contra County Sheriff’s Department said 58-year-old Richard Chew of Lafayette was taken into custody on two counts of child pornography on Wednesday after his home was searched by Lafayette police officers. According to the release, the Contra Costa Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force launched an investigation into Chew’s online activity on August 19th. Court records show authorities searched his Lafayette home and the fire station where he was assigned to — Station 15 at 455 27th St. in Oakland. According to the East Bay Times, Chew made headlines in March after four people died in a San Pablo Avenue halfway house fire. Emails obtained by the newspaper show that Chew, along with other Oakland firefighters, repeatedly warned fire inspectors that the building had serious fire danger issues. In 2009, the Oakland city council honored Chew and other firefighters for their swift water rescue at a fatal traffic accident scene at Hegenberger Road and Hamilton Street on Nov. 1, 2008.

Walk 4 Refuge

Domestic violence. You’ve probably seen enough headlines and news articles about it to last you a lifetime. There are hundreds of books that have been written based on true stories, told by victims of domestic violence. You might even be experiencing it yourself. If so, please head straight to the bottom of this post. Right…

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