Child Safety and Goodwill Shops
Submitted by ljzmami
I live for bargains. I've never had money to burn, and I inherited my mother's champagne taste on a beer budget sense of style. As long as I can remember, I've combed secondhand stores, thrift shops and consignment shops for hidden gems. And since becoming a mom, I've relied even more on baby and maternity hand-me-downs from yard sales, friends and family. Many times, I've found myself in between jobs and straight-up broke. But a growing baby still needs clothes, right? So Goodwill and Salvation Army to the rescue! Whatever LJ outgrows, I always donate right back.
So when I read that the Consumer Protection and Safety Commission was going to ban drop-offs of used children's clothes, I freaked out. Really, CPSC? Lead in clothing? I mean, I appreciate the extra effort in protecting our children from lead in toys, from China especially, but are you serious? What, are you afraid that a tiny paint chip from grandma's attic may have somehow tainted an entire wardrobe?
What am I going to do now? In addition to thrift stores, I also go to the cutest kids' consignment shop
in my neighborhood, which does a great service to the community. And LJ always scores some cute, cheap designer duds. Would they have to suddenly shut down? OMG!
Fortunately, millions of people felt the same way I did, and they raised a stink. So the CPSC has caved to public protests and expanded the definition of the law so that secondhand clothing can be exempt
. Phew! But this new law, which goes into effect February 10, 2009, is still pretty vague, and used toys and books are still subject to banning. What I don't get is the timing: In this ravaged economy, with rising unemployment
, foreclosures and lost retirement savings, people are literally losing the shirts off their backs. It's more important than ever that American families have access to affordable goods. So to come out with a law that would limit that access now seems like a dumb joke.
Frankly, I'm more worried about plastics these days anyway than I am about lead poisoning in used clothes. Really, how much lead is in fabric? (No, really, I wanna know!) I'm sitting here watching LJ sleep soundly with her favorite "flowers blankie," which she's had since she was 3 months old. Guess what? Grandma got it at Goodwill. Sure, it's nice to know that the government won't snatch lovey away from someone else ... just yet. This legal saga regarding child safety is sure to continue. But if this truly is the era of hope and change, let's hope it keeps changing for the better.