The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 29, 2001 · Page 36
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 36

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Salina, Kansas
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Sunday, April 29, 2001
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Page 36
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M SUNDAY. APRIL 29. 2001 CONSUMER THE SAUNA JOURNAL T CHILD SAFETY Booster seats Son's death fuels mother's fight for laws By NEDRA PICKLER The Associated Press WASHINGTON — Autumn Alexander Skeen was following the law and her motherly instincts when she buckled her 4-year-old son Anton in with a seat belt. But the belt was too big, and Anton died after the vehicle rolled over and he was thrown from it. His seat belt was still clicked shut. After the crash five years ago, Skeen pushed her home state of Washington to pass the country's first law requiring booster seats for children too big for infant car seats and too small for I'egular seat belts. California and Arkansas have passed similar laws in the last year and about 20 other states are considering them. "I had made my decision to put him in that seat belt based on the law," said Skeen, a writer from Walla Walla, Wash. "When I got my pieces back together, I felt the duty to examine the law, and it's an illusion. I can't tell you the outrage in me." Few use booster seats All states require car seats for the smaller children, usually up to 4 years old, but federal data shows less than 10 percent of children between 4 and 8 use booster seats. "We've got the whole notion down that our most fragile human beings — infants — should be in child safety seats," said Heather Paul, executive director of the National Safe Kids Campaign. "But when children get older, past 20 pounds, parents are taking more risks with them. We need to close the gaps in laws and the gaps in parents' understanding." Boosting safety Booster seats were developed for children age.s 4 to 8 who have outgrown car safety seats meant for Infants but are too small for adult seat belts. Adult seat bells can ride up on a child's stomach and neck, causing serious Injury in a collision. The booster seat elevates the child so the seat belt fits properly across the shoulder and lap. SOURCE: Ford Motor Co. Booster seats can vary in appearance, but usually look like the seats children use to reach the table at a restaurant. They elevate the child so the seat belt fits properly across the shoulder and lap. Size is more important than age in determining how long to use a booster seat. The federal government recommends children from 40 to 80 pounds and less than 4 feet 9 inches tall always should use them. No one is sure how many deaths and injuries could be prevented if booster seats were used more. About 500 children between 4 and 8 die each year in car accidents, making it their leading cause of death. Doctors at The Children's Hospital,of Philadelphia have been collecting data on child crash injuries since 1998 and found children who wear booster seats are at least half as likely to be injured. Dr. Dennis Durbin, an emergency room physician who is working on the study, said internal injuries to young crash victims are so common they are known as "seat belt syndrome" in the medical community "When you see these kids, you ask a few questions, and you realize this problem could have been prevented," Durbin said. Raising awareness Automakers are working to increase awareness of booster seats and other aspects of child safety in vehicles. Ford Motor Co. plans to give away 1 million seats and Nissan has sponsored a public service campaign to educate minority communities about booster seats. Jim Hall, who served as chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board under.President Clinton, has called on automakers to install integrated booster seats in all vehicles and has asked all states to pass laws requiring their use. "There has been a lack of political leadership in our state legislatures to improve safety on our highways, and we are paying the price with our children's lives," he said. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sponsored a campaign last year to increase booster seat awareness. Congress has ordered the agency to study the effectiveness of booster seats and develop a plan by Nov. 1 to reduce by 25 percent the number of deaths and injuries caused by lack of use. BRIEFLY T CONSUMER CORNER Canadian fraud on rise CARLA STOVALL Kansas Attorney General ^ It's difficult to get refunds for money that's lost in scams Dear Kansas Consumer: Each year, my Consumer Protection division receives numerous complaints about scams that are based out of Canada. Cross-border •fraud is on the increase, and, because of complex jurisdictional issues, it is difficult to get refunds for money lost to companies operating in other countries. The National Association of Attorneys General has been successful in establishing a working relationship with Canada for handling complaints and eliminating un- T FOOD SAFETY Mexican lollipop is dangerous By The Associated Press WASHINGTON — Consumers should avoid a lollipop imported from Mexico found to contain a high level of lead in its wrapper, the Food and Drug Administration said. The lollipop is a dark brown tamarind candy bearing the brand "Bolirindo" and sold mostly in California and in some Southwestern states, the FDA said Thursday Routine testing of children by the California Department of Health Services found three cases in which 2-year-olds who had the candy developed elevated levels of lead.. The finding prompted state health authorities and the FDA to analyze the lollipop for lead contamination. The lollipop is a soft, dark brown tamarind fruit candy on a white or orange stick, wrapped in an orange-red wrapper with the word "Bolirindo" in white letters with a picture of a tamai ]j |id fruit. scrupulous companies. But there are no guarantees the company can be tracked down, just as "fly-by-night" companies in the United States often are hard to locate. For that reason, the best way to protect yourself is to not be taken in by the scam. What to watcli for Common types of scams run in Canada are lotteries (the only legal lottery in Kansas is the state-sponsored Kansas Lottery), loan finders, sweepstakes and contests, prize offerings, work-at-home schemes, computer and business equipment ordering services and mail-order companies (including those that offer questionable diet plans). These companies often use similar tactics to entice you to send money Be wary of companies that: • Request money up front. • Request money be wired. • Request your credit card number or checking account number • Request that payment be sent by private courier. • Use high-pressure sales tactics, such as saying the offer is urgent, and they need your immediate response. If you are approached by a Canadian company or company from another foreign country, do not be taken in by high- pressure sales tactics. Do not pay for any services up front in any manner, whether it be by cash or by allowing access to your bank accounts. If you are interested in the company ask for information in writing so you can make a rational choice. Then call my Consumer Protection division to check the company's complaint history If you have received a questionable solicitation from a business claiming to be from Canada or believe you have been the victim of Canadian fraud, please contact my Consumer Protection division at 1-800-432-2310. California company recalls ear guards WASHINGTON — A California sports gear company is recalling about 60,000 ear guards used by wrestlers because a plastic protective shell breaks too easily. ASICS Tiger Corp. of Irvine announced the recall Tuesday in conjunction with the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The conipany has received 10 complaints of the plastic shells breaking, resulting in three injuries, the commission said. Those injured said they suffered cuts and abrasions to the side of the head. The recalled ear guard includes two plastic ear pieces covered with nylon and a plastic frame that connects them. The "ASICS" red logo is on a label on the guard's chin strap. A gold label on the inside of the guard reads, "Made in China." A date code can be foimd on a strip of nylon underneath the outer rim of the ear piece. The guards come in white, red, black, blue, green and gold. They were sold in sports stores nationwide for about $25. People should stop using the ear guards and return them to the store where they were purchased for a better model, the company said. For more information, consumers can caU ASICS Tiger Corp. at 1-888-3808222. Cigarette lighters considered unsafe WASHINGTON — A California company is recalling 65,000 cigarette lighters because they do not have child-resistant mechanisms. The company, DFS Group Ltd. of San Francisco, announced the recall "Tuesday with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The lighters being recalled are refillable, electronic ignition lighters that bear location names including "Hawaii," "Guam," "Saipan," "Las Vegas" and "USA." The lighters have flip-up caps over the ignition buttons. An orange label on the back of the lighters reads, "WARNING: Keep lighter out of reach of children — THIS LIGHTER IS NOT CHILD RESISTANT" The lighters were sold in several major cities since January 1996 for about $12. People should stop using the lighters immediately, the company said. For more information, consumers should call DFS Group at 1-800-225-2777 between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Central time Monday through Friday From Wire Service Reports Waddell & Reed proudly announces Henry J. Herrmann as their featured speaker for the 2001 Shareholder's Meeting Wednesday, May 2, 2001 Bicentennial Center Henry J. Herrmann is President, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Waddell & Reed Investment Management Company. He is also President and Chief Investment Officer of Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc. Mr. Herrmann is responsible for overseeing the mutual fund managers and investment decisions. He is a frequent guest on national radio and television, including CNBC and is also regularly quoted by major newspapers throughout the nation. Waddell & Reed would like to cordially invite all current Shareholders only to join them at 6:00 p.m. at the Bicentennial Center for this event. The doors will open for the general public to attend at 7:00 p.m. to hear Mr. Herrmann speak. This will be an informative evening and should not be missed. WADDELL <&rREED financial Services" 131 North Santa Fe, Townsite Building Salina, Kansas 67401 • 785-827-3606 $561 $1,122 •Mil required Saturdaynight stay over for Saiina to Denver fares. • Mil parking expenses! Free Parking in Salina. •Hn mileage or gas expenses as required with a Wicliita commute. * Significant restrictions apply. Saturday stay required. Above fares are based on tfie cheapest posted available as ol 4-16-01. Restrictions and limitations may apply. Fares are subject lo change without notice. Above fares are the lowest available ol all air carriers out of Wichita. Action Travel 785-827-7777 • 800-777-9915 .v.,: Salina Travel Agency 785-825-6736 • 800-875-6736 Travel Time 785-825-1155 • 800-747-1287 , „ (Jniglobe-Knowles Travel 785-825-0537 World Travel Center 785-827-0496 Kan TrakI 785-263-2604 Atton Plaza Travel II785-984-2587 BeUevlUe Plaza Travel 785-52^2333;.v::•::. BBloit Studio Travel 785-738-6420, • 800-225-6943 Clay Center Kan Travel 785-632-2525 Concordia Uniglobe-Knowles Travel 785-243-1133 BlsmorOi Ahoy Travel 785-472-5757 • 800-788-2469 Fort Riley Carlson Wagonlit Travel Agency 785-784-2223 Junction City H/lidviay USA Travel 785-238-7158 • 800-359-6872 Travel Time 785-223-6524 Llndsborg Custom Travel 785-227-2955 • 800-925-3980 Manhattan AAA Travel & Auto Club 785-776-3131 • 800-579-9470 Creative Travel 785-539-0531 • 800-748-7820 Kansas State Travel 785-537-2451 • 800-678-4532 McPherson Ask Your Travel Agent, LTD 620-241-6093 • 800-999-7722 Custom Travel 620-241-9900 • 800-926-3980 McPherson Travel Center 620-241-5830 • 800-748-8176 IT

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