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Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan
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November 23, 2009

MADIGAN HELPS FAMILIES CREATE A "HOME SAFE HOME" DURING HOLIDAY SEASON

Attorney General Issues 2009 Safe Shopping Guide to Help Parents
Identify Recalled Products

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today released her third annual safe shopping guide to help parents avoid recalled children's products as they look for holiday gifts. The 2009 Safe Shopping Guide: Home Safe Home contains color photos and descriptions of hundreds of products recalled during 2009, including toys, furniture and clothes.

"During 2009, there have been more than 121 recalls of children's products, covering more than 17 million individual items," Madigan said. "That's a dizzying number to keep track of, especially for busy parents and families. My Safe Shopping Guide is a comprehensive, easy-to-use resource to help parents and gift givers identify whether they are selecting the safest gifts for children."

The 93-page guide has three sections. The guide lists recalled products, provides the product name and manufacturer, and describes the unsafe features. This year's guide includes a new feature highlighting 10 types of common consumer products, not intended for children, which were recalled in 2009 due to defects that pose a risk of injury to consumers. This list covers everything from small appliances to clothing to SCUBA gear. Finally, the guide also provides information on the precautionary measures that parents of newborns can take to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), which claims the lives of 2,100 infants each year.

Consumers can obtain free copies of the Safe Shopping Guide by downloading or viewing the guide on the Attorney General's Web site at www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov or by requesting a hard copy via mail, free of charge, by calling the Attorney General's Recall Hotline at 1-888-414-7678.

Madigan also urges consumers to sign up for recall notifications at www.cpsc.gov.

The information in the Safe Shopping Guide is particularly critical for consumers given the increasing number of recalls in recent months. Faced with a high number of recalls, area retailers often struggle to remove dangerous products from shelves promptly and to comply with Illinois' recall notification laws, which require retailers that sold recalled products to post the recall notice in their stores.

In addition, millions of recalled items that are already in children's homes and places they visit, such as grandparents' homes and daycare centers, may pose a threat to children's safety. With the help of this guide, parents and others who care for children can be sure to remove recalled products from their homes.

The Safe Shopping Guide is also especially important this year due to the tough economic times. In this economy, parents are more likely to search for bargains online and in second hand stores. However, these sellers often struggle to keep up with recall information and remove recalled products.

The 2009 Safe Shopping Guide is one part of Madigan's comprehensive efforts to increase awareness of recalled products. Madigan's office routinely works with retailers across Illinois and the Illinois Retail Merchants Association in an effort to ensure recalled products are taken off store shelves. The Attorney General also has partnered with the Illinois Hospital Association, the Illinois State Medical Society and pediatricians to spread information about recalls to parents throughout the state.

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