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NONFICTION : THE CHILDWISE CATALOG: A CONSUMER GUIDE TO BUYING THE SAFEST AND BEST PRODUCTS FOR YOUR CHILDREN by Jack Gillis and Mary Ellen R. Fise (Pocket Books: $6.95, paperback; illustrated).

May 11, 1986|Kathleen Mackay

Since new parents in the '80s belong to a generation that has made consumer awareness a priority, it's only natural that we want to provide our children with products that are safe. The authors have done the hard work of researching thousands of products to recommend which are safe for children and which are not, in this useful, informative book.

Jack Gillis and Mary Ellen Fise not only offer consumer tips on products for children, but on services such as child care, health and travel, including recommendations about food and safety inside and outside the home.

Their detailed, comprehensive charts help parents select the most reliable items. The charts cover, among other items, car seats that pass current federal standards; banned cribs; recommended and unsafe strollers; and toys that were recalled by their manufacturer because they were unsafe. The authors have even gone to the trouble of breaking down diaper choices by cost. Over a two-and-a-half year period, the alternatives range from $1,650 for disposables; to $1,200 for diaper service; to $700 for cloth, do-it-yourself.

Each year, the authors report, nearly 5,000 children die and thousands more are injured due to unsafe products and their careless use. This reference book is as handy to use as a dictionary. If its information is followed carefully, it should make a contribution in preventing children from being harmed by unsafe items. The authors also cover phenomena of the '80s that Dr. Spock-educated parents years ago never had to worry about, such as "how to avoid health hazards around hot tubs."

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