Disclosure: I'm helping to raise awareness about these issues as part of a sponsored campaign with Clean Air Moms Action.
I think we all can agree that kids' safety is important. We may not always agree on how to implement and enforce safety regulations, but we know rules about cars, toys, food, schools, etc. are necessary to keep people safe.
Confession: Sometimes I take safety regulations for granted.
I buy toys, cook food, fill a cup with water from our faucet, and send my children to school with a reasonable expectation that these things are safe for my family. Unfortunately, these safety precautions are at risk.
Image credit: Moms Clean Air Force
Speaking Up to Keep Kids Safe: What You Need to Know
There are two pieces of legislation moving through Congress – the Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA)and the REINS Act – that are direct threats to public health and safety. They will render agencies incapable of implementing and enforcing commonsense safety laws that have broad public support.
The REINS Act would require Congressional approval of rules, effectively giving either branch of Congress, or powerful lobbying groups, a “pocket veto” on safeguards. The Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) would create hurdles to rulemaking similar to the one that kept America from banning asbestos.
And if you think asbestos is no longer an issue, you may be surprised to learn that it is still in some schools. “Asbestos, an issue that many of us thought to be resolved, continues to plague schools and pose a health threat in classrooms throughout the country.” If the school was built before 1980, it likely contains some. There is no safe level of asbestos exposure. Do you know if your school has it? Learn more about asbestos in schools here.
It is imperative to tell our senators not to let Congress gut these federal safety protections. We rely on these safety protections to ensure that what surrounds us isn't putting our families in danger or making us sick.
This is beyond party lines. This is more than a political issue – it's a public health and safety issue. This affects ALL OF US. This affects our families and our kids. I find this information so incredibly important, which is why I am using my platform to raise awareness. I want to encourage you to speak up about this too.
Safety at Risk
It's already hard enough to be a mom. We worry about our kids as it is, but what if the safety measures already in place were taken away? What if it was near impossible to implement new safety standards? Here are a few examples of what is at stake:
- Halloween: Do you know what kind of toxins and chemicals are lurking in Halloween makeup and costumes? Do you know what’s in your kids candy? Is it scary to think that any safety regulations that currently exist may be gone?
- Food safety: The RAA would make it difficult or impossible to enforce standards and keep the food in our kids’ lunch boxes safe. Efforts that have been put into place to label for allergens, reduce sodium, eliminate trans fats, remove arsenic and lead from baby food/juice, label GMOs, etc. are all on the chopping block.
- Product safety: These bills would undermine product safety for nearly every item our children interact with by stalling or killing future protections
- School safety: From asbestos in classrooms to lead in drinking water and even the safety of the school buses, the RAA and REINs Act would make it harder to keep our kids safe in school. Protections to safeguard our children from toxic chemicals would be difficult if impossible to implement under these bills.
- Dirty air and water: The rise of asthma and other respiratory diseases are drastically increased by air pollution. These bills would make it harder to keep our air and water clean.
- Asthma: One in 10 US children has asthma, the most common chronic disease of childhood. Have air pollutants triggered an asthma attack for you or your child?
- Car safety: Would you know what to do if locked in the trunk of a car? Thanks to one survivor there is a glow in the dark safety pull inside trunks now, but this lifesaving consumer protection is now in jeopardy.
- Toy/product safety: What would it mean if there were no protections in place making the toys, products like pacifiers and sippy cups, or furniture you buy for your family safe?
What Can You Do?
So now that you've learned more about these issues we're facing, here's what you can do to help. The most important thing you can do is reject legislation that puts our families at risk. Use this easy click-to-email tool and tell your member of Congress to vote NO on the RAA & REINS Act.
Another thing you can do is spread awareness to your family and friends. Do they know their safety could be affected by the RAA & REINS Act? Do they know how to reach out to their senators to make their voices heard?
I hope you found this information as eye opening as I did and take action today. I already sent an email to urge my members of Congress to VOTE NO on the RAA & REINS Act. Stay informed with the Clean Air Moms Action website, Facebook, and Twitter. If you post about this on social media use #TakeActionForKids
Get weekly sanity saving parenting tips, recipes, and kids activities.