EXPERT PERSPECTIVES

To provide additional perspectives on issues related to toy safety, the Toy Industry Association has reached out to independent experts to share their relevant expertise, recommendations and resources with parents and others who are seeking information. (The information shared below was provided by the third-party experts themselves, none of whom are affiliated with TIA).

ABOUT TOY SELECTION AND SAFE PLAY

Chrissy CianfloneChrissy Cianflone, Program Manager at Safe Kids Worldwide encourages care when selecting what toys come into your home:

"Parents and caregivers play critical roles in the safety equation, when it comes to toys and their children. Selection and supervision are essential components of safe play."

For more Safe Kids toy advice, visit our Toy Safety Tips section.


ABOUT CREATING A SAFE ENVIRONMENT

John McPheeJohn McPhee, Childhood Injury Prevention Coordinator, New Mexico Department of Health, says:

"It is important for parents to track recalls of toys that may have been determined to contain lead, yet the safety community also wants the public to retain a perspective of hazards. Airway obstruction, suffocation, acute poisonings and severe cuts or puncture wounds are still the primary concerns for protecting children while they are playing or eating a meal. This is particularly true around the holidays because children are visiting other homes more often, and these environments may not be childproof for access to medicines, cleaning agents, power tools and other dangerous products. 

Lead and other trace metals or chemicals can also be prevalent in some older paint, dust, soil, water, folk remedies, imported canned foods, imported cosmetics, older mini-blinds, ceramic or pewter cookware, and jewelry or bullet fabrication. Consequently, we want the public to be careful about selecting toys, but we also want parents to focus on providing a generally safe environment, as well as making sure children periodically wash their hands and change clothes to minimize exposure to contaminants of any kind.” 


THE MOMS OF TOY SAFETY

In the toy industry’s take on “The View,” six senior executives — all moms themselves — engage in a conversation that helps parents and other caregivers better understand topics such as how toy makers design safety into toys, how to select the correct toy for a child, and how to use toys safely once they are at home.

*NOTE: If the video sticks during playback, hit the ”pause” button on the bottom left side of the video player until the complete video loads, then hit ”play” again.

BIOGRAPHIES

NOTE:  Bios as written at the time the “Moms of Toy Safety” video was produced.

KATHRIN BELLIVEAU, HASBRO, INC.

Kathrin BelliveauKathrin P. Belliveau is vice president of product safety and government affairs for Hasbro, Inc., a $4 billion leader in children’s and family leisure time entertainment products and services.  Since joining the company in 1997, Kathrin an attorney, has held a number of positions, including managing attorney for global operations. In her current role, she is responsible for leading Hasbro’s global government affairs practice and for representing Hasbro before policy makers and regulators worldwide (she testified before Congress in 2007 in support of more stringent toy safety laws).  She is also a member of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility Committee. 

Kathrin sits on the Toy Industry Association (TIA) Government Affairs Committee and TIA Sustainability Committee.  She also is a member of the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education.

Prior to joining Hasbro, Kathrin practiced corporate, environmental, and public finance law. She is a Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wellesley College, and she received her law degree from Boston College Law School.  She also completed the Executive Education Program at the Amos Tuck School of Dartmouth College.

Kathrin is married to Jim Belliveau and the proud mother of two young girls, Sophia and Ana.

ELIZABETH BORRELLI

ImageElizabeth Borrelli served as vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility for Toy Industry Association through August 2010.

Betsy rejoined the association in May 2008; from 1992 to 1998, Betsy served as TIA’s director of standards and regulatory affairs and secretary of the International Council of Toy Industries. During that time she managed revisions of ASTM and ANSI toy safety standards, organized TIA’s first toy safety seminars in China, managed TIA’s Safety Standards Committee, was Secretary of the ISO U.S. Technical Advisory Group on toy safety, and served on the Board and as Vice Chair/President Elect of the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization.

In the ten years between her positions with TIA, Betsy led a team focused on issues, crisis and reputation management at Washington Mutual and led Corporate Social Responsibility and Public Affairs at Eddie Bauer. While at Eddie Bauer she developed and led the retailer’s comprehensive global factory labor compliance program and served on the Board of the Fair Labor Association

SUSAN DERAGON, SPECIALIZED TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES, INC.

ImageSusan DeRagon is the associate director of the toys and premiums group for Specialized Technology Resources, Inc. (STR); since 1985, she has specialized in safety, design and international regulations for toys and children’s products.  In her current position, Sue oversees a global team of professionals based in the U.S., China and Hong Kong.  This dedicated team is made up of human factors specialists, risk analysts, manufacturing and quality engineers, technical specialists, and project coordinators, and provides clients with the highest level of quality service in the areas of product testing, quality assurance, safety evaluations and inspections.

Ms. DeRagon has been a presenter at numerous professional seminars on product safety, as well as client specific technical seminars and webinars.  She was involved in a research study related to risk and toy premiums, and is a ‘blogger’ for Playthings on-line magazine.  Sue has also been interviewed by various media organizations as an expert in toy safety, including NBC, CNN, the New York Times, and Associated Press, and presented at a series of product safety seminars in China sponsored by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.   

Sue is an active member of the Toy Industry Association (TIA), American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), and International Consumer Product Health & Safety Organization (ICPHSO).  She has taught product safety as Adjunct Professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Sue received a B.S degree in business administration from Bay Path College, Magna Cum Laude. 

She is the proud mom of two grown daughters (ages 27 and 23) and a

MYUNG KANG-HUNEKE, SESAME WORKSHOP

MUYNG KAN-HUNEKEMyung Kang-Huneke is executive vice president and general counsel at Sesame Workshop and Secretary to the Board of Trustees.  In this position, she developed and continues to oversee the organization’s product safety assurance program.  From 1998 to 2005, Myung was on staff in the Legal Department and provided legal services for Sesame Workshop’s various divisions, including the licensing division, where she supported the expansion of Sesame Workshop brands through product licensing and promotional, retail and representation agreements for Sesame Street and Dragon Tales products both domestically and internationally. 

Ms. Kang-Huneke began her legal career as an associate for the law firm of Proskauer Rose in New York City.  She graduated from the Columbia University School of Law as a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.

Myung is the proud mom of two children.

JOAN LAWRENCE, TOY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION

Joan Lawrence Joan Lawrence is the Toy Industry Association (TIA) vice president of standards and regulatory affairs.  In this role, she manages the association’s product safety and quality programs, including standards development and industry and consumer education.  She is an advocate for uniform national standards in the U.S. and was actively involved in helping to advance federal consumer product safety reform legislation; she is now directly engaged in TIA’s government advocacy efforts at the state level.  

Joan’s experience and leadership within the toy industry spans a broad range of issues – from product safety and quality to corporate social responsibility, environmental, and customs and trade issues.   She led TIA’s and the industry’s efforts in response to the 2007 toy recalls, working with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to develop recommendations that would strengthen the toy safety assurance system for products sold in the U.S. market.  These efforts led to the development of the new TIA Toy Safety Certification Program (TSCP) that is being launched in 2009.  

Joan currently serves as chairman of the ASTM Subcommittee on Toy Safety, which is responsible for the continuing development of toy safety standard ASTM F963.  Congress recognized the work of this Subcommittee in 2008 by adopting the ASTM Toy Safety Standard as a mandatory U.S. national standard. In addition, she serves as executive administrator of the International Council of Toy Industries, Inc. (ICTI), a group of 22 toy associations from around the world.  She is also a board member and former president of the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO), a public-private forum for the advancement of consumer product safety, and a member of the Consumer Interest Forum of ANSI.

Joan is a guest lecturer on toy safety to students in the undergraduate Toy Design Program at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York, has authored several articles on toy safety and standards, and serves as TIA’s toy safety spokesperson. 

Joan is the proud mother of three young children . . . a nine-year old girl and five-year old brother-sister twins.

KITTY PILARZ, MATTEL/FISHER-PRICE

Kitty PilarzKitty Pilarz is senior director of Mattel/Fisher-Price worldwide product safety in East Aurora, N.Y., which designs, manufactures and markets toys and family products sold in more than 150 nations around the world. Since assuming her current position in 2001, Kitty has been responsible for the safety of the Mattel and Fisher-Price product lines, assuring that all products conform to corporate safety requirements. She also develops safety standards and policy for her firm.

Kitty chairs ASTM Committee F15 on Consumer Products as well as the F15 group on play yards and children’s folding chairs. She also serves as vice chairman of the board of ASTM International and as vice chair of the Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association Certification Committee. She is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American Society for Quality Control. Through ASQC, she has earned the designations of certified reliability engineer (1993) and certified quality engineer (1986). In addition, she works on a number of committees responsible for juvenile product safety standards for the American National Standards Institute and Underwriters Laboratories.

Ms. Pilarz has served as symposium chair for the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization, and as president and board member of that group, which works to promote product safety through education and communication.

She is a graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo with a B.S. in mechanical engineering and holds an M.B.A. from Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y.

Kitty is the proud mom of two daughters (ages 20 and 17) and a 15-year old son.

ALAN KORN

Alan KornThe Moms of Toy Safety panel moderator, Alan Korn, served as the executive director and general counsel for Safe Kids USA, a member of Safe Kids Worldwide’s global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury, a leading killer of children 14 and under.

Mr. Korn is an attorney and a member of the Missouri and District of Columbia Bars. Before joining Safe Kids USA (formerly the National SAFE KIDS Campaign) in 1994, he practiced law for five years in St. Louis, Missouri, specializing in health law, consumer protection and litigation.

Alan makes presentations around the country on government’s role in child injury prevention and liability issues associated with community-based safety programs. He has testified many times before Congress, federal agencies and state legislatures on issues of injury prevention and has appeared as a child safety expert on the Today Show, Good Morning America, the CBS Early Show and NPR as well as in dozens of magazines and newspapers.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and his J.D. from the Washington University School of Law. He is married and is the proud dad of a 9-year old son.