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Entries in Kids (14)

Wednesday
Dec192012

Body Armor for Kids: Sales Surge After Sandy Hook Massacre

Bullet Blocker(NEW YORK) -- Body armor companies are seeing a surge in sales of bulletproof backpacks following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Conn.

Although the nondescript, black, child-size backpacks sold by the Massachusetts body armor company Bullet Blocker look like regular backpacks, a sheet of body armor is sewn inside each bag as "another protective layer."

Elmar Uy, chief operating officer at Bullet Blocker, noticed his sales numbers were up "tenfold" on Friday, the day of the massacre, but said he didn't understand why until he turned on the news.

"When word gets out there is an option, not a complete solution, to protect their kids, parents go and seek it," he said.

Amendment II, a Utah-based company that manufactures lightweight armor for law enforcement and the military, began inserting their technology into kids' backpacks six months ago after they received several custom orders, said Derek Williams, the company's president.

"We would sell a few here and there, and it was very much a niche item. But following Friday, our sales have gone up over 500 percent in childrens' armor products," Williams said.

The backpacks aren't meant to be worn during an active shooter situation, but rather as a shield "to cover their head and vital areas," Uy said.

Uy and Williams, who are both fathers, recognize that bulletproof backpacks and the inserts their companies sell aren't a solution to surviving a school shooting.

"There is only so much you can do," Williams said. "The bottom line is, having some armor is better than none. I don't want my kids to be unprotected in schools, which are becoming increasingly violent."

Amendment II plans to donate a portion of their sales to the families of Sandy Hook victims, Williams said.

"On Friday my business partners and I were in tears along with everyone else. We're all fathers," he said. "We can't do much except do what we can and what we're good at, which is making good body armor."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Dec052012

Kids Will Do Almost Anything for Holiday Toys

Kraig Scarbinsky/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Children are apparently willing to work hard and do almost anything -- including cleaning their rooms -- to get the toys they want for Christmas.

According to Walmart’s Talking Holiday Toys Survey, 68 percent of kids say they would clean their rooms every day for an entire year to get their most desirable toys.  Eighty-four percent say they would work hard and give up playtime.  

But even kids have limits.  Just 23 percent of the kids surveyed would eat spinach for a year to get their holiday toys.

The survey also found:

  • 78 percent of parents plan to buy the same amount of toys for their children regardless of how naughty or nice they’ve been throughout the year.
  • The top toy gifts parents want to give their kids this Christmas are “toys that teach.”  The top toys on kids’ wish lists are dolls and action figures.
  • Many parents are apparently in the dark when it comes to knowing whether or not their kids find their gifts ahead of the big day.  Twenty-three percent of kids say they have found their gifts before Christmas.  Just 14 percent of parents say their kids have uncovered their hidden gifts.  The top hiding place in a home is a closet.
  • Persistence works.  When asked about the most persuasive technique their kid uses to get the toy he/she wants for Christmas, the top response for parents is their child asks them repeatedly for the gift.  Kids agree.  Their most popular method for ensuring they get the gift they want is to keep telling Mom or Dad over and over again.

Walmart’s Talking Holiday Toys Survey was conducted by GFK Public Affairs and involved 1,009 children between the ages of 3 and 11 and their parents.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep262012

Airline Adds ‘No Kids’ Section

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- What do airlines -- and travelers, for that matter -- have against kids?  From in-flight nannies to possible fees for sitting together, it seems as if the airline industry is bent on making it harder for kids to fly.

Now, another Asian carrier has decided to add a no-kids section to its flights.  Low-cost airline AirAsia will ban children under 12 in rows 7-14, the rows directly behind the airline’s premium flat bed seats, “because we know that sometimes all you need is some peace and quiet for a more pleasant journey with us.”

According to the carrier’s website, no travelers with a person under 12 in their group will be able to book those seats.  Travelers without kids who wish to reserve the kid-free seats can do so at no extra cost on the carrier’s website.

The new section is called Quiet Zone.  According to AirAsia, it offers:

  • Minimal noise with less disturbance.
  • Seats near the front of the aircraft.
  • Ambiance with soft lighting.

Quiet Zone is bookable for travel February 2013 and on.  Passengers holding tickets for travel in February and beyond can reserve their seats now.

The airline’s seat map shows three spots on the aircraft reserved for baby bassinets.  One of those is immediately in front of the premium flat bed seats.

Malaysia airlines has reportedly banned kids in first class for years, thought there’s never been official word from the airline on the matter.  The airline did, however, recently create an adults-only seating section on the upper deck of aircraft on its London-Kuala Lumpur route.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep212012

Forget Fake IDs: Can Kids Buy Alcohol on eBay?

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The online marketplace eBay is a popular site for bidding on rare finds and selling your own household treasures, but resourceful teens might also find another use for it: scoring booze.

While eBay prohibits the sale of all alcohol with the exception of some wines sold by licensed wine sellers, it does allow for the sale of collectible alcohol containers. The site's alcohol policy states that the seller of the container "will take all appropriate steps to ensure that the buyer is of lawful age in the buyer's and seller's jurisdiction."

But that didn't stop one teen who worked with 20/20 from obtaining alcohol through the site. We asked Xander, 13, to head to the site and try to buy liquor there. One vendor refused to sell his product when Xander and a 20/20 producer declined to send a copy of an ID showing that the buyer was of legal drinking age. But Xander was able to successfully place an order with two other vendors.

"All I had to do was type in vodka on the search bar, click one button and it can send it to my house," Xander told 20/20. (A 20/20 producer paid for the purchases.)

Weeks later, five bottles of vodka arrived at Xander's front door.

In a statement to 20/20, eBay reiterated its policy that it prohibits the general sale of alcohol and only allows sales of wine by pre-approved, licensed sellers.

"Sellers are required to take all appropriate steps to ensure that the buyer is of lawful age. We prohibit the general sale of alcohol and we have zero tolerance for anyone who violates our policies. When violations occur, we take appropriate action as we have done in this case," the company said.

The company said it has taken action against the two vendors who sold alcohol to Xander.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have found that many Internet alcohol vendors fail to verify that customers are of legal drinking age. In a report on a study released in May, researchers said that underage study participants successfully ordered alcohol online 45 times from popular vendors, including eBay.

"With just a few clicks on their computer or smartphone, kids can order alcohol delivered to their home," lead study author Rebecca Williams, a research associate at UNC, said after the study's release. "We were amazed at how easy it was for minors to buy alcohol online."

Williams said that researchers found listings on eBay that were not in line with the site's own criteria for what constitutes an alcohol-related collectible.

The site states that the contents of the collectible must not be intended for consumption, that the value of the item is in its container, not its contents, and that the item must not be available in any retail outlet.

"Our simple searches revealed countless unrestricted listings by the sellers of common liquors that clearly didn't meet any of the criteria, such as varieties of Bacardi rum available at any liquor store," Williams said.

In its statement to 20/20, eBay said "We continue to strengthen our policy enforcement efforts to ensure a trusted marketplace for our customers."

What remains unclear, Williams said, is how often teens today are actually using eBay and other online retailers to purchase alcohol. A 2006 study sponsored by the wine industry found that just 2 percent of teens reported buying alcohol online. Williams said she hopes to do her own study on the subject, through a nationally representative survey, next year.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep052012

Most Kids Not Learning About Financial Responsibility in School

Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- America's children may be back at school, but how much are they learning about money?  Apparently, not much.

According to a new poll of parents by RetailMeNot.com, 70 percent say their children are not being taught about financial responsibility when they're in class.

Trae Bodge, a senior writer at RetailMeNot, says that's a mistake.

"We're sending our kids out there with no financial training of their own," she says.  

That may be one reason why many college students make poor choices about debt and credit cards.

"I think it's really crucial when kids go out into the world on their own that they have a very solid foundation of financial responsibility," Bodge says.

Parents can help remedy this by teaching their kids about budgets at an early age. Bodge encourages parents to get kids "set up with a couple of chores and an allowance and help them save their own money and understand the value of money."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug232012

Kids Make $65 Monthly in Allowances, Survey Finds

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Today’s youngsters evidently have it better than previous generations, given that the average allowance nowadays is just over $16 a week or $65 per month, which computes to $780 annually.

That figure comes from the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), which also learned that nine out of ten parents will make sure that their children earn their keep by working at least an hour a week for their dough.

On average, youngsters are expected to spend 6.2 hours a week on chores before they spend their “salary” on things like toys or hanging out with friends.

Still, if a kid today gets an allowance, it’s an easy ride the rest of the way since parents will also pick up the tab for sports and hobby merchandise, cellphone charges, movie rentals and digital downloads.

Youngsters who do well in school are often amply rewarded for their efforts, with nearly half of parents paying an average of $16.60 for each A their students get on a report card, the AICPA survey points out.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug032012

Is an Adults-Only Flight Worth the Money?

Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  What is it, exactly, that the traveling public seems to have against kids? After all, we were all kids at some point. But in the latest online, unscientific survey on whether people would pay extra for adult-only flights, one-third responded they would.

The latest stat comes from TripAdvisor UK, and was a survey of 2,000 Brits. But the results closely reflect a recent survey by ABC News (also online and unscientific). One-third said they would be willing to shell out money for a flight guaranteed to be free of children.

Kids are such a problem in flight, it seems, that an entire company has been created to help keep them quiet. NannyintheClouds.com was created to help flying parents keep their kids in check while in-flight.

But the question no one seems to be asking: Exactly how much would a person be willing to pay? How much is the guarantee worth? Now this is something airline executives would want to know. If they believed there was actually a market for this service, they would find a way to monetize it.

Only one airline, Malaysia Airlines, has a child-free seating zone, and it's just on one route, from Kuala Lumpur to London. And they don't charge for it.  Families who are traveling with children under 12 are automatically directed to seats in the lower all-economy deck.

While many appreciate a quiet flying environment, it's easy to opt for pay for kid-free flights when asked in a survey. One could bet, however, that the number of people who actually would pay for the service, if it were even offered, would come in at far less than 30 percent.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun142012

Cost of Rearing a Child Rises to $234,000

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Having kids is expensive, as if parents needed to be told that. But the U.S. government issued a report today quantifying just how expensive: For a child born now, it will cost an average of $234,900 to raise them, and that’s just to age 18.

The total cost is up 3.5 percent from a year ago, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture report.   Child care and education, transportation and food had the biggest cost jumps.

Costs vary by family income. A typical family earning less than $59,410 a year will spend $169,080 in 2011 dollars to rear a child, but parents who make over $102,870 will pay $389,670, according to the study.

Costs have changed over the years, the report stated. Health care in constant dollars has doubled since 1960. Child care and education went from 2 percent of the pie to 18 percent today. Housing costs stayed roughly the same at 30 percent.

The report doesn’t cover college costs, but an estimate by 529s.com puts the cost of a private college education at $420,000 in 18 years, and a public education at $195,000 for in-state students.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb082012

Staten Island Mom Sues NYC for $900 Trillion

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A Staten Island mother has sued New York City for $900 trillion for emotional and physical trauma after the Administration for Children’s Services removed her children from her custody and put them in foster care back in 2008.

Fausat Ogunbayo, 46, said she and her boys suffered “over three years of terror, horror, grievous harm, time lost, substantial economic hardship and injuries,” according to court documents.

The children, then 12 and 10, relocated to Queens after their mother lost custody of them, according to the Staten Island Advance. Court papers said the city removed the boys because Ogunbayo was mentally ill and refused treatment.

She reportedly suffered from hallucinations and left her boys at home alone for several hours at a time. The city maintained that ACS received several complaints about Ogunbayo’s alleged mistreatment of her children in 2008. Court documents also show that the mom told doctors her children’s skin was getting darker by the day because of radiation and the FBI was out to get her children.

While mental illness alone cannot cause parents to lose custody of their children, it is unclear whether her mental state was a precipitating factor in the ACS move to take away her boys in the first place.

Ogunbayo did not return ABC News’ request for comment, but the New York City Law Department issued a statement, saying, “We are unable to comment on pending litigation. The amount a plaintiff requests in a lawsuit has no bearing on whether the case has any merit and no relation to actual damages if any.”

The department said they could not share any information regarding Ogunbayo’s mental health. The children remain in ACS custody.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov222011

Dangerous Toys on Store Shelves, Consumer Group Warns

File photo. (Digital Vision/ValueLine)(WASHINGTON) -- Consumer advocates are out with a holiday-season warning for parents. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group says in a new report that it found more than a dozen toys on store shelves in violation of federal safety standards for lead and other chemicals, as well as toys that could present a choking hazard to small children.

Nasima Hossain, a public health advocate for US PIRG, says toys marketed to children aged three and under are not allowed to contain small, removable parts, and calls on the Consumer Product Safety Commission to “revise the small parts standard to better protect children from choking hazards.”

“Over the last twenty years, more than 400 children have died playing with toys. More than half of them choked to death,” Hossain said.

Along with toys that contain high levels of lead and small parts, Hossain says that excessively loud toys can also put young people at risk.

“We found one toy on store shelves that exceeded the recommended continuous exposure to 85 decibel limits, and two close-to-the-ear toys that exceeded the 65 decibel limit when measured with a digital sound level meter,” she said.

Click here for more on this report.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio