Protecting Children and Consumers
Keeping Kids Safe Online
The Internet is an indispensible educational resource for our families. But the dark side of the technology is the way criminals use it to harm children. Parents are the first line of defense with respect to keeping their children safe online. Law enforcement and technology companies offer an increasing variety of tools to parents who seek to protect their kids—both on their home computer and elsewhere. Learn how you can add another layer of protection, through a free program offered by the State of Utah.
Consumer Product Safety
Increasing global production of many items they buy makes it difficult for consumers to determine safety and efficacy. Congressman Matheson has supported legislation which sets a limit for total lead content in children’s products (600 parts per million), mandated testing of children’s products, changed product recall time requirements and established a database of manufacturing facilities that previously failed to meet established safety standards.
It is important to ensure that certain children’s products sold at thrift stores and charitable organizations from the lead content limits (with the exception of children’s metal jewelry or any product known to contain lead in amounts above the legal limit.) Further, considerations are made for ordinary paper books and metal parts of bicycles to not require third-party testing. The legislation excludes all-terrain and other off-highway vehicles from lead content limits.
Lead Warning Label on Food containers
Congressman Matheson proposed adding a warning label for ceramic dishes and other food containers to alert consumers of possible lead content. His amendment was included in a House-passed version of consumer product safety legislation. Matheson acted when tests by Utah health department labs--requested by a local TV consumer reporter-- showed lead content in dishes that exceeded the federal standard. Medical tests determined that nursing mothers who prepared and ate food using those dishes inadvertently passed lead on to their babies. Families deserve to know about the products they purchase in order to make informed choices about what they use in their homes.
Commerce is increasingly an electronic activity, calling for strong and specific security practices for businesses that store personal information. Congressman Matheson believes we must strike a balance between protecting personal information and allowing continued innovation in the online world. Special consideration should be given to protecting children that use the Internet either at home or through mobile devices.
Video Game Violence
Congressman Matheson has introduced the Video Game Ratings Enforcement Act to prevent children from buying Mature- or Adult Only-rated games without an adult. The images and themes in some of the games that are popular with kids would likely shock and trouble their parents. Parents should be the first line of defense when it comes to supervising their children’s viewing habits.