Young America, the industry’s leading brand of nursery and youth furniture, will host a panel discussion on the opening day of the ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas. Co-hosted by representatives from GREENGUARD® Environmental Institute and Intertek, the conference will address the components and issues surrounding product safety as they relate to children’s furnishings.

The discussion is scheduled to commence at 2pm (PDT) at the Young America booth space (#3101). In addition to Young America’s Product Manager, Ward O’Quinn, the panel of speakers will include Communications Manager, Rachel Belew, from the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute, Joe Mohorovic, Vice President of Intertek Consumer Goods North America and Alison Rhodes, founder of popular mom blog, SafetyMom.com. In addition, Jackie Sternquist, Director of Marketing and Store Support from Baby Product Experts will moderate the discussion.

“When we considered all of the recalls and product safety issues announced within the infant and youth furniture industry of late, a press conference of this nature made perfect sense,” said O’Quinn. “The time, place and participants were also ideal.”

At last year’s ABC Kids Expo, Young America announced that all of its cribs had achieved the GREENGUARD Children and Schools SM Certification. Since that time, 47 additional products from the Young America product line now carry the elite certification.

GREENGUARD Certification focuses primarily on the indoor air quality of a child’s living space. According to Henning Bloech, Executive Director of GREENGUARD, children spend about 85 percent of their time indoors, where the air can be two to five times more polluted than outdoors.

“At GREENGUARD, we believe that protecting our children’s health and safety is paramount,” said Bloech. “A big part of that responsibility is being able to make informed decisions about the products we purchase for our children—everything from cribs, mattresses and nursery furniture to the myriad of other products and materials to which our children are regularly exposed. This discussion is such an important opportunity to help product manufacturers, suppliers and distributors help  parents create healthier indoor environments for their children. GREENGUARD is happy to be part of it.”

Earlier this year, Young America also made public its relationship with Intertek, one forged to ensure that Young America continues to lead the industry in providing the safest and highest quality nursery and youth furnishings in the industry - beginning with cribs.

According to Joe Mohorovic, Intertek’s Vice President of Consumer Goods North America, to obtain the Intertek seal on existing or new crib designs, products must meet rigorous safety and quality performance guidelines at every step in the design and manufacturing process. These guidelines include a series of checks and balances from Design Hazard Analysis® to Semi Annual Process Audits to Market Surveillance techniques.

“With millions of cribs recalled in recent years and heightened safety concerns among parents and caregivers, we saw a need to develop a stringent testing, inspection and certification program that goes beyond existing standards,” said Mohorovic. “The Intertek Crib Certification mark represents the most robust quality and safety assurance program for cribs available in the market today. By participating in events like this panel discussion with Young America, we hope to raise awareness about the importance of crib safety and further parents’ understanding of the Intertek Crib Certification.”

In addition to GREENGUARD and Intertek, Young America has invited mom blogger, Alison Rhodes, and Jacque Sternquist of Baby Product Experts to participate in the panel discussion.

Alison Rhodes, also known as "The Safety Mom," has become the preeminent voice on safety, wellness and healthy living. From environmental toxins and healthy eating to sports injuries and cyber bullying, The Safety Mom is always on the lookout for the issues facing children - newborns to teens - as well as the entire family.

Alison’s contributions to educating parents about children’s safety include a weekly radio show, “Keeping It Together With Alison Rhodes,” a newsletter, The Safety Scoop, a blog, The Safety Chronicles, regular articles on popular parenting sites like Parenting Weekly and Baby Weekly, as well as guest appearances on national television shows including The Today Show, Fox & Friends, CNN International, CNBC Squawk Box and The Doctors.

“Children’s safety and parental education is my passion,” said Rhodes. “That’s why I’m excited to be able to participate in a panel discussion addressing many of the questions and concerns that have plagued the infant and youth furniture industry of late.”

Jacque Sternquist, Director of Marketing and Store Support for  BabyProductExperts.com, is a seasoned veteran in the juvenile products industry and a tireless coach and champion for independent retailers.

Since February 2009, Jacque has taken this passion to the next level as she directs the marketing efforts for  BabyProductExperts.com. With the October 1st launch of their redesigned web site and the introduction of Phase II of their Retail Store Certification Program, Jacque and  BabyProductExperts.com are firmly committed to raising awareness among expectant and new parents about the value and expertise to be found at their local independent juvenile product stores.

“As an advocate for independent retailers, it’s important for me to stay abreast of what the industry’s leaders are doing as it relates to product safety,” said Sternquist. “Moderating a discussion of this variety allows me to participate in the process objectively.”

For more information about the product safety panel discussion scheduled for Sunday, October 10th at 2pm (PST) at the Young America booth space (#3101), please contact Kristen MacKenzie at 336.508.6878 or  kmackenzie@burris.com.

About GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI):

The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute aims to protect human health and improve quality of life by enhancing indoor air quality and reducing people’s exposure to chemicals and other pollutants. As an ISO-IEC Guide 65:1996 accredited, third-party organization, the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute certifies products and materials for low chemical emissions and provides a resource for choosing healthier products and materials for indoor environments. All certified products must meet stringent chemical emissions standards based on established criteria from key public health agencies. GREENGUARD Certification is broadly recognized and accepted by sustainable building programs and building codes worldwide. For more information and a complete listing of certified products, visit  www.greenguard.org.

About Intertek:

Intertek ( www.intertek.com) is a leading provider of quality and safety solutions serving a wide range of industries around the world. From auditing and inspection, to testing, quality assurance and certification, Intertek people are dedicated to adding value to customers’ products and processes, supporting their success in the global marketplace. Intertek has the expertise, resources and global reach to support its customers through its network of more than 1,000 laboratories and offices and over 26,000 people in more than 100 countries around the world.

About Young America:

Young America is Stanley Furniture Company’s industry leading brand of nursery and youth furniture, Built to Grow™ from crib to college. With all of its products made in the USA, Young America is the brand for safety, broad selection and quick delivery. To learn more visit youngamerica.com.

Copyright Business Wire 2010

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