The power of the partnership between survivor advocates and injury prevention professionals far
exceeds the power of either working alone.


Linda Ginzel and Boaz Keysar



Danny Keysar was 16 months old, the second son of Linda Ginzel and Boaz Keysar, both University of Chicago professors. On May 12, 1998,Linda left Danny at his childcare home with his beloved caregiver, Anna. Danny took his nap in Anna’s Travel-Lite portable, foldable crib. But when Anna checked on him, the crib had collapsed, Danny was trapped by the neck and not breathing. Unaware, Linda arrived to pick up Danny. Instead, police drove her to the hospital. A doctor told Linda and Boaz that they had done everything they could for their son, but that Danny was dead.


The day after Danny’s funeral, Linda learned that the crib that killed Danny had been recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) five years before. Linda and Boaz were stunned. Why didn’t people who owned those cribs know that? For seven days after the funeral, Linda and Boaz and their son, Ely, sat Shiva for Danny. They were surrounded by family, friends, and colleagues from the University of Chicago Business School where Linda is director of its corporate education program.

Colleagues began to explore the facts and implications of Danny’s death in terms they used every day: profit and loss, business ethics, marketing, product design. Why didn’t the recall succeed in getting that crib out of that childcare center? How many such cribs were still out there? The more they talked, the more is came clear to Linda that something had to change. She asked them: “What can Boaz and I do - without any money, without anything, just us?” (1)

Research and education were familiar tools. Immediately, Danny’s parents began to concentrate on recalled cribs. Finding sleep difficult, they spent nighttime hours at the computer researching recalls and learning why they failed. They found that CPSC conducts about 250-300 recalls per year. Of these, approximately 100 involve children’s products, with an estimated 38 million units recalled in 1998 alone (not including car seats). CPSC says that they get unsafe products off store shelves. However, they can not get currently used items out of homes and childcare centers.

Linda and Boaz searched for ways to get life-saving information to the people who needed it most - all parents of babies and owners of defective cribs. "If the government can't do this, and the manufacturers don't," she says, "then we will. We'll tell everyone we know to tell everyone they know, and we'll get word to the level of the users." (2)

Within 11 days of Danny’s death, Linda and Boaz sent an email to 5,000 people, describing Danny’s death, warning about the Travel-Lite portable crib, and about other recalled portable cribs known to be defective. On the subject line, they wrote: Prevent death of next child. They asked each recipient to forward the message to everyone s/he knew. The message generated 300 responses, some from users of the defective cribs.

A few weeks later, using $20,000 in personal savings, they established a new non-profit, Kids In Danger, with its own website (). And it took off. Linda and Boaz used their network of friends to contact the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Ambulatory Pediatric Association, and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, which licenses childcare centers. They contacted the AARP to alert grandparents. The Chicago Commissioner of Consumer Services printed the crib warning on the pay stub of every city employee. A journalist friend wrote an article for a parenting magazine. A marketer friend helped with a brochure entitled: Minefields: How recalled products put your children at risk and what you can do about it.

But information alone was not enough. They had found that days before Danny’s death, state inspectors had paid a routine inspection visit to Sweet Tots (Danny’s childcare center), but had not checked for recalled products, because they weren’t required to. So they championed an Illinois bill - the Children’s Product Safety Act, which makes it illegal to sell or lease an unsafe or recalled children’s product. It also requires that licensed child-care facilities be inspected for unsafe products and prohibits any business from selling or leasing them. On May 13, 1999, one year after Danny’s death, this bill passed unanimously in the state senate. The governor signed it in August 1999. In July 2000, Michigan passed legislation modeled after the Illinois law.

In September, 1998, Linda Ginzel was named to the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), representing the interests of parents and consumers in the development of voluntary safety standards for children’s products.

In November 1999, US Congressman Rod Blagojevich introduced a federal bill that would amend the Consumer Product Safety Act in order to make a number of improvements in the way that CPSC handles recalls of defective children’s products and make information about these recalls more accessible to the public. The bill’s title is the Daniel Keysar Memorial and Children’s Consumer Product Safety Act of 1999 (HR 3208).

President Clinton presented Linda Ginzel and Boaz Keysar with the 2000 President’s Service Award, the most prestigious national recognition for volunteer service directed at solving critical social problems.

For the present, Kids In Danger wants to raise awareness and put the issue of children’s product safety on the national agenda. Ultimately, they want to prevent dangerous products from reaching the market in the first place. “Unlike poverty and world hunger, etc., this is a very solvable problem.”

(1, 2) Chicago, November, 1998.


Linda Ginzel, Ely Keysar, Boaz Keysar (Co-Founders)
Kids In Danger
PO Box 146608
Chicago, IL 60614-6608
Phone/fax: (773) 296-9658