ABC KIDS EXPO LAS VEGAS, NV 10-13 OCTOBER 2010
The organization of this Expo was just awesome! From registration to arranging the individual booths it was designed to make everything go smoothly! Hopefully, the staff received kudos for the great job done.
We enjoyed this show on multiple levels:
a) We saw excellent new products that will help parents, and grandparents (or beyond) help their children grow and stay healthy!
b) We saw a big push towards “green” in products ranging from diapers to toys and furniture;
c) We saw brand new companies filling niche needs and prospering!
d) We saw, with wonderment, the re-introducing of the cloth diapers and products that would make the house smell pleasantly! We have now gone full cycle as most of the grandparents will only remember those cloth ones! These cloth diapers are green, ecologically sound and, hopefully, less expensive over the long run.
Before exploring the four areas mentioned above, it was interesting to find at the front of the Expo a booth “Keeping Babies Safe”. We happily contributed to this organization as their purpose is to create awareness in areas such as product safety, education, etc.
As grandparents we were amazed, and jealous at the many new products that would/could have made our lives easier and better. Many of the exhibitors mentioned that grandparents were becoming an increasing part of their sales. Grandparents are able, in many cases, to afford some of these expensive items ranging from outfitting one of their spare bedrooms into a child’s room to the upper range of cribs, blankets and clothing! One of the first new products is “ReliaDose”. This baby bottle has a syringe in the center to dispense the right amount of medicine to a baby without losing most of it through spit ups. This is a safe and simple way to dispense medicine. “Thermomedics” has come up with a thermometer that can be used without placing in the mouth or elsewhere. If you place it close to the baby’s head (or child, or adult) it gives an accurate reading. This thermometer can also read bath water, milk, etc. without touching! We thought of all the times that the child had to be awakened when ill for a temperature reading. This product eliminates that need. “Yoomi” is a rechargeable, BPA free, self-heating baby bottle that warms baby’s feed to the natural temperature of breast milk at the touch of a button and in 60 seconds. Another great new product is “BabaBaby”. This baby bottle has a “cap” that gives you the date the milk (mothers or otherwise) was placed in the bottle. There are many other excellent products: easier ways to keep the child close to the stroller with a special handle; a strap to keep the baby from throwing bottle on the floor so parents can play 24 pickup; and a “SnuggleBugzz” that is a beautiful green grasshopper that, with velcrose, will keep a young one from rolling off the bed!
The “green” revolution has expanded to the Kids industry. We saw several displays of cloth diapers that “us grandparents” used. These are new products, ecological, green, and much better designed. With all of that comes a much higher price tag to start; savings come later. Now there is a need for a new laundry detergent, new diaper pails, and the list goes on. All of these products were on display at the Expo. There are some wonderful new products such as “DPclean” which does a great job of cleaning furniture that has the grubby fingerprints of the kids. Then there is “Grandma’s Secret Spot Remover” which is guaranteed to remove spots from all types of clothing. We shall test both of those after the next visit from grandchildren. Many of these companies are startups being run by people (often parents seeing a need) dedicated to improving child care and the environment.
Another section of the Expo was devoted to furniture for children. The furniture companies also moved mightily to become “green”. In addition to the furniture were new styles and colors for bedding. A wonderful new addition, due to government standards, is cribs that are now safe. The bars are now set at widths that do not allow babies heads to get stuck. Several companies have also jumped in by making padding for the crib posts to make the separation even narrower. “Wonder Bumpers” is one such company that makes safety important. A useful addition to the furniture section is a line of inflatable beds designed for children. This line includes bedding, pillows and blankets to match the bed. For those parents traveling, and grandparents receiving visits from little ones, these items could be life savers! The name is a bit unusual (www.TheShrunks.com) but worth a look if the need is there.
“Sunshine Kids” is a German company that makes a broad variety of car seats, bumper seats, tools and toys that help make travel easier for both parents and children. This is just one company, of many, that are making sound products but at prices that encourage grandparents jumping in to help! Another company, smaller, that made us want to be kids again, has produced wooden blocks that range in color, and have magnets in them. This allows for lots of tall “buildings” and much more variety in design for the children to use. The Tegu story is interesting, but I resisted the child in me and did not purchase.
The Swiss company SIGG has a wonderful line of water bottles of all sizes, colors and designs for adults and children. The line includes food containers, and all of their line is produced in Switzerland. I was amazed at the broad range of this line and the flexibility of the products. I must admit that one in their catalogue caught my eye: MAKE LOVE NOT LANDFILL. There were also some great displays of clothing to help new mothers cope with baby spills, and other catastrophes. Bold innovation, much of it by the new companies, was wonderful to see. It was the color choices and the offer of M & M’s that caught my eye and I went over to see the “boon” booth. This big area had a broad selection of ecological toys, utensils, and a pedestal high chair with a pneumatic lift! Then, more basic, but equally practical was a spill proof bowl. On the seemingly endless wild side of products was a Children’s Temporary Bath Conversion that had a fire engine design on the front. On the practical side, bathing a child at waist height is very helpful.
It is worth repeating: the cost of many of these products is high! The products are more colorful, often much better built, ecological and green, but expensive. Of course, we had our five fifty years ago when everything seemed less. Last, but certainly not least, there were many companies such as OXO, Thermos, and the major stroller companies that have also improved and expanded their product line to meet the new needs.
It made “us grandparents” wish that many of these products had been available in our day. Again, staff did an awesome job staging this expo. This is a huge show with a broad range of products and services.
John Lustig, Senior Reporter
Anne Leona, Senior Reporter