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Advice: Make cadmium issue a teachable moment for kids

Parents who might have purchased a piece of children's jewelry that is suspect can turn this into a chance to teach kids consumer skills, said Linda Lisi Juergens, executive director of the National Association of Mothers' Centers in Jericho.

TOY SAFETY. Depending on your child's age, explain that some products might seem safe when you buy them, but that more can be learned later, she said. These baubles could create health problems, so you'll bag and store them until more is known.

PLAN B. Come up with a replacement, perhaps a safe piece of Mommy's costume jewelry, she said.

SAFER CHOICES. Learn about safe alternatives at HealthyStuff.org, which tests children's products, said Tracy Shelton, a consumer attorney with the New York Public Interest Research Group, which also oversees its annual toy survey.

CONSUMER RIGHTS. If this clearly is a problem product, return it to the store, showing your child that "you do have the right to go back and say you're not happy" and ask for restitution, said Juergens.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN. As you make future purchases, take care to note where products are made, said Shelton. Children's toys and items made in the U.S. and Europe have to meet higher standards, she said.

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