Plan Ahead And Consider Risks To Maximize School Supply Shopping
Back to school season means supply shopping, and consumers should know that there’s more to consider beyond eraser brands and binder colors. NY1’s Asa Aarons filed the following report.
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Parents are probably spending part of this time of the year wondering how they came up with so many variations of number two pencils.
They may not be considering every angle, however.
“The most important thing is to have a plan,” explains Claire Rosenzweig of the Better Business Bureau. “Your student is going to see all kinds of products there that they may want, but you should be having a plan based on need and based on budget. Do your comparison shopping, make sure that you’re shopping at reputable, reliable stores. If you’re going to be shopping online, be sure that you can find the physical location for that store.”
There's another component to school supplies. Think about safety. Most of the items are perfectly safe, but some, legally sold and properly marked, can still pose a threat.
Take rubber cement, which will be right on the shelf next to the other glue. The Elmer's people marked their brand thoroughly: it says “extremely flammable” on the back.
A simple piece of paper with some rubber cement applied to it will ignite as if it was doused with lighter fluid. A busy parent could easily pick it up and hand it to a child unaware of the raw explosive power.
When in doubt, look for the American Society for Testing Materials — or ASTM — seal on the back, which will usually indicate if a product is toxic or not.
Visit ASTM.org for plenty of information on school supplies and other items.