Baby stroller warning; Cheaper heels

March 7, 2011 8:50:58 PM PST
Consumer Reports' latest tests of the Zooper Waltz stroller reveals a potential strangulation hazard.

The Zooper Waltz has been designated a "don't buy safety risk."

Like many traditional strollers, the Zooper Waltz comes with both a grab bar and a tray that attach above a child's legs. Consumer Reports found a safety problem.

"If a child isn't strapped into the stroller, their torso could slip through the gap between the grab bar and the seat. But their head could get hung up. And that could result in strangulation. That same problem would exist if the tray was in place," said Consumer Reports spokesperson.

The stroller failed Consumer Reports test of a voluntary safety standard.

If you own this stroller, Consumer Reports recommends you discard the grab bar and tray and always strap your child in a stroller.

The maker of the Zooper Waltz says the stroller meets all voluntary safety standards and it has no reports of injuries. The company also says the Consumer Product Safety Commission is currently testing the Zooper Waltz for the problem.

Manolo Blahniks vs. Cheaper Heels

When it comes to high heels, many women seem to lose all sense of reality. A just-released Consumer Reports ShopSmart survey reveals that 60 percent are willing to tolerate painful shoes for fashion's sake. And if you're paying top dollar for those high heels, do you need to?

The shoes on display at a Manolo Blahnik boutique are quite stunning. You can easily spend a small fortune there, anywhere from several hundred to thousands of dollars.

To find out whether high-end, expensive shoes are worth the high price, Consumer Reports' ShopSmart rounded up more than a dozen eager employees to try out three pairs. The shoe labels were covered, so the women couldn't tell which were the less expensive shoes and which were the expensive ones. The shoes included a $30 pair of Mossimos from Target, $69 heels from Nine West, and a $575 pair from Manolo Blahnik.

The women walked a defined course twice a day for a week in each pair of shoes. They filled out a ballot each time. Most of the women thought two pairs looked and felt pretty good, but not the $30 pair from Target.

To size up how well each shoe was made, ShopSmart did the unthinkable ? cutting the shoes in half! Overall the Manolos were a better-made shoe. The materials they were made of were superior, and many of the women liked the styling, too.

However, in the blind tests more women thought the $69 Nine West shoes were more comfortable! ShopSmart says the smart money move with high heels is to make fit the deciding factor. Determine the style you want and what your budget is, and if they feel good when you walk around in them, buy them!

Consumer Reports ShopSmart says good leather heels need special care. It's best not to wear them two days in a row. That gives the shoes time to dry out. And forget wearing them out in bad weather! One step in a puddle with oil, gas, or road salt and they're ruined.

Meantime, Target says, "We appreciate you bringing this feedback to our attention. Our goal is to provide quality merchandise at a fair price. If a guest is unsatisfied with their purchase, we are happy to return or exchange the merchandise if it falls within the parameters of our 90-day return policy. "