Kids In Danger

Fighting for Product Safety

aka KID   |   Chicago, IL   |


Kids In Danger (KID) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting children by fighting for product safety. KID was founded in 1998 by the parents of sixteen-month-old Danny Keysar who died when a portable crib collapsed around his neck in his Chicago childcare home. Although the portable crib had been recalled five years earlier, word of its danger had not reached Danny’s parents, careg KID’s mission is to save lives by enhancing transparency and accountability through safer product development, better education and stronger advocacy for children. We fulfill our mission by reaching out to caregivers to spread safety awareness and recall information, serving as a watchdog on regulatory agencies and manufacturers, and working with designers and engineers to make safety a top priority

Ruling year info


Principal Officer

Nancy Cowles

Main address

116 W Illinois Ste 4E

Chicago, IL 60654 USA

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NTEE code info

Consumer Protection and Safety (W90)

Safety Education (M40)

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

As parents and caregivers, we do all we can to keep our children safe. But hidden hazards in some products can injure or kill children despite parents/caregivers best efforts. KID believes that children's products should be tested for safety to strong standards before they reach our homes and hazards in products such as window blinds, tipping furniture, powerful magnets and others should be designed out of products.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?


KID works with policymakers on legislative and regulatory changes to protect children from dangerous products. KID believes all children's products should be tested for safety before they are sold. We work with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Attorney Generals' offices in several states and other regulators to encourage improved product safety. Our KID Action Team responds when there is a safety issue that must be addressed.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers

Safe from the Start is KID's program to provide education to parents and caregivers about children's product safety. Through presentations, workshops, materials and our online presence, this program gives parents and caregivers the tools they need to keep children safe.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers

TEST, or Teach Early Safety Testing, partners with university and high school engineering and STEM programs to incorporate design safety into the engineering curriculum. The program provides important background materials and educational opportunities on safety for tomorrow’s designers and engineers of children’s products.

TEST is designed to promote the development of safe products by integrating children’s product safety, standards, and testing practices into the curriculum. TEST gives student engineers and designers the tools they need to integrate safety into any product they design and to apply appropriate testing practices and standards to these designs. TEST enables manufacturers and testing laboratories to find qualified students already familiar with standards and testing.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work


Chairman's Circle of Commendation Award 2011

Consumer Product Safety Commission

Community Champion Award 2010

Civil Justice Foundation

President's Service Award 2000

US Government Office of the President of the United States

Raising A Ruckus Activist Award 2005

Working Mother Magazine

Allstate Safety Leadership Award 1998

Allstate Insurance

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Ultimately, we would like to see no injuries or death to children as a result of unsafe children’s products. This is a lofty goal, but we work each day with the intention of seeing this goal realized. In the past 20 years, KID has set the stage for a future free from product related injuries and deaths. Just a year after KID founding, the city of Chicago passed an ordinance to prevent the sale of recalled products. We then drafted and shepherded the nation’s most comprehensive statewide legislation on children’s product safety, the Illinois Children’s Product Safety Act through the Illinois legislature. Since 1998, we have worked to pass that law which has been adopted in 10 other states to date. Then in 2008, there was the groundbreaking Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. KID was deeply involved in CPSIA’s passage and the provisions of Danny’s Law that are currently overhauling children’s product safety oversight. Our advocacy is one major component of our multi-pronged effort to achieve our goal of an injury and death free environment for children.

Our strategy to achieve this goal is a three pronged effort. In addition to our advocacy work, KID generates awareness and facilitates education of child product safety ideas. We attend community events in a variety of locations to get the word out to parents and caregivers about unsafe products and provide them with resources to keep their children safe. Additionally, we interact with parents and caregivers regularly; sending educational publications such as a monthly email alert and bi- annual newsletter. Further, we partner with online parenting and grand parenting communities and serve as a safety resource for thousands of additional parents and grandparents. This is in addition to our own online community, which is updated daily with the latest recalls and product safety news. Finally, we have provided millions of caregivers and parents with the tools they need to keep their children safe through our safety workshop, Creating safe environments for children

Through this combination of education, awareness, and advocacy we have been able to make a lasting impact on the child product safety landscape. While much as been accomplished in this past 15 years, much more work needs to get done in order to accomplish an injury and death free environment for children.

As the only non-profit organization dedicated to improving the safety of children's products, KID and its supporters work tirelessly to keep kids safe. KID is able to work effectively within the constraints of its shoestring budget with a small but dedicated workforce of three full-time staff members, including Executive Director Nancy Cowles, Program Director Laura Nikolovska, and Director of Development Karen Yellen Dillon. KID is governed by a 13-member board of directors with four additional advisory board members. Joining these efforts are four part-time student interns, eight regularly scheduled volunteers and numerous seasonal volunteers who combined volunteered 2142 hours in 2013.

Generous individual and corporate donors support KID's ongoing efforts by providing the funds to publish educational materials, further outreach with workshops and caregiver trainings and more. In fiscal year 2013, individuals accounted for 69% of the sources of support for KID, followed by corporations at 24% and foundation support at 7%. With the help of these donations, grants, matching gifts, and in-kind donations, KID is able to focus on programming, with 85% of FY2013 expenses allocated to this area. Since its founding in 1998, KID has had individual donors representing 41 states and the District of Columbia.

For over fifteen years, KID has worked to connect with local and national safety alliances, community leaders, and family networks to spread its lifesaving message. Partnerships with organizations such as Chicago's Neighborhood Parents Network, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, Parent Tested Parent Approved and many more have been instrumental in reaching a larger network of families and caregivers. In the future, KID hopes to develop further connections with similar organizations and alliances to promote injury prevention.

KID increases awareness of child product safety issues and dangerous recalls through a number of mediums. KID supporters can stay updated on current safety information via various social media outlets, KID's website and frequently updated blog, monthly e-mail reports, and newsletters that reach an audience of over 3,000 supporters. Our Safe from the Start program provides local workshops for parents, grandparents, and childcare providers in the community, and KID is frequently featured as a panelist at national conferences that focus on product safety and injury prevention. KID advocates to improve child product safety standards and strengthen outreach efforts on a local, regional and national level, ensuring more families and caregivers have access to important safety information.

As mentioned, major state and federal legislation concerning children’s product safety has been passed since KID’s creation in 1998. One of our most significant accomplishments was the passage of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). As a result of this legislation, cribs made for our youngest children have to meet the strongest safety standards in the world. There is no doubt that countless lives of children have been saved from death and injury as a result of this landmark legislation, a section of which was named in honor of KID’s founder’s son, Danny Keysar. We consider this to be a major accomplishment of the organization and as a result new legislation has been created to spur the development of tougher safety standards for other children’s products including play yards and bassinets. Currently, there are 25 categories of children’s products ID'ed by the CPSC. Twenty-two have mandatory safety standards thanks in large parts to KID’s efforts. Three additional products currently don’t have safety standards, and KID works each day to see this changed as well as cover new products as they enter the market.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person),

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?


Kids In Danger

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Kids In Danger

Board of directors
as of 03/03/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Shawn S. Kasserman

Shawn was honored with our 2013 Best Friend Award. He served as counsel to our co-founders, Linda Ginzel and Boaz Keysar, in their lawsuit against the manufacturer and licensor of the portable crib that killed their son Danny. Shawn is currently a Partner at Tomasik Kotin Kasserman and serves as the President of KID’s Board of Directors.

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Heather Mason

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Susan Nied

Eastern Illinois University, School of Family and Consumer Sciences, Advisory Council

Marisol Pantoja


Ayesha Rafique

Deloitte & Touche LLP

Shehnaz Safiuddin

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David Zivan

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/3/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

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Sexual orientation

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