Wednesday, March 25, 2009

CPSC serious about drawstring rule --- five more recalls

CPSC recalled five different children's sweatshirts and jackets with drawstrings today. Last year they fined more than a dozen companies for selling these products -- the drawstrings pose a strangulation hazard for children. If you have a child's garment with drawstrings -- remove them! And if you see them in stores, report it to CPSC. This is a danger that can be eliminated.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pacifiers recalled -- violate federal standard and pose choking risk

The last thing you want to worry about with a pacifier is that it will fall apart in your child's mouth and present a choking hazard. CPSC and OKK Trading announced a recall today of a pacifier which may do just that -- it failed federal testing when the nipple separated from the base. The violation of federal law was brought to the attention of CPSC by the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection --- yet another example of the important role the states can play in product safety.

3 in 1 High Chair recalled for fall hazard

CPSC and Fisher Price announced the recall today of 24,000 3-in-1 High Chair to Boosters sold exclusively at Target since December. The chair can be released from the base resulting in a fall hazard. There is one reported injury involving a skull fracture. Consumers with the high chair (sold under the Dwell name at Target) can contact Fisher Price for a repair kit.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dropside cribs prove too dangerous?

The Fullsize Crib Sub-committee of ASTM International, which sets voluntary standards for crib makers, voted this week on a new standard portion that would not allow current dropside crib designs. Dropside hardware failures on cribs have been linked to many recalls as well as injuries and deaths. The new standard, which has yet to be approved by the larger ASTM group, would require all four sides of a crib to be fixed permanently to the crib, while still allowing a small top portion of the side to fold down to make access to the child easier.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Fatal Distraction

The Washington Post Magazine had a haunting story this week by Gene Weingarten on parents who forget their children in the car -- dispelling the myth that this horrific mistake can only happen to 'bad' parents. Here are some tips parents and caregivers can follow to avoid this hazard. For more on safety of children in and around cars, visit Kids And Cars. This advocacy group is encouraging car and car seat makers to develop technological solutions to the problem as well, such as an alarm that sounds when it detects weight in a car seat with the engine turned off.

  • Put something you'll need like your cell phone, handbag, lunch or brief case on the floor in the back seat. Get in the habit of always opening the back door of your vehicle every time you reach your destination to make sure no child has been left behind. This way it will become a habit. Kids And Cars calls this the Look -- then lock campaign
  • Keep a large teddy bear in the child's car seat when it’s not occupied. When the child is placed in the seat, put the teddy bear in the front passenger seat as a visual reminder that the child is in the back seat.
  • Make arrangements with your child’s day care center or babysitter that you will always call them if your child will not be there on a particular day as scheduled. Ask them to phone you if your child doesn’t show up when expected. Give child care providers all your telephone numbers, including that of an extra family member or friend, so they can always confirm the whereabouts of your child.
  • If you see a child alone in a vehicle, get involved. If they are hot or seem sick, get them out as quickly as possible. Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Baby bottles go BPA free

The six major makers of baby bottles sold in the US agreed to stop selling bottles with BPA, a chemical linked to a variety of health problems. Bisphenol A, commonly called BPA, is in a wide variety of everyday items. BPA can disrupt the body's endocrine system, posing risk especially in utero or to infants and young children whose bodies are still developing. The action was prompted by the work of several state Attorneys General -- pointing again to the role states play in addressing emerging hazards. Read more.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Chicago Tribune's latest investigation: car seat testing

Chicago Tribune reporter Trish Callahan has published another in the Tribune's series on children's product safety. This report looks at a pilot testing program at NHTSA that included infant car seats in the back seats of vehicles being crashed for car safety testing. While not easy to find on the site, the crash tests raise questions about the adequacy of current testing done on sleds vs. in-car testing and the possibility that some infant seats may come off their bases in a crash. US Transportation Secretary and former Illinois Congressman Ray LaHood has "launched a top to bottom review of current child safety seat standards. That review will be swift and thorough." NHTSA, KID and other safety groups caution, that while this data might call for better testing, a properly installed car seat is still the safest place for your infant or young child in a car.

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