Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Back-to-school safety

School supplies, sporting goods, clothing, toys—the beginning of the school year always involves the purchase of various new and used children’s products. It also involves many outdoor activities like bike riding to and from school, using playgrounds, and playing team sports.

CPSC joined President Barack Obama’s back-to-school campaign, “My Education, My Future,” with an emphatic safety message. In her speech on back-to-school safety, CPSC Chairman Tenenbaum urged parents and schools to create safer environments for children. It takes only moments for a child to sustain serious injuries while riding a bike, playing on the neighborhood or school playground, using a moveable soccer goal, wearing clothing with drawstrings especially while playing, or using recalled products. Each year, playgrounds lead to more than 200,000 emergency room visits, while bicycle riding leads to about 80 deaths among children under age 16 and 500,000 emergency room visits.

Be sure to check that your child’s playground equipment is inspected and maintained, ensure that your child always wears a snug-fitting bike helmet, remove all drawstrings from clothing, securely anchor playground equipment, and stay up to date on product recalls. For more information, read CPSC’s Back to School Safety Checklist. Also, be sure to sign up for CPSC’s Email Announcements of all recalls (Spanish version available) and KID’s monthly Email Alerts listing all child product recalls and safety information.

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