CPSC, Babies "R" Us and Pampers Parenting Institute Launch Safety Campaign to Help Reduce Injuries Further

September 19, 2000
Release Number: 00182

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released a report today showing that U.S. hospital emergency room treated injuries from nursery products dropped almost 20 percent over the past 5 years. This is the first decrease in nursery product injuries to children under age 5 since CPSC began keeping records in 1973. The CPSC report shows that from 1995 to 1999, injuries declined by more than 15,000. The downward trend is fueled by a marked reduction in baby walker injuries.

The report also shows that deaths related to cribs have dropped substantially over the years -- more than 75 percent since the early 1970s.

Today, CPSC, Babies "R" Us and the Pampers Parenting Institute launched a new "Safe Nursery" campaign to reduce injuries even further. The campaign will alert parents about potential safety hazards in their nursery and how to buy and use nursery products safely. More and more families are aware of the importance of safety in a child's environment. Families now will have a model of how to outfit the nursery safely.

Among the findings in the new study:

- Baby Walkers - Baby walker-related injuries to children under 15 months have dropped almost 60 percent in the past 5 years from an estimated 20,100 in 1995 to 8,800 in 1999. Baby walkers falling down stairs account for the majority of all baby walker-related injuries. In recent years, CPSC worked to get new, safer baby walkers on the market. These new walkers either are too wide to fit through a standard doorway or have special features that stop the walker at the top step. Stationary activity centers also are now on the market.

- Cribs - In the early 1970s, before crib standards were developed, 150 to 200 babies each year died in crib-related incidents. Today that number has decreased to about 35 per year. Most of these deaths involve older, used cribs that have loose or missing hardware or slats that are too far apart. These hazards can entrap and strangle an infant. Because the crib is the place your baby will spend the majority of time alone, the best investment you can make is a new crib that meets current safety standards. Babies should never be placed to sleep on an adult bed.

"Safety standards for products parents use with their babies every day, like cribs, baby walkers and play yards, have saved lives and prevented injuries," said CPSC Chairman Ann Brown. "But we can reduce these injuries even further by helping parents and caregivers make good choices when buying products for their nursery. Even one injury is too many."

CPSC, Babies "R" Us and the Pampers Parenting Institute unveiled a new nursery safety display at a press conference held at a Washington-area store. All 140 Babies "R" Us stores nationwide will set up in-store nursery rooms. Signs and free brochures will provide shoppers with information on sleep safety, toys, play and travel equipment, feeding and changing equipment, childproofing and hidden hazards. A video, featuring CPSC Chairman Ann Brown, will run throughout the day providing tips for setting up a safe home nursery. You can view portions of this video (transcript) about nursery safety. This clip is in "streaming video" format.

"Babies "R" Us cares about the safety of our smallest customers. That's why we are proud to join CPSC and the Pampers Parenting Institute in the launch of the 'Safe Nursery' campaign," said Rick Markee, President, Babies "R" Us. "We are pleased to have this campaign showcased in our stores and to make this important information available to our customers."

"We are delighted to have the opportunity to continue our mission to provide the best information to parents through these creative partnerships," said Suzanne D. Dixon, M.D., M.P.H. Chief Medical Advisor, Pampers Parenting Institute. "We can reach parents in special ways. Our expert advisors work with Procter & Gamble to meet every parent's passion to do the best by their kids."

Along with cribs and baby walkers, CPSC has worked on standards to improve the safety of other nursery products. These safety standards will help reduce injuries even further.

- Play Yards sold today have top rails that automatically lock into place so they cannot collapse. Children have suffocated when their necks caught in collapsed top rails.

- High Chairs are now equipped with a double restraint system, consisting of a safety belt with crotch strap and a passive crotch restraint, such as a plastic T-bar beneath the tray. This double restraint system will keep children from sliding under the tray and strangling.

- Strollers/Carriages have requirements to prevent children from slipping through leg openings and strangling.

- Baby Gates are now designed to prevent head entrapment and strangulation.

- Infant Carriers and Carrier Car Seats now have a standard to prevent handle latch failures. This will help prevent falls to the ground.

For more information on nursery safety call CPSC's toll-free hotline at (800) 638-2772.