CPSC Welcomes High-Tech Toy Testing Equipment from McDonald's and RAM Consulting Equipment to Help CPSC Evaluate Toy Dangers and Prevent Injuries

December 19, 2000
Release Number: 01055

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) today welcomed state-of-the-art testing technology from McDonald's Corporation and RAM Consulting. The high-tech equipment will give CPSC additional tools to evaluate the safety of toys and other children's products. In a unique partnership between the private sector and a federal agency, McDonald's and RAM consulting are sharing the equipment with the CPSC. It will give CPSC technical staff additional tools to evaluate safety problems such as choking or suffocation hazards - the leading causes of deaths and injuries associated with children's products.

The new equipment, displayed at a news conference today, includes a computerized "virtual child" and a life-like "breathing" mannequin designed to evaluate choking and suffocation hazards. CPSC data show that up to 30 percent of product-related deaths to young children involve choking or suffocation.

RAM Consulting of Oak Brook, Illinois, developed the equipment to test toys and other promotional items for McDonald's. The highly sophisticated technology is one-of-a-kind and provides additional scientific analysis to help assess safety.

"Toys and children's products are more sophisticated than ever," said CPSC Chairman Ann Brown. "Our testing methods have to keep pace. This new equipment takes product safety into the 21st Century. It will help save children's lives and prevent injuries."

"Children and families have always been special to McDonald's, so we're delighted to share this life-saving technology with the CPSC, and ultimately, the American people," said Jack M. Greenberg, McDonald's Chairman and CEO. "This life-like model affectionately known as 'McBaby' is a proud symbol of our commitment not only to safety, but to our customers and to the communities in which we do business."

"At RAM Consulting, we measure our success by the number of injuries and fatalities we prevent," said Gene Rider, President of RAM Consulting. "The Technical Transfer Program teams the injury prevention technology we developed with the combined power of CPSC and McDonald's Corporation."

The testing equipment will give CPSC staff additional tools to evaluate products for safety. The equipment includes:

- Infant Suffocation Model - A mannequin that replicates in many ways a living, breathing infant. It can be used to help evaluate suffocation hazards.

- Virtual Child - A three-dimensional computerized model that uses digital images to simulate and identify potential obstructions to a child's airway.

- Simulated Baby Jaw - Can help CPSC technical staff determine if a toy or other product is likely to come apart as a result of biting and tearing and pose a choking danger.

- Strangulation Tester - Can help determine if a product poses a strangulation risk by measuring the forces exerted by a toy or children's product on the neck.

- Bio-mechanical Model - Can replicate a child's pulling forces to test whether a product is likely to come apart in the hands of a child.

The equipment displayed today tests for dangers that pose the greatest risk to children - especially those under three years old. The CPSC and McDonald's are discussing sharing other safety evaluation equipment in the future, including a flammability and eye impact apparatus for evaluating products that present fire and eye injury hazards.

video icon  Conumers can also view a video clip about this test equipment (transcript). This is in "streaming video" format.

The new equipment, displayed at a news conference today, includes a computerized "virtual child" and a life-like "breathing" mannequin designed to evaluate choking and suffocation hazards. CPSC data show that up to 30 percent of product-related deaths to young children involve choking or suffocation.

RAM Consulting of Oak Brook, Illinois, developed the equipment to test toys and other promotional items for McDonald's. The highly sophisticated technology is one-of-a-kind and provides additional scientific analysis to help assess safety.

"Toys and children's products are more sophisticated than ever," said CPSC Chairman Ann Brown. "Our testing methods have to keep pace. This new equipment takes product safety into the 21st Century. It will help save children's lives and prevent injuries."

"Children and families have always been special to McDonald's, so we're delighted to share this life-saving technology with the CPSC, and ultimately, the American people," said Jack M. Greenberg, McDonald's Chairman and CEO. "This life-like model affectionately known as 'McBaby' is a proud symbol of our commitment not only to safety, but to our customers and to the communities in which we do business."

"At RAM Consulting, we measure our success by the number of injuries and fatalities we prevent," said Gene Rider, President of RAM Consulting. "The Technical Transfer Program teams the injury prevention technology we developed with the combined power of CPSC and McDonald's Corporation."

The testing equipment will give CPSC staff additional tools to evaluate products for safety. The equipment includes:

- Infant Suffocation Model - A mannequin that replicates in many ways a living, breathing infant. It can be used to help evaluate suffocation hazards.

- Virtual Child - A three-dimensional computerized model that uses digital images to simulate and identify potential obstructions to a child's airway.

- Simulated Baby Jaw - Can help CPSC technical staff determine if a toy or other product is likely to come apart as a result of biting and tearing and pose a choking danger.

- Strangulation Tester - Can help determine if a product poses a strangulation risk by measuring the forces exerted by a toy or children's product on the neck.

- Bio-mechanical Model - Can replicate a child's pulling forces to test whether a product is likely to come apart in the hands of a child.

The equipment displayed today tests for dangers that pose the greatest risk to children - especially those under three years old. The CPSC and McDonald's are discussing sharing other safety evaluation equipment in the future, including a flammability and eye impact apparatus for evaluating products that present fire and eye injury hazards.

video icon  Conumers can also view a video clip about this test equipment (transcript). This is in "streaming video" format.