OnSafety is the Official Blog Site of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Here you'll find the latest safety information as well as important messages that will keep you and your family safe. We hope you'll visit often!


Children Do Drown in Bathtubs – And You Can Prevent It

Did you know that after pools, more children younger than 5 years old drown in bathtubs than in any other product in and around your home? Most bathtub drowning and near-drowning incidents are to children under the age of 2.

From 2004-2006, nearly 100 children younger than 5 years of age drowned each year in bathtubs, baby bath seats or bathinettes, buckets and pails and in landscaping or yard products. Sixty-three percent of those drowning were in bathtubs; 12 percent were in baby bath seats or bathinettes.

Given this, the following water safety tips bear reminding:

  • Never leave young children alone, even for a moment, near any water. Young children can drown quickly in even small amounts of water.
  • Always keep a young child within arm’s reach in a bathtub. If you must leave, take the child with you.
  • Don’t leave a baby or toddler in a bathtub under the care of another young child.
  • Never leave a bucket containing even a small amount of liquid unattended. Toddlers can fall headfirst into buckets and drown. After using a bucket, always empty and store it where young children cannot reach it. Don’t leave buckets outside where they can collect rainwater.
  • Learn CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). It can be a lifesaver when seconds count.
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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2010/09/children-do-drown-in-bathtubs-%e2%80%93-and-you-can-prevent-it/

The Fisher-Price Recall: More than 10 Million Products

Today, Fisher-Price is recalling more than 10 million children’s products that were sold in the United States.

Fourteen models of the Fisher-Price Trikes and Tough Trikes toddler tricycles can cause serious injury, including genital bleeding when a child sits, strikes or falls on a pretend plastic ignition key. CPSC and Fisher-Price know of 10 injuries, including six girls between the ages of 2 and 3 who needed medical attention after falling against the pretend key that is sticking up in front of the toddler tricycle seat.

Fisher-Price tricycle

Fourteen models of Fisher-Price Trike and Tough Trike tricycles have pretend keys sticking up in front of toddler tricycle seats that can cause serious injury.


There are seven models of infant activity centers with inflatable balls in which the valve from the balls comes off. We know of 14 valves found in children’s mouths. There were three reports of a child beginning to choke on the valve. In total, we have 46 reports of the valves coming off.

Fisher-Price infant activity centers with an inflatable ball

Fisher-Price infant activity centers with an inflatable ball

Children can fall on or against pegs on the back legs of nearly 950,000 Fisher-Price high chairs. We know of seven children who fell on or against these legs and needed stitches and one who had a tooth injury.

Wheels detach from these green and purple Little People vehicles

Wheels detach from these green and purple Little People vehicles

And finally, the wheels can come off of two cars in the Fisher-Price Little People Wheelies Stand ‘n Play Rampway, posing a choking hazard to young children.

Fisher-Price did the right thing in agreeing to provide consumers with free remedies for these products. But all companies must do better. They must give more attention to building safety into their products. They must work to ensure that they are adhering to safety standards. And if any company finds itself with a defective product or one that is causing injuries, it must report the problem to CPSC immediately.

Meanwhile, as moms, dads and caregivers, you, too, have a role. We thank the dozens of you who reported these incidents. Thanks to you, CPSC was able to investigate, work with Fisher-Price on a remedy and recall these products.

If a toy breaks in your child’s hands or if your child suffers an injury from a product, tell us so that we can investigate. And if you own one of these recalled products, stop using it and contact Fisher-Price for free repair kits and replacement products.

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2010/09/the-fisher-price-recall-more-than-10-million-products/

Sleep Positioners: A Suffocation Risk

CPSC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are warning parents and caregivers to stop using sleep positioners. Over the past 13 years CPSC and FDA have received 12 reports of infants between the ages of 1 month and 4 months who have died when they suffocated in these positioners or when they became trapped between a sleep positioner and the side of a crib or bassinet. CPSC has received dozens of reports of infants who were placed on their backs or sides in sleep positioners, only to be found later in potentially hazardous positions within or next to the sleep positioners.

The safest crib is one with only a mattress and a tight-fitting sheet. Parents should stop using sleep positioners or ANY device to hold an infant on his or her back or side for sleep. These are unnecessary and can pose a suffocation risk to your baby.

For the safest sleep environment possible, place babies on their backs. Don’t put babies to sleep on top of pillows, comforters or thick quilts. And don’t place these items, or large stuffed toys, in your baby’s crib, bassinet or play yard.

An announcement such as this one is sure to raise some questions. Here are some answers.

What is a sleep positioner?

A sleep positioner is a product that is used to keep babies on their backs while sleeping. Some are flat mats with side bolsters, and others are inclined (wedge) mats with side bolsters. Both types of sleep positioners claim to help reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) by keeping babies on their backs, help with food digestion and reflux, ease colic, and prevent flat head syndrome.

Are the medical claims associated with these products true?

The FDA and CPSC staffs have stated that there is currently no scientific evidence supporting these medical claims. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) already tells parents to avoid “commercial devices marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS.”

How are sleep positioners dangerous?

sleep positioner

A baby's face can get trapped against the bolster of a sleep positioner causing the baby to suffocate.

Both types of sleep positioners present problems. If children are placed on their sides or stomachs on a flat sleep positioner, the babies’ faces can get trapped against the bolster causing babies to suffocate. Babies placed on their sides with the bolster at their backs can easily roll onto their stomachs with their faces pressed into the product, blocking their breathing.

Babies placed on inclined sleep positioners can scoot around and end up with their heads hanging over the high edge of the positioners. This can cut off babies’ ability to breathe. In addition, babies can easily roll from their sides to stomachs or scoot themselves downward with their faces pressed against a bolster in these positioners. If bolsters come loose, babies can become trapped between the sleep positioner and the side of a crib or bassinet.

In some inclined sleep positioners, babies have flipped off the positioner, ending up with the positioner landing on top of them. Each of these scenarios puts babies at risk of suffocation.

How do I make sure my baby stays on his back while sleeping?

Simply place your baby on his or her back in the crib. Once your baby rolls over onto his or her tummy, it’s okay to leave your baby there. Babies who can flip over can also turn their heads, a key developmental milestone that reduces the risk of suffocation. If your baby flips over while in a sleep positioner, however, he or she can have a hard time freeing his or her face from the device.

My baby has reflux and my sleep positioner helps. Do I really need to stop using it?
Yes, you should stop using these devices. FDA has no scientific proof that infant sleep positioners help to prevent gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Talk with your pediatrician about safe sleep alternatives for your baby.

12 deaths in 13 years? Is this really a serious hazard?

The potential risk of suffocation and death is serious and preventable. CPSC and FDA believe there is no reason to introduce a risk into your baby’s crib, especially given the fact that there are no scientifically proven benefits of using sleep positioners.

Usually, you recall products that are unsafe. Why aren’t you recalling specific sleep positioners?

Because of the medical claims made with sleep positioners, they fall primarily under FDA’s jurisdiction, rather than CPSC’s. FDA is telling manufacturers of sleep positioners to submit scientific data to support their medical claims. Any manufacturer who makes a medical claim about a sleep positioner and who has not received FDA clearance must immediately stop marketing their products. Such devices are illegal and subject to FDA regulatory action.

If you have other questions, e-mail them to feedback@cpsc.gov.

(Watch in Windows Media format) (Transcript)

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2010/09/sleep-positioners-a-suffocation-risk/

Indoors or Out, Keep Pool Safety in Mind

While the summer swimming season is behind us, many communities across the country still have their doors open to those looking to cool off in water parks and hotel, motel and public pools. Now is not the time to let our guard down.

Our Pool Safely education campaign is off to a strong start. Many of you have seen our nationally broadcast public service announcements and our kids education program. If not, I encourage you to watch them and share them with your friends and family.

We are now focused on ensuring that families everywhere know how to be safe around the water year-round – particularly at indoor water parks and aquatic facilities. I strongly urge parents and children to continue to remain vigilant around the water.

Today, CPSC Commissioner Anne Northup and I are marking Pool Safely Day with a series of activities around the country. I am in St. Paul, Minn., at the Great River Water Park, where they are handing out Pool Safely materials and teaching visitors about the simple steps that save lives. Similarly, Commissioner Northup is at an indoor pool in Washington, D.C., to remind us all that water safety steps don’t end once northern outdoor pools close for the cold.

Nearly 400 child drownings and non-fatal incidents have occurred since Memorial Day weekend. More than a third of the drownings and incidents were in the warm-weather states of California, Florida, Arizona and Texas.

As we head into the fall months, water safety remains a priority for CPSC. Whether you’re enjoying the water indoors or out, we at CPSC remind you to put safety first. Remember to take that extra water safety step – whether it is watching and staying close to your child at the pool or ensuring that compliant drain covers are being used – to protect your child.

Visit PoolSafely.gov today.

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2010/09/indoors-or-out-keep-pool-safety-in-mind/

Prevent a TV Fall in Your House

Every two weeks a child dies when a television or a piece of furniture falls on him.

In the incidents recorded by CPSC, toddlers were often climbing on entertainment units, dressers, bookcases or other pieces of furniture to reach the television. In some cases this led to a TV or a piece of furniture falling onto and crushing the child.

These incidents are tragic – and preventable.

You can easily safeguard your house by doing the following:

• Make sure that your furniture is stable.

• Install an anchor on all entertainment units, TV stands, bookcases, shelving, and dressers. Attach the anchor to the wall or floor.

• Place televisions on sturdy furniture appropriate for the size of the TV or on a low-rise base.

• Push the TV as far back as possible from the front of its stand.

• Remove items such as toys and remote controls from the top of the TV and furniture. These items may tempt children to climb.

• Place electrical cords out of a child’s reach and teach children not to play with the cords.

Between 2000 and 2008, CPSC received reports of nearly 200 deaths to children 8 years old and younger from TVs, furniture and appliances falling on them. More than 16,000 children 5 and younger are treated in emergency rooms each year because of injuries associated with these TV, furniture, and appliance tipovers, according to CPSC staff’s most recent estimates from 2006.

Don’t let your television or your furniture endanger your children. Take action now to prevent this from happening to your child.

(Read the transcript, or watch in Windows Media format.)

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2010/09/prevent-a-tv-fall-in-your-house/