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!

Welcome!

Grilling Time: Fire It Up Safely

Summer officially kicks off this weekend and millions of Americans will celebrate with a cookout.  Before lighting the grill do a safety check.

  • Has your grill been recalled? Check SaferProducts.gov. If the grill has been recalled, contact the manufacturer and stop using it until you get a repair or replacement.
  • Visually inspect the hoses on a gas grill for cracking, brittleness, holes, and leaks. Make sure there are no sharp bends in the hose or tubing and that all connections are secure. Replace if necessary.
  • Check for propane gas leaks. Open the gas supply valve fully and apply a soapy solution with a brush at the connection point. If bubbles appear, there is a leak. Try tightening the tank connection. If that does not stop the leak, close the gas valve and have the grill repaired by a qualified professional.
  • Is the grill clean? Regularly cleaning the grill, as described in the owner’s manual, and also cleaning the grease trap, will reduce the risk of flare-ups and grease fires.

Don’t let this:
Charcoal grill with flames

Turn into this:

House on fire

Once the safety check is complete, make sure to operate the grill as safely as possible.

  • Use grills outside only in a well-ventilated area. Never use a grill indoors or in a garage, breezeway, carport, porch, or under a surface that will burn. Gas and charcoal grills present a risk of fire and/or carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning that could result in injury or death. An estimated 3,800 gas or charcoal grill-related injuries were treated in hospital emergency departments in 2010. While almost all of the injuries were burns, a few of the charcoal grill injuries were related to carbon monoxide.There were an estimated average of eight CO-related deaths per year between 2005 and 2007 associated with charcoal grills that were used indoors or in enclosed spaces.
  • Never leave a grill unattended. If a flare-up occurs, adjust the controls on the gas grill or spread out the coals on a charcoal grill to lower the temperature. If a grease fire occurs, turn off the gas grill and use baking soda and/or a kitchen fire extinguisher to put out the fire.
  • Keep the grill hoses as far away as possible from hot surfaces and dripping hot grease.
  • Keep children away from the grill area. The outside surface of a grill can get hot and burn when touched.
Bookmark and Share

This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2011/05/grilling-time-fire-it-up-safely/

Tragic Drownings and Near Drownings; Real Preventions

Pool Safely

So far this year, six children, one teenager and nine adults – 16 people in all – have been reported to have drowned in the Phoenix area, according to AZFamily.com.

Moms, dads, folks of all ages: Just knowing some simple safety steps in and around the water can help prevent your child, your parent, or your loved one from drowning.

Here are some recent tragedies that have been reported in Phoenix along with ways that you can prevent these scenarios from happening to you:

What happened: A 2-year-old reportedly escaped the supervision of his parents and grandparents in their home through the doggy door. They looked for him for about 30 minutes before finding him in the backyard pool. The pool had very little water in it and the water was green. (Source: MyFoxPhoenix.com)

Prevention: Install a 4-foot tall fence with self-closing, self-latching gates around the entire perimeter of the pool. Urge neighbors with pools to do the same. Install door alarms on any door that leads to a backyard pool to alert you if your child leaves the house. If a child is missing, look for him or her in the pool FIRST. Finally, install pool and gate alarms to alert you when children go near or enter the water.

What happened: A mother was reported to be supervising her 5-year-old son at the pool. He was horse playing and “possibly pretended to drown,” according to AZFamily.com. The mother jumped into the pool to help her son, but struggled herself because she couldn’t swim. The mother is in critical condition at the hospital. (Source: ABC15)

Prevention: If you don’t know how to swim, now is the time to learn. Swimming courses are available in local communities through a variety of public and nonprofit groups. Keep lifesaving equipment handy, including a telephone and tools that can be thrown into the pool. Some examples of these tools are a life ring or a reaching pole. Be sure to wear a Coast Guard approved life vest if you don’t know how to swim and are going into the water.  

What happened: A 3-year-old Mesa, Ariz., girl was reportedly swimming in the family pool with her six brothers and sisters, the oldest of whom was 14. The pool had a gate and appropriate safety precautions. When the six other children got out of the pool, the 3-year-old was found. She had drowned. She had been missing for 20 minutes. (Source: AZCentral.com)

Prevention: Adults rather than older siblings should supervise children in the pool at all times. One adult should serve as a “Water Watcher” whenever children are in the pool. Stay within arm’s reach of non-swimmers and step in to stop excessive horseplay. Regular headcounts can help you keep track of all the children who are in the water.

What happened: A 7-year-old girl was staying with her grandparents, who had an above-ground pool in their back yard. The girl reportedly moved a ladder to the pool, climbed it and drowned in the pool. Police say she was in the water for 20 minutes. (Source: AZCentral.com)

Prevention: Ladders for above ground pools should be stored out of reach of children. Above ground pools are just as attractive to children as in ground pools. Fencing in an above ground pool will help keep young children out.

Related: CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum in the Arizona Republic: Act to keep kids safe around water

Bookmark and Share

This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2011/05/tragic-drownings-and-near-drownings-real-preventions/

Let’s Move Safely

The below blog from CSPC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum is live today on Let’s Move! Let’s all move and move safely!

I fully support the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” initiative, and I join her in encouraging America’s children to become more physically active as an essential element of a healthy lifestyle. Getting yourself and your children moving together is a fun way to enjoy quality time as a family. At the same time, you can prevent injuries by adding a few of the following simple safety steps to your family’s outdoor activities.

Swimming

Use as many proven water safety steps as possible to ensure a safe and fun experience. You never know which safety step might save a child’s life—until it does.

Stay close, be alert, and watch your child in and around the pool. Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa and always watch your child when he or she is in or near water. Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim. Teach children basic water safety tips, like staying away from pool drains, pipes, and other openings to avoid entrapments. Learn to perform CPR on children and adults and update those skills regularly.

Bike Riding

What’s better than going for a bike ride? Just make sure you and your children wear properly fitted helmets every time you get on those bikes. Don’t forget that helmets aren’t just for children— they’re for adults, too. Wearing a properly fitted helmet can reduce the risk of a head injury by 85 percent!

Wear helmets low on the forehead—two finger widths above the eyebrows. Place the helmet evenly between the ears. It should be sitting flat on the head. Tighten the chin strap and adjust the inside pads so the helmet is snug. The helmet should not move up and down or from side to side.

When riding on the road, be alert. Children under nine years old should not ride on roadways, as they do not yet have the skills to identify and avoid dangerous situations. Also, young children should not ride at night.

Scooters

Children are involved in thousands of scooter related injuries each year. It is best to keep your scooter on a smooth surface, so make sure children always ride the scooter on a sidewalk or a paved path. They should only ride during the day, wear a helmet and elbow and knee pads always, and stay away from cars or other vehicles.

Playgrounds

Supervision is important when your children play on playground equipment —regardless of whether they are in your backyard or at a neighborhood park. Even better than watching them play is to join them. It’s great exercise for all of you!

If you install playground equipment in your yard, use this simple checklist to make sure it is safe:

  • make sure there is shock-absorbing material under the play set as falls are the biggest risk to children on the playground,
  • make sure children’s clothing is not loose and does not have any loose strings that can catch on equipment before your child plays on playground equipment, and
  • remove any necklaces that could catch on the playground equipment and strangle your child.

Soccer

Goal! That’s what children and parents alike want to see on the soccer field. Just be careful with the goal itself. Do not let children climb on goals or hang on the crossbar because there have been many injuries and some tragic deaths when heavy soccer goals have tipped over and pinned children. Always use extreme caution when moving goals. CPSC recommends that soccer coaches, school officials, and soccer field maintenance personnel anchor goals to the ground so they do not fall over and cause a serious injury or death.

Baseball

Batter up! Batters should wear a batting helmet with a face guard. You can prevent sliding injuries by using safety release bases that do not leave holes in the ground or parts of the base sticking up from the ground when the base is released. Now play ball!

Let’s Move! As summer approaches, I urge you and your family to get active and move safely!

Bookmark and Share

This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2011/05/lets-move-safely/

Additional Injuries Prompt Maclaren USA to Reannounce the November 2009 Stroller Recall

Maclaren stroller owners: Pay attention!

Due to additional reports of incidents, CPSC and Maclaren are reannouncing a recall of all of Maclaren USA’s single and double umbrella strollers sold prior to November 2009 – 1 million in total. The problem is that a child can get his/her finger caught in the hinge mechanism when you are opening or closing the stroller.

Maclaren has received a total of 149 reports of incidents with the strollers, including 37 reported injuries that occurred after the stroller was recalled in November 2009. These reported injuries consisted of five additional fingertip amputations, 16 additional cuts and 16 additional fingertip entrapments/bruising. At the time of the original recall, there were 15 incidents, including 12 reports of fingertip amputations in the United States.

The repair for this problem is simple. You can order a free repair kit online by contacting the company at hingecovers@maclaren-usa.com. Or you can order a free repair kit by calling Maclaren, USA toll-free at (877) 688-2326. The company will send you fabric hinge covers to install on your stroller. Maclaren USA is taking calls between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday.

Don’t delay. Order your repair kit today.

To watch this video in Adobe Flash format, you may need to download the Adobe Flash player. You can also watch the video in Windows Media format.

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

Bookmark and Share

This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2011/05/additional-injuries-prompt-maclaren-usa-to-reannounce-the-november-2009-stroller-recall/

Phil&teds Clip-On Chair Can Crush Fingers, Poses Fall Hazard; Stop Using It

The last thing that you expect when you put your young child into a clip-on chair is that your child could suffer an injury. But that’s what can happen to children using some phil&ted’s “metoo” infant and toddler chairs that attach to a tabletop.

In fact, CPSC knows of numerous incidents involving some of the metoo chairs and has determined that serious, disfiguring injuries could occur as a result of the product’s hazard.

Here are the chairs, which you should stop using:

phil&teds metoo clip-on high chair

And here’s what CPSC staff says happens with the specific chairs that we are warning about:

The clamps can detach from a variety of different table surfaces. Also, the chairs can detach when children move around or use their feet to push against other objects.

When the chairs shown above detach completely from the table, the child can fall and get hurt. The chair can also detach partially, with one of the clamps sliding off the table. The child could grab the bar that runs across the chair. As the chair falls, the child’s fingers can get caught between the clamp and the bar and be severely pinched, cut, crushed or amputated.

Watch this video for a demonstration.

To watch this video in Adobe Flash format, you may need to download the Adobe Flash player. You can also watch the video in Windows Media format.

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

In addition to the risk of permanent disfiguring injury with this product, the instructions and marketing information with this product are conflicting and confusing. This adds to the risk of injury to your child.

The clip-on chairs affected by this warning do not have black plastic spacers between the table clamps and the front horizontal metal bar. If you own one of these chairs, stop using it immediately.

The company has refused to agree to a national recall of their hazardous products that is acceptable to CPSC. The company has offered a repair kit consisting of rubber boots to place on the upper clamp grips of the chairs. Consumers should be aware that CPSC has not approved a repair kit for this product, despite the firm’s prior statement that it was conducting a recall “in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.”

Tens of thousands of the affected metoo chairs may have been sold since May 2006 for about $50 from Amazon.com, Buy Buy Baby, philandteds.com, Target, Toys R Us and online and independent children’s product specialty stores.

Bookmark and Share

This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2011/05/phil_ted_chair/