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!

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All Eyes On the Pool

Pool Safely: Simple Steps Save LivesIn July and early August, millions of American eyes will be on the pool. How will top U.S. swimmers Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte do in London?

Many Americans, both in the African-American community and elsewhere, are particularly excited about Cullen Jones and Lia Neal. Ebony Magazine calls Jones and Neal “two young Olympians poised to change what they say about African-Americans and swimming.”

Olympic swimmers, and even kids who compete in neighborhood swimming competitions, make the sport look so easy. We hope the Olympics is a conversation starter in your home as the Olympians inspire your children to learn how to swim. Do your best to teach your children not to fear the water. Pass on safety and fun at the same time. (See NBC’s Rock Center story on the importance of swimming.)

At home, we, as a nation, need more eyes on our much less experienced swimmers. All Olympic swimmers, from Jones to Phelps, from Neal to Lochte, have one thing in common with every child. At one time in their lives they didn’t know how to swim.

According to news reports, when Jones was 5 years old, he nearly drowned at a water park. (Source: Good Morning America/ABC) That’s when Jones started swimming lessons.

Lessons. They are a simple step that saves lives. They will help teach your child a life-saving skill: How to be safe around water. Use the Olympics as a conversation starter with your child about starting swimming lessons.

Between Memorial Day and July 17, at least 90 children younger than 15 were reported by media to have drowned in swimming pools. Another 106 children were sent to emergency rooms for nearly drowning. That’s about 2 children who died each day during that period.

Drowning is the leading cause of injury death for children ages 1 to 4. African-American children and young adults ages 5 to 19 die from drowning 6 times more often than their white peers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  And a USA Swimming/University of Memphis survey says that 70 percent of African-American and 60 percent of Hispanic/Latino children can’t swim.

Simple steps save lives.

  • Stay within arm’s reach of children and non-swimmers at all times in and around the pool.
  • Keep eyes on young children.
  • Fence your pool with self-closing or self-latching gates.
  • Assign a water watcher.
  • Learn CPR.
  • If a child is missing, check the pool first.

This week, pools and waterparks around the country are holding Pool Safely Days to help spread this message of safety. You can help, too. Post these buttons, badges and widget on your blogs, Facebook pages and websites. Put Pool Safely steps into play at your home. Teach them to your children and your neighbors.

Save a child’s life. Earn a gold medal in swimming safety.

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2012/07/all-eyes-on-the-pool/

Fix Your Stroller; Avoid These Common Problems

Are you planning on buying or getting a used stroller from a thrift store, yard sale or a friend? Do you own one?

We have seen some recurring safety incidents involving strollers. One involves the opening between the grab bar or tray and the seat bottom. The other involves fingertip amputations.

Baby trapped between the tray and seat of a strollerLet’s start with the opening. In some older strollers, the opening between the grab bar or tray and the seat bottom is less than 8 inches. This can be a big hazard for babies up to 1 year old. When a baby is not properly harnessed, his or her body can slide down through the opening, but their head and neck get trapped.

CPSC is aware of 30 deaths since 1980 in which a child’s head or neck got trapped between the tray or grab bar and the seat bottom.

Many companies have recalled older strollers because of this risk. For these recalled strollers, there is an easy fix. You simply call the company to get a free repair kit or a replacement piece that prevents a child from slipping through the opening.

Here’s a list of companies supplying this fix for the openings on their recalled strollers:

Graco Quattro™ and MetroLite™ Strollers

Peg Perego Venezia and Pliko-P3 Strollers

Tike Tech  Single City X3 and X3 Sport Jogging Strollers

Valco Baby Tri Mode Single and Twin Jogging Strollers

Zooper Strollers

In addition, owners of Bumbleride Indie or Indie Twin strollers with an adjustable bumper bar manufactured from January 2009 through August 2011 should never set the bar in the intermediate (car seat) position when a child is seated in the stroller.

If you’re about to purchase a used stroller, make sure the opening between the grab bar or tray and the seat opening is 8 inches or more. And check for recalls on SaferProducts.gov or on our Recalls.gov mobile app (for Droid) before you buy. It’s illegal to sell a recalled product.

Whenever you put your baby in a stroller, use the safety harness. This can prevent a baby from slipping and can save a baby’s life. Infants as young as a few weeks old can move around when they sleep. If a baby is sleeping in the stroller without the harness, he or she can slide down to the opening. This is one reason you should never leave a baby, particularly one younger than 12 months old, unattended in the stroller. That’s especially true if the stroller seat’s backrest is in the reclined or flat position.

* * *

Now, let’s turn our attention to fingers. CPSC is aware of at least 23 incidents of fingertip amputations in strollers between 2008 and April 2012 among children under the age of 5. In many cases, children 3 or younger suffered full or partial amputations when their fingers got caught in a hinge. In addition, adults have gotten their fingers caught, too. Amputations typically happen in one of several ways:

  • Hinge cover on a strollerYou are using a stroller and a latch stops working, causing the stroller to unexpectedly collapse.
  • A child is standing next to or begins to climb into the stroller while a caregiver is unfolding or opening the stroller.
  • You lift a collapsed stroller, such as picking it up out of the trunk of a car. One side of the frame unexpectedly unfolds.
  • Your finger gets caught in a hinge when you fold or unfold the stroller.

Several companies have recalled their strollers to give caregivers free hinge covers that block fingers from getting caught.

If you have or are buying one of these strollers secondhand, make sure that you have the hinge cover:

Britax “Blink” single umbrella strollers

CYBEX Ruby, Onyx and Topaz model umbrella strollers

Graco Passage™, Alano™ and Spree™ Strollers and Travel Systems | Video

Maclaren single and double umbrella strollers sold before November 2009 | Video

Kolcraft Contours Options three- and four-wheeled strollers

phil&teds USA sport v2 and classic v1 single-seat jogging strollers

Whenever you open or close a stroller or one of its parts, like the canopy, keep your child’s hands away. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Hand the child a cup or toy to hold.
  • Play “hands up” as you open the stroller and “hands down” as you open the canopy.
  • Sing a counting song before your child can get into the stroller. “One, two, touch your shoe; three, four, stroller’s ready; five, six, time to sit.” Open the stroller while you are counting.

Tweet other ideas that promote stroller safety to @OnSafety and we’ll retweet some of our favorites.

Reader Note: Blog originally published on June 14, 2012. Updated July 24, 2012

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2012/07/fix-your-stroller-avoid-these-common-problems/

Recall Roundup: July 20, 2012

In this month’s CPSC Recall Roundup: Discovery Kids Lamps, Gabiano Collection pajamas and Chicco Polly High Chairs

Recall Roundup: July 2012

In this month’s CPSC Recall Roundup: Discovery Kids Lamps, Gabiano Collection pajamas and Chicco Polly High Chairs

Storified by U.S. CPSC · Fri, Jul 20 2012 12:55:55

Recall Roundup: July 20, 2012uscpsc
Discovery Kids Lamp RecalledUSCPSC
Innovage Recalls Discovery Kids Lamps Due to Fire and Burn HazardsU.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Office of Communications Washington, D.C. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 3, 2012 Release #12-215 Firm…
Gabiano Collection Children’s Pajamas RecalledUSCPSC
Children’s Pajamas Recalled by Ishtex Textile Products Due to Violation of Federal Flammability StandardU.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Office of Communications Washington, D.C. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 28, 2012 Release #12-205 Fir…
Chicco Polly High Chairs RecalledUSCPSC
Chicco Polly High Chairs Recalled Due to Laceration HazardFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 12, 2012 Release #12-221 Firm’s Recall Hotline: (800) 807-8817 CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772 CPSC Media …

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2012/07/recall-roundup-july-20-2012/

Baby Monitor Cords: 3 Feet from Baby

Last February, we began warning you about baby monitor cord dangers. CPSC knows of seven deaths and three near strangulations since 2002 involving video and audio baby monitors. The monitors and cords were placed within a child’s reach.

You need to know about cord hazards, so you can prevent your baby from strangling in a cord.

The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) is working with us on a national baby safety campaign to get the word out to parents and caregivers about the dangers with these cords. Today, JPMA is launching a website, video and advertising. They are giving away free electric cord warning labels to attach to the cord of your baby monitor. This label will remind you, the people who care for your child, and others who may use the monitor in the future about the deadly hazard associated with these cords. Order one, it’s free!

So, take a look around your baby’s crib. Where’s the monitor cord?

Remember, at least 3 feet away is where your monitor should stay.

Yes, 3 feet. As in 3 big feet:

3 big feet

3 Feet is also about the width of your baby’s crib plus 6 inches.

Crib showing ruler at the width of the crib plus 6 inches

3 feet = 1 yard, if you have a yardstick at home:

yardstick

The point is, don’t let this happen in your home:

Baby doll in a crib with a baby monitor cord wrapped around its neck

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2012/07/baby-monitor-cords-3-feet-from-baby/

Sleepwear Safety: A Success Story

In recalls of children’s sleepwear, including recent recalls, you’ll see the following line:

“The pajamas fail to meet the federal flammability standards for children’s sleepwear posing a risk of burn injury to children.”

What does that line mean for a parent or grandparent buying pajamas for a child?

CPSC enforces a regulation that requires that children’s sleepwear to protect children from burn injuries if they come in contact with a small open flame, such as from matches, lighters, candles, stoves, ranges, space heaters and fireplaces.

The regulation was enacted in the early 1970s in response to children suffering burn injuries, which typically happened before bedtime and around breakfast. Today, CPSC rarely receives reports of sleepwear-related fires.

When you buy pajamas, you’ll see two types: loose-fitting and tight-fitting. Loose fitting pajamas must be flame resistant. That means that the fabric shouldn’t ignite near a small, open flame. And if it does ignite, it should stop burning.  Some loose-fitting items are nightgowns, loungewear, robes or any loose clothing intended to be worn mainly for sleeping.

Tight-fitting pajamas fit close to a child’s body. The fabric does not need to be flame resistant because of how it fits. Tight-fitting pajamas do not ignite easily, and if the pajamas ignite, they do not readily burn. You should always see a label on these pajamas telling you to wear them snugly.

CPSC tests children’s sleepwear in our product testing lab. Here’s what happens with sleepwear that meets the standard versus sleepwear that doesn’t:

 

 

To watch this video, you may need to download the Adobe Flash player.

If you own any of the pajamas recalled, take the pajamas away from your children. Contact the recalling company for a refund, exchange or store credit as described in the recalls.

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2012/07/sleepwear-safety-a-success-story/