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!
Around the country this month, organizations are sponsoring Bike to School and Bike to Work days. It’s a great time to remind yourselves and your kids about bike safety.
Step 1: “Strap It On, Save a Life.” Having a helmet head is cool—and it protects your brain. Nearly 70 percent of all fatal bicycle crashes involve head injuries. Wearing a properly fitted bicycle helmet can reduce the risk of a brain and head injury by as much as 85 percent. Follow these tips to make sure your helmet is doing its job:
When buying a helmet look for the label that reads “Complies with U.S. CPSC Safety Standards for Bicycle Helmets.”
Remember the happiness you felt when you first held your baby? Was your next thought “Now what?” Keeping your baby safe was likely one concern. Do you know there are some simple steps that you can take to lessen your worry and create a safer home for you and your baby? Well, there are!
So, relax this Mother’s Day and give yourself the gift of safety. Here are a few safety steps and safety devices that can give you peace of mind and can help reduce the risk of injuries to babies and young children. Most steps are easy to remember; the devices are relatively inexpensive:
Bare is Best: Put your baby to sleep in a crib that doesn’t have quilts, comforters or pillows. Nearly half of the infant crib deaths and two-thirds of bassinet deaths reported to CPSC each year are suffocations caused by pillows, quilts and/or clutter in the baby’s sleeping space. Footed pajamas should be enough to keep your baby warm.
Safety Latches and Locks: These are a no-brainer to help prevent children from accessing medicines, toxic household cleaners (including single-load liquid laundry packets) and sharp objects.
Furniture Anchors: Before your baby gets mobile, crawl around your home and explore. Do you see a dresser, bookcase or other piece of furniture? That looks fun to climb, doesn’t it? Buy and install low-cost anchoring devices to prevent a tip-over tragedy.
Water Dangers: Any time your baby is near water, you should remain on high alert. It only takes a few inches of water and a short lapse in supervision for a child to drown. Stay focused on your baby constantly when your baby is in the bath. Do not rely on bath seats or siblings to assist with bath time. PoolSafely.gov also has many simple steps for parents to take in and around pools and spas, including using fences and alarms.
Small Batteries: Coin or button-sized batteries that power devices like remote controls, electronic games, toys, musical cards, and hearing aids can cause life-threatening chemical burns in the body in as little as two hours. Even dead batteries can cause serious injuries. Battery compartments should be secured with a tight screw or strong tape if there’s no screw on the product. Put any item with an unsecured battery up and out of sight and reach of a child. Throw away used batteries in a way that children can’t get to them.
Working Alarms: You never know when you’ll need a working carbon monoxide or smoke alarm—until a disaster happens. Working CO and smoke alarms should be placed on every floor of a home. Here’s a guide to more information on smoke alarms.
Editor’s Note: Babycenter has cross-posted this blog in English and in Spanish.
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2013/05/give-the-gift-of-safety-this-mothers-day/
Last week, during Window Safety Week, Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel in Portland, Ore., touted that message while spreading the word on preventing window falls. “According to Oregon Trauma Registry data, the rate of children’s window falls has decreased 46 percent from 2009 to 2011,” the hospital says in a news release.
The Oregon hospital, along with Safe Kids Oregon and a mom whose child died in a window fall, formed the STOP at 4” campaign to raise awareness about window safety. The campaign’s slogan means that when you open windows, you should stop and lock the window at 4 inches to prevent children from falling from open windows. According to that campaign’s website, the campaign was launched by injury prevention specialists who were concerned by the large number of children in Oregon who fell from second-story windows in warm weather.
Window fall safety is a topic we’ve written about before. We have a fantastic video and a safety alert that you can post on your website and in your community or share in your social media channels to spread the message: Five minutes is all it takes to prevent your child from falling out of a window. We encourage you to follow these simple steps:
Install window guards and window stops to prevent children from falling out of windows.
Don’t depend on screens to keep children from falling out. Screens keep bugs out; they won’t keep children in.
Whenever possible, open windows from the top, NOT the bottom.
Keep furniture away from windows to limit a child’s access.
We applaud local safety campaigns such as those in Portland, New York City and other cities and towns. Our Neighborhood Safety Network sends free safety materials including posters, videos, pamphlets and alerts to subscribers around the country to help spread safety in local communities.
Do you want to help address a consumer product-related safety need in your community? Let our Neighborhood Safety Network team know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2013/04/window-falls-a-community-acts-for-safety/
Six retailers are voluntarily recalling all Buckyballs and Buckycubes high-powered magnet sets that they sold. CPSC staff alleges that the magnets pose a substantial risk of injury and death to children and teenagers.
These retailers have agreed to participate in the recall because Maxfield & Oberton, the importer of the magnets has refused to participate in the recall of all Buckyballs and Buckycubes.
CPSC began rulemaking in late August to address the serious risks posed by hazardous high-powered magnet sets.
In July 2012 CPSC staff filed an administrative complaint against Maxfield & Oberton after discussions with the company and its representatives failed to result in a voluntary recall plan that CPSC staff considered to be adequate to address the very serious hazard posed by these products. This type of legal action against a company is rare, as this is only the fourth administrative complaint filed by CPSC in the past 11 years.
If you bought these magnet sets from any of the retailers listed above, please contact the retailer for a remedy. All of the retailer contact information is included in this news release.
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2013/04/retailers-recall-buckyballs-and-buckycubes/
While kids getting into bottles of pain medicine remains a leading cause of poisonings, new and different serious risks have emerged.
New single-load liquid laundry packets look like candy, toys or teethers, but they are dangerous for children. This isn’t the liquid laundry detergent from your childhood. These packets are filled with highly concentrated, toxic chemicals. Wet hands, water and saliva can quickly dissolve these packets, releasing the chemicals.
In 2012, CPSC staff learned of more than 500 incidents involving children and adults who were injured by these packets. If you use these packets in your home, always handle them with dry hands and keep them out of sight and reach of children. CPSC is encouraged that the manufacturers of laundry packets are developing improved warning labels, making their product packaging less attractive to children, and have committed to implement a comprehensive consumer awareness campaign. However, CPSC seeks additional design changes to all types of packages containing laundry packets that will make individual packets less accessible to children. You should start seeing safety alerts in stores soon that alert you to important laundry packet safety concerns.
If you have any type of electronics in your home, you likely have coin- or button-sized batteries. They are in remote controls, electronic games, toys, musical cards, hearing aids and other common electronic products. These small batteries pack a powerful —and deadly—punch. These batteries can cause life-threatening chemical burns inside the body in as little as two hours. Incidents often involve children younger than 4 and senior adults. Even completely dead batteries have enough residual power left in them to cause serious injuries.
While improvements are in the works to prevent people from suffering burn injuries if they ingest a battery, please take immediate steps to safeguard your children right now do the following:
Check your electronics’ battery compartments and tighten with a screw.
For battery compartments that do not use a screw, try securing them with strong tape.
Put any item with an unsecured button battery up and out of both the sight and reach of a child.
When the batteries die, make sure to throw them out in a way that children can’t retrieve them.
Also, make sure to buy the correct-size replacement battery so you don’t have any batteries lying around that you don’t need.
CPSC is encouraged that the coin and button cell industry is developing more secure packaging and taking additional steps to try to keep the products away from young children. However, CPSC is looking to see design changes that eliminate the serious chemical burn injuries that often occur upon ingestion.
Here are other poison prevention tips, which can help you provide a safe environment for your children to explore.
Keep medicines and household chemicals in their original, child-resistant containers.
Store potentially hazardous substances up and out of a child’s sight and reach.
Keep the national Poison Help Line number, 800-222-1222, handy in case of a poison emergency.
When hazardous products are in use, never let young children out of your sight, even if it means you must take them along when answering the phone or doorbell.
Leave the original labels on all products, and read the labels before using the products.
Always leave the light on when giving or taking medicine so you can see that you are administering the proper medicine, and be sure to check the dosage every time.
Avoid taking medicine in front of children. Refer to medicine as “medicine,” not “candy.”
Clean out the medicine cabinet periodically and safely dispose of unneeded and outdated medicines.
Do not put decorative lamps and candles that contain lamp oil where children can reach them. Lamp oil can be very toxic if ingested by children.
If you have a poison emergency, call the national Poison Help Line at (800) 222-1222.
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2013/03/safeguard-your-home-from-emerging-poisoning-risks/