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Liquid Laundry Packets: An Update

Blog en español

single-use liquid laundry packetsAbout a year and a half ago, we began warning you about dangers connected to single-load liquid laundry packets. These packets are filled with highly concentrated, toxic chemicals. A 7-month-old in Florida died from swallowing the soap.

CPSC has received about 1,230 reports of children unintentionally injuring themselves with packets. Injuries include swallowing the detergent and getting the chemical in their eyes or on their skin. The Poison Help Line reports even more: Nearly 17,500.

Several companies that make these packets—Cot ‘n Wash, Dial, Procter & Gamble, and Sun Products—have agreed to make some changes to begin addressing these safety concerns. We want you to know about these changes, as CPSC was a driving force in making them happen. Importantly, though, we believe more must be done, and we’re continuing to call on companies to build more safety into these products more quickly and more robustly.

child warning label that appears on packages.Here are some of the changes so far:

Safety standards: Makers and sellers of laundry packets have come together, along with consumer advocates and CPSC staff, to start the process of creating a voluntary consensus standard. ASTM International, a standards setting organization, is overseeing this process. The goal is for all of the members to work together, as quickly as possible, to craft a strong safety standard that meaningfully protects children from these products.

Opaque packaging: Part of the allure of these packets for young children is that they can look like familiar items such as candy, toys and teething products. Companies have changed the containers that hold the packets to be opaque.

Labels and Warnings: “Keep Out of Reach of Children” and “Keep Contents Out of Eyes” safety warning stickers and graphics have been placed in multiple places on the containers. Also, look for posters and other warnings near laundry packets in stores. Warning labels alone are not the answer, but are part of a larger system of safety.

In addition, companies are researching a switch to containers that are more difficult for children to open. Safety latches—both on containers and on cabinets—can be a deterrent to children getting access to these packets. As with all household cleaning products, make sure to keep these packets tightly closed in the original containers and out of sight and out of reach of young children.

These companies also report that they are researching chemical formulations of the laundry detergent in the packets, with the goal to find formulations that remain effective, but are less toxic.

Our hope is that these first steps for these products make them safer and that all companies that make liquid laundry packets will join these safety efforts.

Follow these safety tips if you use these products in your home:

  • Do not let children handle laundry packets
  • Do not puncture or take packets apart
  • Do not leave loose packets around – keep them stored securely in the container
  • Store out of a child’s sight and reach in their original containers
  • Keep containers closed and dry
  • Read and follow package warnings and instructions

Remember, these packets can quickly dissolve upon contact with water, wet hands and saliva. They can also rupture, releasing the chemicals into eyes. If you or your child swallows or is exposed to these chemicals, call Poison Help immediately at (800) 222-1222.

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2014/03/update-liquid-laundry-packets/

Baby Movement Monitor Recall: A Cord Issue

Angelcare Movement and Sound Sensor MonitorWe’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Kids and cords are a dangerous mix! No matter the product—baby monitors, window coverings, or baby movement monitors —cords in little hands can end up strangling a child.

We’re reminding you because today CPSC, in cooperation with Angelcare Monitors Inc., is announcing a recall to repair movement and sound baby monitors after two deaths. A cord attaches the baby monitor sensor pad under the crib mattress with the nursery monitor unit. This cord poses a strangulation risk if the child pulls the cord into the crib and the cord becomes wrapped around the child’s neck.

Angelcare is providing cord covers for Angelcare Movement and Sound Monitors with Sensor pads. These cord covers are designed to prevent a child from pulling the cord into the crib. Make sure to contact Angelcare at (855)355-2643 or www.angelcarebaby.com to get a free cord cover.

Angelcare Movement and Sound Baby Monitor with rigid strips repair kit installed

Angelcare Movement and Sound Baby Monitor with rigid strips repair kit installed

As for those traditional baby monitor cords, we continue to recommend that you keep these cords and monitors at least 3 feet away from your baby’s crib. Here’s a video that shows why:

 

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2013/11/baby-movement-monitor-recall-a-cord-issue/

Window Covering Cords: Don’t Tie Them Up, Get Them Away From Children

Earlier this week, we participated in a #CordSafety Twitter chat. These chats are useful to spread safety advice. Chats also give everyone insight into what parents are doing in their homes. Here’s an important question that was posed in the chat:

Mom It Forward Tweet: Giveaway Question! Please answer the following question: How do you keep cords out of the reach of kids?

The number of people who said they tie up the cords and place them up high surprised us. Here’s a sample of the responses:

  • When my kids were smaller, we tied up the cords to top of the blinds. Revisited often.
  • I tie them up and keep them out reach. From window cords to appliance cords.
  • Answer – rooms with blinds have the cords tied up at the top of the window.
  • I tie them in a loose bow, well out of reach. Keep furniture away, that they could stand on, teach safety

Tie ‘em up is risky. It gives parents a false sense of security. Cords can, and do, get tangled. Sometimes, this happens after parents tie the cords up to childproof the cords.

One child strangles in window cords nearly every month. Kids can easily wrap dangling or accessible cords around their necks and get tangled. Even cords tied up and high can be accessible to young children. There have been incidents of well-intentioned, tied up cords that have ended tragically.

Take a look at our blog on Kids and Cords from 2010. In there, we tell you about parents who regularly tried to tie hanging window covering cords up so that they did not hang down. Dad left his 22-month-old son for about 10 minutes, only to find him strangled in tangled cords.

This incident is not the only tragic tale of the “tie them up” approach. That’s why we recommend the following options for families with young children:

  • Cordless: Self explanatory. This is the safest option.
  • Shades with inaccessible cords: You shouldn’t be able to grab onto a cord in any way.

The top two are the best options. If new window coverings truly aren’t an option in your budget install a retrofit kit. These kits are a short-term fix, especially for mini-blinds made before 2000. Just remember that these kits do not address all the hazards posed by cords.

Exposed cords must be inaccessible to children. Tying them up and/or knotting them up can be dangerous. Look for products that are specifically designed to keep the cords out of sight and reach. If you don’t go cordless now, make the cords in your home inaccessible.

For more information on window covering cord safety, please visit CPSC’s Window Covering Cords Information Center.

 

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2013/10/window-covering-cords-dont-tie-them-up-get-them-away-from-children/

Dads’ Guide To “Fix” the Kids!

Blog in Spanish

Hey Dads, we hear you! Fatherhood is exciting and joyous and a crazy new world. Navigating the life of your baby or toddler is full of wonderful moments—and some hurdles. To help you clear and even avoid some of those hurdles, we have a safety game plan to share with you. Check out these simple safeguards for your little one:

    • 1. Bare is Best for the safety of your baby’s sleep environment. Your baby can be cozy without the clutter. Never place pillows, quilts or comforters in your baby’s crib, bassinet or play yard.
    • 2. You can’t always fix it. Duct tape and your tool box are tempting, but NEVER try to fix a crib that is broken and in disrepair. Cribs made after June 28, 2011, have to be tested to make sure they meet the most stringent performance and testing requirements in the world. Discard and destroy cribs made before that date. Your child’s crib should be the safest product in your home.
    • 3. Anchor and Protect. Here’s where your tools come into play. Install anchors or straps on your television and other furniture. Kids like to climb, often to get a remote or toy placed up high. Even furniture that appears stable may not be when placed on carpet or when a toddler pulls out all the drawers to scamper up.

Get more safety information daily by following us @OnSafety on Twitter and on Google+.

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2013/10/dads-guide-to-fix-the-kids/

In Home Drowning Takes 87 Lives!

Blog in Spanish

Wherever you have water in and around your home, supervising small children is critical. (Remember our Baby’s Bath: What You Need to Know blog from last year?)  About once every four days, a child under the age of 5 drowns in a bathtub, bucket, toilet or landscape pond. Eighty percent of these incidents happen in a bathtub.  Wow! How many parents know that?

Take some time during Baby Safety Month to watch this video to see how you can help save 87 children. Use this YouTube link to share or embed the video on your site.

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2013/09/in-home-drowning-takes-87-lives/