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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A Game Plan to Prevent TV/Furniture Tip-Over Deaths and Injuries

Blog en español

It is officially Super Bowl season and for many that also translates to TV buying season. According to a forthcoming study from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®, more consumers report buying televisions specifically for watching the Super Bowl than for any other sporting event – almost three times that of the World Series or NBA Finals. As consumers nationwide score deals on TV sales, new research from CPSC suggests that there are some very important steps to take once the new TV is brought home.

CPSC has previously reported that one child dies every two weeks and one consumer is injured every 15 minutes when a piece of furniture or a television falls over onto them. Children will climb anything to reach a wanted item. The results of children climbing on or near furniture and TVs can and have ended in tragedy.

Falling TV

According to a new CPSC study, when a television falls from an average size dresser, it can fall with the force of thousands of pounds.  Imagine this: the impact of a falling TV is like being caught between J.J. Watt and Ndamukong Suh colliding at full-speed—10 times.  Hard hits are sure to be delivered by the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, so imagine a child being struck by a force more than 10 times as powerful as a NFL lineman.

CPSC researchers conducted 38 drop tests simulating a tip-over of both cathode ray tube (CRT) and flat screen TVs on top of furniture. Using frequently reported incident scenarios and an accelerometer to help calculate the force, the researchers concluded:

  • The impact energy was typically much greater for a CRT TV than a flat screen, but both had forces that can cause serious injury on impact;
  • for acceleration of the TV, impact was between 73 Gs and 240 Gs;
  • for CRT TVs, the impact force was up to 12,700 pounds of force; and
  • for flat screen TVs, the force was up to 2,098 pounds of force.

With an impact force equivalent to thousands of pounds, no child is a match for falling TVs or furniture. Fortunately, simple and low-cost steps can prevent tip-over incidents.

CPSC’s new “Anchor It” campaign is urging caregivers to think about four important questions before buying a new flat screen TV:

Where will the old TV be placed?

How to secure the old TV in its new location?

How to secure the TV if not mounting?

Will the new TV be mounted?

Ask a sales associate for help selecting anti-tip devices. A secured TV is mounted to the wall or anchored to furniture with straps, brackets, or braces to prevent the TV from sliding.

TV-Anchor             Wall Anchor

 And lastly, remember to keep items that might tempt kids to climb, such as toys and remote controls, from the top of the TV and furniture.

Note: our friends at Safe Kids Worldwide have turned the day before the Super Bowl into National TV Safety Day.  Check out SafeKids.org or Facebook.com/safekidsworldwide for more great safety tips.)

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2015/01/a-game-plan-to-prevent-tvfurniture-tip-over-deaths-and-injuries/

Home Safe Home for the Holidays

Blog en español

Stitches, slings, and crutches are not what most people envision for the holiday season. Unfortunately, for about 200 people a day, decoration-related injuries are a reality this time of year. During November and December, an estimated 13,000 consumers are treated in emergency rooms for injuries related to holiday lights, Christmas trees, ornaments and other decorations. As consumers nationwide gear up to deck out their homes for the holiday season, CPSC is warning of decorating dangers and providing tips for a safe holiday home.

Holiday ornament

 

Ornaments and Other Decorations – Take special care to avoid sharp, weighted, or breakable decorations. Keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of children, who could swallow or inhale small pieces. Avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food that may tempt a child to reach for and swallow them.

 

 

Holiday candle with poinsettia

 

Candles – Keep burning candles in sight, away from places where kids and pets can reach them or knock them over. Lighted candles should be placed away from items that can catch fire, such as trees, other evergreens, decorations, curtains and furniture.

 

 

Colorful holiday lights

 

 

Holiday Lights – Check lights for the mark of an independent safety testing laboratory.  Examine new and old lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Do not use damaged light sets. Read additional tips on holiday lights.

 

 

Decorated Christmas tree and gifts

 

Christmas Trees – Prevent a tree fire. Check for freshness when purchasing a live tree. The needles should be hard to pull from branches and do not break when bent. Preserve the tree while it is in your home by placing it away from heat sources. Each year, there are about 200 fires in which the Christmas tree is the first item ignited. These fires result in an estimated 10 deaths, 20 injuries, and $16 million in property losses.

 

 

Family hanging exterior lights

 

Ladders – Use caution on ladders. Read “Ladder Safety 101” for tips to prevent ladder falls this season.

 

 

 

Baby toys

 

Toys – Play it Safe this holiday season. Avoid toys with small parts for children younger than age 3; purchase toys appropriate for your child’s age by following the age guidelines on the packaging; purchase helmets and other safety gear for ride-on toys; and heed product warnings and care instructions.

 

 

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2014/12/home-safe-home-for-the-holidays/

Protect Young Children from Burns on Glass Fronts of Gas Fireplaces—Use Protective Barriers

Blog en español

If you have one of theseGlass front fireplace without screen

 

and one of these in your house,Woman with young boy

you need to hear about a new way to protect the safety of you and your family.

Starting on January 1, 2015, all new gas fireplaces, and fireplace heaters that vent to the outside, will come with a protective barrier.  This barrier will be there to prevent your child and others from coming into direct contact with the glass front of the fireplace.

Gas fireplace screen

 

Why should you care?

Glass front fireplace injury from burn

You should care because the glass fronts of fireplaces can reach 500° F or even 1,000° F, and children and others can be badly burned by touching the glass.

Severe burns can happen in seconds.

 Glass front fireplace injury from burn

Numerous young children have been burned this way. You can prevent this from happening to your child.
Glass front fireplace injury from burn

Protective barriers will be standard on new gas fireplaces starting on January 1.  Make sure to use the barrier.

If you already have a fireplace, buy a protective retrofit barrier to protect your little ones from being burned. Barriers can include attachable safety screens, safety gates and fireplace safety screens like you see below.  If you choose an attachable safety screen, check with your fireplace manufacturer to get the right one for your fireplace. You can buy safety screen barriers at fireplace retailers and hardware stores and purchase safety gates at big box and/or baby product stores.

Gas fireplace screen  Two young children playing in front of a screened off fireplace  Gas fireplace with screen

In addition to the safety barrier, make sure to supervise young children around the fireplace.

We want to thank the Hearth, Patio and Barbeque Association (HPBA), which chaired the voluntary standards committee that developed the new ANSI industry standards requiring barriers. We also want to recognize Dr. Carol Pollack-Nelson, who petitioned CPSC and sparked movement on the voluntary standards to address gas fireplace-related burns to children, and also recognize the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for sharing information with CPSC about the terrible burn injuries children have suffered by touching hot fireplace glass.

The HPBA and AAP have more safety information on their websites. Check them out.

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2014/12/protect-young-children-from-burns-on-glass-fronts-of-gas-fireplaces-use-protective-barriers/

Who’s looking after baby?

Blog en español

As parents and caregivers, keeping your baby safe is always your number one priority.baby

Pediatricians are available for great advice on the health and safety of our babies including fevers, feedings, diaper rash and even car seat safety!

There are also additional sources available when it comes to the safety of our babies that you may not always think of.

There are three federal agencies responsible for keeping the most vulnerable bundles of joy safe along with our health professionals.

Federal partners—the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) – have been working for decades to reduce infant deaths and injuries and keep babies safe.

SafeToSleep---LOGO1

The Safe to Sleep® campaign, led by NICHD, in collaboration with HRSA and several other organizations and in partnership with CPSC, has a wealth of downloadable resources for creating a safe space for babies and reducing the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death.

Our three agencies all recommend that babies 1) be placed on their back to sleep, 2) the sleep environment be kept free of clutter that can cause suffocation, such as pillows, quilts, comforters, and cushions; and 3) be placed to sleep in a crib, bassinet, or play yard that meet new and stronger safety standards.

These Safe to Sleep® materials can be shared with other parents, caregivers, grandparents, and health and child care providers.

Check out http://safetosleep.nichd.nih.gov for more Safe to Sleep® resources.

Find out more about baby product safety recalls and updates to nursery product standards at www.cpsc.gov/cribs.

Finally, learn more about resources available for your community including health and child care providers at www.hrsa.gov.

Together, we CAN keep baby safe.

NIHNICHDHRSA

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2014/09/whos-looking-after-baby/

Millions More IKEA Children’s Lamps Recalled

Blog en español

Did you buy a children’s wall-mounted lamp or nightlight from IKEA? So did a lot of people. Take some time today to see if your child’s light is recalled.

IKEA is recalling about 3.5 million lamps in the U.S., 1.4 million in Canada and 30.2 million worldwide. Children can get tangled and strangle in the electrical cord that hangs from the lamp.

IKEA previously recalled some of these lamps in December 2013. As we reported then, two children, a 16-month-old and a 15-month-old, got tangled in the lamp’s cord while the children were in their cribs. One child died, the other nearly strangled. In both of these instances, which happened in Europe, the children pulled the lamp cords into the crib.

Twenty seven styles of lamps and nightlights are included in the IKEA lamp recall expansion. Here are some of them:

different models of recalled IKEA children's lamps

Take down these lamps until you get and install the free repair kit from IKEA. The repair kit includes self-adhesive fasteners to attach the lamp’s cord to the wall. Here’s IKEA’s contact information:

  • Toll-free phone: (888) 966-4532 anytime
  • Online at www.ikea-usa.com and click on the Recall link at the top of the page for more information.
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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2014/04/millions-more-ikea-childrens-lamps-recalled/