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Drawstrings Not Allowed

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Look at your child’s jackets, sweatshirts and sweaters. See nothing unusual? Now, look again. Do they have drawstrings?

hood drawstring you should not see on your child's clothes

For reasons we show below, CPSC passed a rule in July 2011, designating most drawstrings in children’s upper outerwear as hazardous. This essentially means that you shouldn’t see for sale, and your child shouldn’t wear, jackets, sweatshirts and sweaters with dangerous drawstrings. That means no neck or hood drawstrings for upper outerwear in sizes 2T through 12 or S through L. In addition, certain waist or bottom drawstrings are considered dangerous.

waist drawstring you shouldn't see

These waist drawstrings and the hood drawstrings above are what you should not see on your child’s clothes.

With waist drawstrings, there are three things to look for:

  • When the clothing is at its fullest width, the drawstring should not hang out more than 3 inches.
  • There shouldn’t be any toggles or other attachments on the drawstring.
  • The drawstring must be stitched into the back so that it cannot be pulled to one side.

Here’s why:

Drawstrings can catch on items such as playground equipment or vehicle doors. CPSC has received 26 reports of children who have died when drawstrings in their clothes got tangled on playground slides, school bus doors and other objects. Waist and bottom drawstrings that were caught in cars and buses resulted in dragging incidents.

CPSC first issued guidelines on drawstrings in February 1996. These were then incorporated into a voluntary standard in 1997. Since the clothing industry started following the voluntary standard, deaths involving neck or hood drawstrings  decreased by 75 percent and there have been no deaths associated with waist or bottom drawstrings.

Still, we continue to see jackets, sweatshirts, and sweaters made with drawstrings that are dangerous. CPSC has issued more than 130 recalls involving clothes with drawstrings including 8 recalls between November 2011 and May 8, 2012. Here are some recalls from  just the past month (as of publication of this blog). So, check your child’s upper outerwear and make sure to follow the instructions on these recalls.

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2012/05/drawstrings-not-allowed/

OUCH! Table Saws Make the Cut

One of the power tools that is regularly involved in incidents that hurt their operators are table saws. Based on a two-year study in 2007 and 2008, CPSC estimates that about 67,300 people suffered from medically treated blade contact injuries each of those two years.

According to CPSC’s analysis of table saw injuries, the people getting hurt are often experienced operators, including some who disabled safety devices. Victims reported that the device either got in the way or slowed their work down.

Blade contact injuries are serious. CPSC’s study estimates that, on average, consumers treated in emergency department for blade contact injuries suffered:

  • 4,000 amputations per year or 333 each month
  • 4,150 broken bones per year or 346 each month
  • 2,800 avulsions or 238 each month. Avulsions involve a separation of body parts.

A key question has been: Should CPSC set performance requirements that would make table saws safer? In a unanimous vote earlier this month, CPSC decided to move forward with rulemaking on table saws. This rulemaking will start the process of determining how to best improve the safety of table saws.

So, if CPSC creates a mandatory rule to make table saws safer, what would the impact be? What requirements could the rule include to keep people from disabling new safety features?

That’s where you come in. Consumers, victims, industry representatives: Let us know your thoughts on this issue. You have until December 12 to submit comments. Simply go online to Regulations.gov to submit comments.

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2011/10/ouch-table-saws-make-the-cut/

Play Yards: What Parents Should Know

Because of deaths and injuries associated with play yards, CPSC has started drafting mandatory safety standards for them. In fact, earlier this month the commissioners at CPSC voted unanimously to move forward with proposed rulemaking aimed at making play yards safer than ever before.

Play yards have been involved in about 50 deaths and about 2,000 non-fatal incidents, including 165 incidents that resulted in injuries such as cuts and bruises since November 2007. The majority of the infant deaths were 1-year-old or younger. New standards are aimed at reducing the risk of injury and death.

To protect your baby, know the risks. Deaths associated with play yards included children who climbed out of the play yard and drowned in a nearby pool. Caregivers should remember that play yards are meant for children who are less than 35 inches tall and who cannot climb out of the play yard. 

Other play yard deaths include entrapment from a collapsed play yard, strangulation from a looped strap hanging in the play yard and a child found entrapped between an unfolded mattress pad and the play yard floor liner.

Consumers should be especially careful about play yard attachments. Changing tables and bassinet attachments must be carefully installed. CPSC has received reports describing how the corner of bassinets detached from the frame of the play yard. Caregivers are reminded to review warning labels and instruction materials carefully when assembling play yards and play yard accessories, like bassinets. 

About 90% of incident reports describe the collapse of the play yard’s side rail. If the side rail collapses, a child can get their neck entrapped in the collapsed side rail, lose their footing and strangle. Side rail collapses also are dangerous because children can escape and may be injured outside the play yard.

Unfortunately, even a new federal standard can’t fully protect your baby from an unsafe sleep environment, so it’s up to you to keep the environment free of suffocation hazards.  The primary cause of play yard deaths is babies being placed in an unsafe sleep environment full of soft or extra bedding, such as pillows, quilts and comforters. Always remember a bare environment is best! 

Another leading cause of death is infants being placed face down. Babies should always be placed on their backs in a safe sleep environment such as a crib or play yard that meets current standards.

Caregivers also should ensure that play yards are placed away from window blind cords or computer cords that can fall into the play yard and strangle children inside.

To keep your baby safe check CPSC’s website for play yard and other nursery product recalls. Visit www.CPSC.gov/cribs for additional resources and safety information and sign up to get e-mail notification on recalls.

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2011/09/play-yards-what-parents-should-know/