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The Tragic Truth
In December 2012, we posted an OnSafety blog, warning of furniture, television and appliance-related tip-over incidents. At that time, CPSC reported nearly 350 deaths, most involving young children. Since then, more than 80 people have died when a dresser, TV, bookcase, table, appliance or other large item tipped over and fell on them. A new report from our staff indicates that 430 tragic deaths occurred between 2000 and 2013, and an estimated 38,000 annual injuries, many of which were serious, from 2011 through 2013.
In most of the incidents, a child was crushed by the product or struck on the head by the product. What is remarkable is the number of families who have turned tragedy into advocacy. Jackie Collas, a Philadelphia-area resident, is using social media to honor her son, Curren, and encourage parents to anchor their furniture. Lisa Seifert of Chicago created Shane’s Foundation to honor her precious son and to increase awareness, education and safety [www.shanesfoundation.org/SafetyInYourHome.html].
The Good News
By anchoring large furniture, televisions and appliances, these terrible tragedies can be prevented. As we say at CPSC, “Anchor it and Protect a Child.”
An Internet search of “anti-tip brackets” resulted in dozens of inexpensive options for consumers to anchor furniture, televisions and appliances. Prices for the devices range in price from $5 to $20. These devices are easy to install and unobtrusive. Most anti-tip brackets have some type of quick-release feature that allows homeowners to move furniture temporarily for cleaning or other maintenance.
New furniture, TVs, and appliances often come with an anti-tip device. When making a purchase, ask your salesperson before you leave the store about how to anchor the item.
The Next Step
When you get the new items home, install anchoring devices right away. When installing a new TV, CPSC recommends that you anchor not only the TV, but also the stand, bureau or dresser on which the TV sits. Secure the TV to the base product, and secure the base product to the wall.
Now that your new TV is anchored, where are you going to put the old TV? According to our new study, about 45 percent of tip-over fatalities involving a television occur in bedrooms.
So, if you’re planning to move the old box television into your child’s bedroom or into the family room, consider that statistic—and then think, plan, and decide how to prevent a tip-over incident. Place the television on a base that is appropriate for the size, weight, and width of the television. Anchor the television to the base and anchor both items to the wall to avoid a tip-over incident.
Children like to climb. In fact, about one-third of child fatalities involving a television occur when children climb onto the stand or dresser holding the TV. The children are often trying to reach a remote control, toy, juice box or some other item. Keep items like these, away from where children will try to climb and access them. If you have young children, the best idea may be to leave that old television on the floor.
Do you have a rental agreement or home design that prevents wall anchoring? Anchor the television to a low, sturdy base, as far back on the base as possible.
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2014/09/anchor-it-and-protect-a-child/
Blog en español
As parents and caregivers, keeping your baby safe is always your number one priority.
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.
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.
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2014/09/whos-looking-after-baby/
Blog en español
It’s that time of the year again!
Parents and caregivers have pencils, binders, backpacks and notebooks on their back-to-school shopping list. But, as the countdown begins and students head back to school, what should you have on the back-to-school “safety” list?
Here are a few things you should pencil in:
- If your child bikes to school, make sure he/she has the appropriate helmet that fits his/her head properly and is worn correctly. Check out “Which Helmet for Which Activity” for guidance.
- Make sure playground equipment has been inspected and maintained. There are more than 200,000 injuries on playground each year—and many of them are serious. Our Public Playground Safety Handbook is a great source to learn about how to design and install a safer playground.
- Take the drawstrings out of your child’s jackets and sweatshirts to prevent a strangulation hazard on playgrounds and school bus doors.
- Visit CPSC.gov to check for recalls on your new and used back to school products.
- Be sure to check out our ABCs of school safety video with former CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum:
A. Always wear the right helmet
B. Be safe and have fun
C. Careful with the clothing, Mom and Dad.
At CPSC, we hope all kids have a safe school year and do great in the classroom.
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2014/08/back-to-school-is-the-season-for-safety/
Calling all middle schoolers! CPSC is hosting a poster contest on carbon monoxide safety.
Have you ever heard of carbon monoxide? CO is a poisonous gas. It’s also called the invisible killer, because you can’t see or smell it, and it takes the lives of many people each year.
You can get CO poisoning from:
- A car left running in the garage
- The gas furnace in your home not functioning properly
- A portable generator running in an enclosed space, basement or living area
- A charcoal grill used inside your home
What can you do to prevent CO poisoning?
- Make sure your parents have a professional inspection of your furnace, fireplace and other fuel-burning appliances every year.
- Have CO alarms in your house.
- Never use generators or charcoal grills inside your home.
- Draw a poster about the dangers of carbon monoxide and what you can do to prevent CO poisoning and enter it into CPSC’s contest at www.cpsc.gov/COContest!!
You can WIN prize money. CPSC will award $500 to the top 10 finalists (three from each grade and one winner of the public vote) and another $1,000 will go to one lucky grand prize winner. Students in 6th, 7th and 8th grades can enter.
Want to know more? Check out our contest at www.cpsc.gov/CO. Watch our video for more info too. Vote for your favorite poster. Draw a poster, save a life, win a cash prize! The contest runs through February 2015.
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2014/08/middle-schoolers-wanted-for-poster-contest/
Blog en español
Often, when thinking of the Fourth of July, one of the first things that come to mind are big, beautiful fireworks, with vibrant colors that light up a summer night’s sky. In the midst of all this holiday grandeur, it is important to understand fireworks safety and how to prevent tragedy during your July 4 celebration.
In 2013, 65 percent or 7,400, of all firework injuries occurred in the 30 days surrounding July 4th. The majority of these injuries occurred simply because of the malfunction or improper use of legal and illegal fireworks.
Here are some ways fireworks can malfunction:
- Inconsistent flight paths
- Tip-over incidents
- Early or late ignitions
- Debris and blowouts
You, your friends, and family can be put at risk by:
- Purchasing and using illegal fireworks;
- Letting children use fireworks, including sparklers and firecrackers;
- Creating or modifying any fireworks;
- Igniting fireworks too close to someone or something; and
- Setting off fireworks improperly.
Small fireworks, like bottle rockets, sparklers, and small firecrackers can appear harmless to children, but during the 30 days surrounding July 4, these kinds of fireworks injured an estimated 1,000 children under the age of 5.
Did you know that sparklers can burn so hot they can melt copper? A sparkler can burn at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter! That’s as hot as a blow torch!
Take a look at our “Un Spark-tacular Celebration” video on children with sparklers.
If you do decide to buy legal fireworks, be sure to take the following safety steps:
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Avoid buying fireworks that come in brown paper packaging; often, this can often be a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers.
- Never have any portion of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.
- Move away to a safe distance immediately after lighting.
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not gone off or fully functioned.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
- Light one item at a time, then move away quickly.
- After fireworks have gone off and fully functioned, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding, to prevent a trash fire.
- Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
- Know the risks. Prevent the tragedies. And, have an injury-free Fourth!
Celebrate with safety this Fourth of July.
For more information on fireworks safety, visit our Fireworks Safety Information Center.
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2014/06/dont-let-injuries-from-fireworks-become-part-of-your-tradition-this-holiday/