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!
Do you live in military housing with your family? Take a look at your window blinds or other type of window coverings, including Roman shades. If you can see any dangling or accessible cords, your child is at risk.
Window coverings with exposed cords are one of the top hidden home hazards. Kids can easily and quickly wrap the cords around their necks or become entangled in the cord loops.
So, on Military Consumer Protection Day (July 17 this year), examine your window blinds, curtains and shades closely. Look for exposed, looped cords. What you find may surprise you. What you do about it can save your child’s life.
Here is how you can safeguard your windows.
Use cordless blinds or go with blinds or shades that have inaccessible cords. Many stores have these products available for purchase right now.
Move cribs, beds, and furniture away from windows, because children can climb on them and reach the cords on the window coverings.
Make loose cords inaccessible, if you are unable to replace older blinds and shades.
In the past, many consumers have used free repair kits from the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) to fix their blinds that were made before November 2000. Keep in mind that these kits do not get rid of the dangling pull cord hazard with many common window blinds.
Kids and cords are a dangerous combination. So, if you have young children in your house, your safest approach is to go cordless or buy blinds with inaccessible cords.
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2013/07/kids-can-strangle-in-window-cords/
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/
A new CPSC data report shows that 349 people (84 percent of them children under 9) were killed between 2000 and 2011 when TVs, furniture, or appliances toppled over onto them. The 41 reported deaths in 2011 were the highest number reported in one year. That’s an increase from 31 in 2010 and 27 in 2009.
Here are excerpts from our Twitter chat in February with more information and safety tips from CPSC, Kids in Danger and Dr. Gary A. Smith of Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Help teach all parents to prevent these tragedies. Share the poster above on Facebook. Pin it on Pinterest. Post it on Twitter. Print and post it for parents in your communities.
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2012/12/cpsc-research-1-child-dies-every-2-weeks/
In 2012, CPSC staff has learned of about 500 incidents involving children and adults who were injured by single-load laundry packets like those shown above. Children have required hospitalization from ingesting the product due to loss of consciousness, excessive vomiting, drowsiness, throat swelling, and difficulty breathing (requiring intubation).
Do NOT let children handle laundry packets. Keep them locked up and out of a child’s sight and reach.