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!

Welcome!

Baby Monitor Cords: 3 Feet from Baby

Last February, we began warning you about baby monitor cord dangers. CPSC knows of seven deaths and three near strangulations since 2002 involving video and audio baby monitors. The monitors and cords were placed within a child’s reach.

You need to know about cord hazards, so you can prevent your baby from strangling in a cord.

The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) is working with us on a national baby safety campaign to get the word out to parents and caregivers about the dangers with these cords. Today, JPMA is launching a website, video and advertising. They are giving away free electric cord warning labels to attach to the cord of your baby monitor. This label will remind you, the people who care for your child, and others who may use the monitor in the future about the deadly hazard associated with these cords. Order one, it’s free!

So, take a look around your baby’s crib. Where’s the monitor cord?

Remember, at least 3 feet away is where your monitor should stay.

Yes, 3 feet. As in 3 big feet:

3 big feet

3 Feet is also about the width of your baby’s crib plus 6 inches.

Crib showing ruler at the width of the crib plus 6 inches

3 feet = 1 yard, if you have a yardstick at home:

yardstick

The point is, don’t let this happen in your home:

Baby doll in a crib with a baby monitor cord wrapped around its neck

Bookmark and Share

This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2012/07/baby-monitor-cords-3-feet-from-baby/

Check Your Cabinet and Toilet Locks

Regular readers of our blog may remember this child safety lock recall from March. Today, Dorel Juvenile Group is recalling two additional types of Safety 1st locks.

The newly recalled locks are Safety 1st cabinet slide locks and toilet locks.

They look like this:

Recalled Safety 1st Cabinet Slide Lock Recalled Safety 1st Toilet Lock

Dorel Juvenile Group (DJG), the company that makes these locks, has received 278 reports of cabinet locks and 110 reports of toilet locks that did not adequately secure cabinets and toilets. In one reported incident, a 13-month-old swallowed small, toxic beads from a craft kit.

You can find detailed information on how to identify the recalled locks here.

The cabinet locks were sold at Bed, Bath and Beyond, Great Beginnings, Home Depot, Target, and Walmart from January 2005 through April 2010. The toilet locks were sold at the same stores from January 2000 through March 2009. Both locks were also sold on Amazon.com through April 2012.

If you have these locks, don’t rely on them to keep children out of cabinets and toilets. Contact DJG at www.djgusa.com or toll-free at (877) 416-8105 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday for a free replacement lock. While you are waiting for free replacement locks for cabinets, immediately store dangerous items out of reach of children. While waiting for a replacement toilet lid lock, keep the lid down to prevent access and consider placing a latch on the bathroom door that is out of reach of young children.

Bookmark and Share

This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2012/05/check-your-cabinet-and-toilet-locks/

Plastic Film Covers

You might know them best from your smart phone or the panel on a new kitchen appliance. They’re on many consumer products with “scratchable” surfaces these days, including on children’s toys and mirrors. Plastic film coverings are intended as packaging. Remove them before you give a toy to a child.

If you don’t remove that film, or don’t even realize it’s on a toy, your child could find it before you do. They could mouth it and gag, or even choke on it.

That’s what reportedly happened to two young children playing in their Fisher-Price Luv U Zoo Jumperoo bouncy seats. The mirror on the toy comes with a plastic film cover on it. A Washington state family told a Seattle TV station that they didn’t realize the plastic was on the toy until their son gagged, couldn’t breathe and eventually coughed it up.

"X" Sticker and black arrow on plastic film that covers mirror on the Fisher-Price Luv U Zoo Jumperoo
In the middle of the plastic film that arrived on this type of toy examined at CPSC was a separate clear sticker with a big red X. The X sticker can pull off without grabbing the plastic film on the toy mirror. On one side of the plastic film is an arrow that points at the X. Again, a parent can pull the arrow off without pulling off the plastic film.

If you see the film on a mirror or other product without an arrow or “X” to guide you to remove it, you might not even realize that the plastic cover is there. So, take an extra look at your children’s toys. Are there mirrors or scratchable surfaces that seem like they should be shiny but aren’t? If so, look for a thin piece of plastic, remove it and throw it away.

Thin plastic on a child's toy.

This piece of plastic on a child's toy is thin and difficult to notice if you've removed the arrow. Remove plastic like this from all items that you give to your young child.

Other “grown-up toys” like cellphones, video monitors and even stainless steel appliances, have similar plastic film coverings. In all cases, don’t let the “new toy” distract you from carefully removing and discarding the film if you have a small child in your home.

Bookmark and Share

This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2012/04/plastic-film-covers/

Excerpts of #TVSafety, CPSC’s First Twitter Chat

Every other week, a child dies in the U.S. when a television, a piece of furniture or an appliance falls on him or her. CPSC held a Twitter chat with @KidsinDanger and @GaryASmithMD to talk about anchoring and strapping TVs and saving children’s lives. Here’s an excerpt of the chat.


Bookmark and Share

This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2012/02/excerpts-of-tvsafety-cpscs-first-twitter-chat/

Small Parts: What Parents Need to Know

Small parts and small children can be a deadly combination. To prevent young children from choking, children’s toys and games, as well as balloons, have warning labels. These labels help you keep small things away from your little ones.

But what are small parts? And why should parents be concerned about them?

First, this is a small parts tester:

small parts tester

Two fingers fit inside a small parts tester

The cylinder is 2.25 inches long by 1.25 inches wide. That’s about the size of a 3-year-old’s throat. The opening is slightly wider than a quarter or about the width of two fingers:

Note: Some parents use a toilet paper roll as a practical alternative to a small parts tester.  Parents should be aware that the toilet paper roll is wider and longer than the official tester.

If a toy or a piece of a toy intended for a child younger than 3 fits fully into the cylinder, that toy is banned. This federal law has been around for decades and has helped prevent children from choking on products.  Small parts can get stuck in a child’s throat and be deadly.

In 2010, 9 of the17 toy-related deaths were associated with young children swallowing balloons, small balls and parts of toys or games. From reports that provided details, we know that some of those deaths were from items that fit into the tester. High-powered magnets that we wrote about earlier this month fit in there, too, as do button batteries that power musical holiday cards, remote controls, flashlights and other products in many homes.

Toys and games intended for children ages 3 to 6 that have small parts must have a warning label. This holiday season, as you buy presents for the young children on your list, look closely for warning labels like this:

Warning Label: Choking Hazard - Small Parts not for children under 3 years old

Be mindful that age labels on toys are not just based on your children’s smarts, but are also for their safety.

If a toy warns that it’s not for children younger than 3, then really, that toy is NOT safe for young children. If your younger child has older siblings around, make sure that big sister or brother’s toys and toy parts are out of reach at all times.

Bookmark and Share

This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2011/12/small-parts-what-parents-need-to-know/