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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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.

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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.

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

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.

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

Anchor and Protect

Child climbing on a dresser with a television on top 

What’s wrong with this picture?

Let’s start with that TV. It’s up high on the dresser. A TV on a dresser or any tall piece of furniture is a recipe for disaster when you have an active toddler or young child in the house. And it doesn’t matter what kind of TV – large tube TVs, flat screens, big or small consoles. Instead, try to place your TV on a sturdy, low base.

Children like to climb. (Just look at the boy in the picture.) See the remote control on top of the TV? A child knows the remote turns on the TV. Kids are likely to try to get to it – or to try to reach any toys on or near the TV as well – any way they can.

So, what’s wrong with that? Too many times, the furniture and the TV fall over onto children, killing them. In fact, one child dies every two weeks when a TV, furniture or appliance falls on him or her. In addition, each year, more than 22,000 children 8 years old or younger are taken to the hospital with injuries.

Here are some real incidents that have happened this year:

 

Knowing what you’ve learned so far, take a look at that dresser. It seems stable enough, but don’t be fooled – it is not stable. That same dresser pictured here actually fell over when a young child pulled out all the drawers. As part of your childproofing, it’s important to anchor all furniture to the wall or the floor.

As for those TVs, CPSC recommends anchoring them or strapping them to the wall. CPSC staff has found anchors and straps for furniture and flat-screen and tube TVs for sale at retail and hardware stores.

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2011/10/anchor-and-protect/

A Baby’s Bath – What You Need to Know

The right way to bathe your baby: Always within arm’s reach.

The right way to bathe your baby: Always within arm’s reach.

A few inches of water. A short lapse in supervision.

That’s all it takes for a child to drown.

Maybe mom, dad or the caregiver left the bathroom to answer the phone. Maybe they left to get a towel. Maybe an older sibling was left to watch a younger one.

These are some of the reasons bathtubs are the second-leading location, after pools, where young children drown.

A new report from CPSC shows that there were 431 in-home drowning deaths involving children younger than 5 years old from 2005 to 2009. The majority of the victims were younger than age 2. Most of the incidents (a startling 83 percent) involved bath or bath-related products.

You can prevent these drownings from happening. Here’s how:

  • NEVER leave young children alone near any water for ANY amount of time. EVER. As we mentioned above, young children can drown in even small amounts of water.

 

  • ALWAYS keep a young child within arm’s reach in a bathtub. If you must leave the room, take the child with you.

 

  • Don’t leave a baby or young child in a bathtub under the care of another young child.

 

  • Never leave a bucket containing even a small amount of liquid unattended. Toddlers are top-heavy and they can fall headfirst into buckets and drown. After you use a bucket, always empty it and store it where young children cannot reach it. Don’t leave buckets outside where they can collect rainwater.

 

  • Learn CPR. It can be a lifesaver when seconds count.
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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2011/09/a-baby%e2%80%99s-bath-what-you-need-to-know/