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!


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/

Prevent a Poisoning

Watch this video. Get the tips. Save a life.

To watch this video in Adobe Flash format, you may need to download the Adobe Flash player. You can also watch the video in Windows Media format.

(Watch in Windows Media format.)

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2011/03/prevent-a-poisoning/

Baby Monitor Cords Have Strangled Children

What’s wrong with this picture?

Baby in a crib with a video monitor cord next to the crib

Do you see that video baby monitor cord? Yes, the one the baby has in his hand.

Cords close to your baby’s crib are not safe.

Yes, it’s tempting. Parents reviewing video monitors online report placing monitors at the edge of the crib to get a close-up image of their child sleeping: Read some examples:

“We didn’t want to put a perminant (sic) screw into the edge of the crib, so I have the base of the camera attached to the end of the crib with clear tape, which works well enough for now I guess.”

“Our baby monitor … broke when our little one managed to knock it over off his crib.”

“For watching your child close up (e.g. to see if he/she’s breathing or not) you do need to be pretty close to him/her (we just have it at the edge of the crib)….”

Do NOT place corded video cameras or audio or movement monitor receivers in cribs or on crib rails. Infants have strangled and died after becoming tangled in cords, like this:

Baby strangles in a video monitor cord

CPSC knows of 7 deaths and 3 near strangulations since 2002 involving baby monitors. These include video, audio and movement monitors. In addition, CPSC has received reports of at least a dozen other incidents in which babies and young children accessed monitors or monitor cords – that were either in the crib or close enough to the crib for a young child to grab.

Some monitors have permanent warning labels on the product or cord. Others, like some Summer Infant corded video baby monitors, do not have a prominent warning label on the camera or the cord.

Always keep ALL cords and monitor parts out of the reach of babies and young children. Think about 3 feet from any side of the crib –- top, bottom and all four sides.

When buying a video monitor, look for one that takes the picture from far away. The further away the camera and its cord are from your baby or toddler, the safer your child will be. If you use a movement monitor, make sure the cords are taut and not dangling to reduce the strangulation risk. The manufacturers’ instructions show parents how to handle the cords.

CPSC urges parents and caregivers to immediately check the location of your baby monitors, including those mounted on the wall, to make sure that the electrical cords are out of the child’s reach. Check that location periodically to make sure the cords stay out of reach as your child grows.


To watch this video in Adobe Flash format, you may need to download the Adobe Flash player. You can also watch the video in Windows Media format.

(Read the transcript, or watch in Windows Media format.)

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2011/02/baby-monitor-cords-have-strangled-children/

Kids and Cords Don’t Mix

Window Cord Hazard

simulation of a window cord hazard

Sadly, a young child is likely to die this month, strangled by a window covering cord. The question is: Could that corded window covering be in your house?

The stories we’re about to tell you are tragic, and they are all too real. Both incidents happened earlier this year. Read the stories below, and then look at EVERY window covering in your house. If you have young children around and you see accessible cords ANYWHERE on your window coverings, take heed.

CPSC recommends that you use cordless window coverings in all homes where children live or visit. Cordless window coverings are the safest solution.

If buying new, cordless window coverings is not an option for you, contact the Window Covering Safety Council at www.windowcoverings.org to obtain a free repair kit and install it properly to make your window coverings safer. Some, but not all, of the repair kits will make your window coverings cordless. After you install a repair kit, check your window coverings again for accessible cords.

A little boy and a Roman shade

Four years ago, a mom and dad installed corded Roman shades in their first son’s bedroom. Over time, the family grew, with the first son becoming the oldest of four children. The youngest children included a 22-month-old boy and a newborn baby girl.

tangled window covering cord

A 22-month-old boy strangled on this tangled outer cord.

Mom and dad regularly tried to tie the hanging window covering cords up so that they did not hang down, using a bracket that had been provided for each shade.

One day, the 22-month-old was playing in his older brother’s room. Dad left him playing for about 10 minutes. When Dad returned, he found his little boy standing with both feet on the ground and the Roman shade cord hanging around his neck. The cord was tangled at the end and created a noose around the boy’s neck. Ten days later, the boy died in a hospital. His cause of death: accidental strangulation.

She liked to look out her window at the kids at a nearby child care center

A nearly 4-year-old girl spent her morning playing and watching a movie in her bedroom. The girl liked to look out her window at children arriving and departing from a nearby child care center. This is what her mother thinks she was trying to do on her last morning alive.

The girl’s mother was making lunch around noon. Between 5 and 15 minutes after the girl was last seen, her 6-year-old brother went up to the bedroom that the two shared. He found his sister hanging from the horizontal window blind’s operating cords. The girl’s father didn’t have an easy way to get the cords off his daughter’s neck. While holding her, the dad chewed the cords free. The girl was pronounced dead upon her arrival at the hospital.

* * *

In the past year, CPSC has announced the voluntary recall of more than 50 million Roman shades and roll-up blinds made and sold by many different companies. In addition, in 1994 and in 2000, CPSC and the Window Covering Safety Council announced recalls to repair horizontal blinds to prevent strangulation hazards posed by pull cord and inner cord loops.

CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum is urging the window covering manufacturers to stay on track in creating a comprehensive set of safety standards next year. The chairman has called for these standards to design out the risk of strangulation in their products.

Still, it’s imperative that each and every one of us make the window coverings in our homes safe for our families. Here’s how:

  • Examine all shades and blinds in your home. Make sure there are no accessible cords on the front, side, or back of the product. CPSC recommends the use of cordless window coverings in all homes where children live or visit.
  • Do not place cribs, beds, and furniture close to the windows because children can climb on them and gain access to the cords.
  • Make loose cords inaccessible.
  • If the window covering has looped bead chains or nylon cords, install tension devices to keep the cord taut.
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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2010/12/kids-and-cords-don%e2%80%99t-mix/