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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The Sounds of Trampoline Safety

Blog in Spanish

Jump, bounce, squeal.  These are the happy sounds of a child playing on a trampoline in the backyard. Girl bouncing on trampoline

In between bounces a young child calls out to his friend, “Join me.”

The friend races out to the backyard and bounds onto the trampoline.

The sound of an “uh-oh” about to happen.

Only one person should be on a trampoline at a time.

Then, THUD.

The noise you don’t want to hear, typically followed by a child crying.

While just playing in and around the house, children often stub their fingers, bonk their heads, and fall down—all minor injuries.

Getting hurt on a trampoline can be much worse.

Last year, about 95,000 people suffered injuries of such a serious nature that there were taken to an emergency room for treatment.  Between 2000 and 2009, 22 families lost a loved one from a trampoline mishap.

Installing and maintaining the enclosure around the trampolines and being aware that children younger than 5 are at the greatest risk of injury can make for a safer experience in the back yard.

Zip, cover, scoot.  These are the sounds of you making the trampoline a safer place to play.

  • Zip up the surrounding enclosure.
  • Cover the springs, hooks and frame in shock-absorbing pads.
  • Scoot the trampoline away from structures and trees.

Help minimize the risks of trampoline play.  Learn more on our Trampoline Safety Alert page.

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2013/07/the-sounds-of-trampoline-safety/

Tips to Keep Your Happy Camper Safe

Blog en español

Now that you found the perfect summer camp that meets your expectations, accreditation standards, and your child’s appetite for fun, wait before you exhale. Sunscreen and labeling your child’s clothes aren’t the only final items on your to-do list. Add some time to review safety with your happy campers before you send them on their adventure.

A good place to start is by looking at a list of the camp’s planned activities. If sports are involved, remember that many sports aren’t complete without helmets. Safety equipment and athletics go hand in hand. Therefore, if you don’t plan to pack a helmet, ask the camp if it supplies the right helmet for each activity. Here’s a helmet guide that gives you more information.

In addition, here are safety tips on different sports:

Given the hot days of summer, it’s likely that your camp will include swimming or some other water play. As you pack bathing suits, take a moment to go over pool and water safety with your child.

  • If your child does not know how to swim, alert the camp. Find out if the camp gives swim lessons and register your child to take them. Learning to swim is a key first step in drowning prevention.
  • Check to see if the camp has life jackets for activities on docks or boats. CDC calls them a “must.” They aren’t a substitute for supervision, but they do act as another barrier against drowning.
  • For kids who already know how to swim, brush up on swim safety.
  • Tell your child NOT to go to the pool without supervision from a camp counselor or an adult.

Are you packing a hoodie for some cool nights of outdoor camping? Look at the neck and waist for drawstrings and remove them. Drawstrings can catch or become tangled with objects, such as a car door or playground slide, causing an injury.

 

Enjoy your child’s camp send off with hugs, kisses and safety.

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2013/07/tips-to-keep-your-happy-camper-safe/

Bicycle Safety: It’s No Accident!

Blog en español

Tune up your bikes, and get riding!

Around the country this month, organizations are sponsoring Bike to School and Bike to Work days. It’s a great time to remind yourselves and your kids about bike safety.
Mother strapping helmet on a child.
Step 1: “Strap It On, Save a Life.” Having a helmet head is cool—and it protects your brain. Nearly 70 percent of all fatal bicycle crashes involve head injuries. Wearing a properly fitted bicycle helmet can reduce the risk of a brain and head injury by as much as 85 percent.  Follow these tips to make sure your helmet is doing its job:

  • When buying a helmet look for the label that reads “Complies with U.S. CPSC Safety Standards for Bicycle Helmets.”
  • Tighten chin straps and adjust padding so the helmet feels snug, forms a V around the ears, and does not move up and down or side to side. Watch this video from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on how to put a helmet on correctly.

Step 2: Check your family’s bikes for safety.

  • Make sure the tires have the proper amount of air.
  • Adjust and tighten the seat and handlebars. Remember, kids grow!
  • Check and adjust the brakes so your family’s riders can stop quickly.
  • Consider taking bikes to a local bike shop for a tune up periodically.

Step 3: Be alert when riding.

  • Ride on the right side of the road in a straight, predictable path.
  • Children younger than 9 should not ride on roads. They don’t yet have the skills to identify and avoid dangerous situations.

Want to know more?  This bicycle safety page has brochures and posters to guide you to better bike riding safety.

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2013/05/bicycle-safety-its-no-accident/

All Eyes On the Pool

Pool Safely: Simple Steps Save LivesIn July and early August, millions of American eyes will be on the pool. How will top U.S. swimmers Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte do in London?

Many Americans, both in the African-American community and elsewhere, are particularly excited about Cullen Jones and Lia Neal. Ebony Magazine calls Jones and Neal “two young Olympians poised to change what they say about African-Americans and swimming.”

Olympic swimmers, and even kids who compete in neighborhood swimming competitions, make the sport look so easy. We hope the Olympics is a conversation starter in your home as the Olympians inspire your children to learn how to swim. Do your best to teach your children not to fear the water. Pass on safety and fun at the same time. (See NBC’s Rock Center story on the importance of swimming.)

At home, we, as a nation, need more eyes on our much less experienced swimmers. All Olympic swimmers, from Jones to Phelps, from Neal to Lochte, have one thing in common with every child. At one time in their lives they didn’t know how to swim.

According to news reports, when Jones was 5 years old, he nearly drowned at a water park. (Source: Good Morning America/ABC) That’s when Jones started swimming lessons.

Lessons. They are a simple step that saves lives. They will help teach your child a life-saving skill: How to be safe around water. Use the Olympics as a conversation starter with your child about starting swimming lessons.

Between Memorial Day and July 17, at least 90 children younger than 15 were reported by media to have drowned in swimming pools. Another 106 children were sent to emergency rooms for nearly drowning. That’s about 2 children who died each day during that period.

Drowning is the leading cause of injury death for children ages 1 to 4. African-American children and young adults ages 5 to 19 die from drowning 6 times more often than their white peers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  And a USA Swimming/University of Memphis survey says that 70 percent of African-American and 60 percent of Hispanic/Latino children can’t swim.

Simple steps save lives.

  • Stay within arm’s reach of children and non-swimmers at all times in and around the pool.
  • Keep eyes on young children.
  • Fence your pool with self-closing or self-latching gates.
  • Assign a water watcher.
  • Learn CPR.
  • If a child is missing, check the pool first.

This week, pools and waterparks around the country are holding Pool Safely Days to help spread this message of safety. You can help, too. Post these buttons, badges and widget on your blogs, Facebook pages and websites. Put Pool Safely steps into play at your home. Teach them to your children and your neighbors.

Save a child’s life. Earn a gold medal in swimming safety.

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2012/07/all-eyes-on-the-pool/

ATV Riders: Keep Your Family Safe and On the Trail

Man wearing a helmet riding an ATV on dirtDo you have a passion for ATV riding? Do you throw caution to the wind when you ride?

What will the consequences mean for both you and your family?

When you ride, safety matters.

We’re concerned about the safety of your family. We’re not trying to take your ATVs away. We only want to make the riding experience safer so more riders stay alive and families stay together.

ATV safety matters because keeping you and your family safe matters.

About 700 people die every year in ATV-related accidents and another 136,000 go to hospital emergency rooms. Many of these injuries are life changing. So far this year, CPSC is aware of preliminary reports of 130 adults and 28 children under the age of 16 who have died in ATV-related incidents around the country. At least 14 adults and three children are reported to have died during Memorial Day weekend alone this year.

Every ATV rider in your family should take a hands-on training course taught by a certified instructor. Classes are offered by the ATV Safety Institute, local ATV rider groups, and some state departments of natural resources, state highway departments, and other agencies responsible for regulating ATV use. The National 4-H Council also sponsors educational seminars on safe riding for children and teenagers.

At CPSC, we know what can happen with ATVs, because for many years our staff has been investigating the ATV deaths reported to us.  We sit across from parents and grandparents who often say, “If I had only known.”

We believe there would be a dramatic decline in deaths and injuries if riders follow these rules in addition to taking a safety training course:

  • Always wear a helmet and other protective gear.
  • Do not carry any passengers on single-rider ATVs.
  • Ride off-road, not on paved roads.
  • Know the terrain.
  • Keep children younger than 16 on youth ATVs and off adult ATVs.

Know ATV safety to keep everyone in your family, you included, safe on the trails and help curb the rise of ATV deaths and injuries that happen every summer.

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2012/06/atv-riders-keep-your-family-safe-and-on-the-trail/