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CPSC Science: Fireworks Injuries

UPDATE, 6/26/2013: We have updated this infographic with 2012 injury and death information. Here’s the new infographic.

 

Fireworks Injuries infographic

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2012/06/cpsc-science-fireworks-injuries/

Safety for Dad

Dads do lawnmowers. Dads do grills. This Father’s Day, give your dad the information that will help him do what he does safely.

Each year, about 110 people die and about 87,000 people are treated in emergency rooms from injuries associated with power lawnmowers. This includes walk-behind mowers, riding mowers, lawn tractors and garden tractors.

If you’re buying dad a new walk-behind rotary lawn mower, consider these factors. Then remind him about safety:

  • Fill the fuel tank before starting the engine. NEVER refuel when the mower is running or hot.
  • Pick up twigs, rocks and other debris before you mow. The whole family can help with this. Just make sure that children clear the area before the actual mowing begins.
  • Cut dry grass, not wet grass. Wet clippings could jam the rotary blade and shut down the engine. When you need to remove clippings from the discharge chute, STOP the mower.
  • Push the mower forward. Don’t pull it backward.
  • On lawn slopes, if you are using a walk-behind rotary mower, mow across the slope. If you drive a riding mower, drive up and down the slope, not across it.
  • Check safety features often and repair or replace them if needed. Do not remove any safety devices from a mower.
  • When using an electric mower, organize your work so you first cut the area closest to the electrical outlet and then gradually move away. This will minimize your chance of running over the power cord and getting electrocuted.

Dads grilling
As for the grill, here’s a maintenance and safety checklist for gas grills. Give him these key points:

  • Check the grill’s hoses for cracking, brittleness, holes and leaks. The hose or tubing shouldn’t have any sharp bends.
  • Hoses need to be as far from the hot surfaces as possible. Don’t let grease drip on them.
  • Any time you reconnect a grill to the LP gas container, or if you smell gas, check for leaks. To do this, open the gas supply valve fully and apply a soapy solution (one part water, one part liquid detergent) with a brush at the connection points. If you see bubbles, there’s a leak. Turn off the gas, tighten the connection and test again. If you can’t stop the leak, replace the leaking parts.
  • Do NOT light a grill if you detect a leak.

On average, about 3,600 people are treated in emergency rooms each year from injuries associated with gas, charcoal or propane grills. Of the 12 deaths each year associated with grills, about two-thirds are from carbon monoxide poisoning when a grill is used in an enclosed space like inside a house.

When grilling, always follow these safety tips:

  • Only use a grill at least 10 feet away from your house or any building. Do not grill in a garage, breezeway, carport, porch, or under any surface that will burn.
  • Never leave a grill unattended.
  • Keep children away from the grill. The outside surface can burn when touched.
  • Always follow the instructions that came with the grill.

All of this advice is meant to ensure that dad doesn’t spend Father’s Day in the emergency room. Have a happy and safe Father’s Day!

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2012/06/safety-for-dad/

Death, Severe Neck Injuries Prompt Pool Slide Recall

Do you have an inflatable slide for your pool? If so, please pay close attention to this recall of the Banzai Inflatable Pool Slide.

The slide is specifically for in-ground pools. Here’s what it looks like:

Banzai Water Slide

A 29-year-old Colorado mother died after fracturing her neck going down this slide. She hit her head against the concrete edge of the pool when the slide partly deflated. CPSC and the firms recalling this slide are aware of two other serious injuries that have happened in a similar way:

  • A 24-year-old man from Springfield, Mo., became a quadriplegic
  • A woman from Allentown, Pa., fractured her neck.

About 21,000 of the slides were sold at Walmart and Toys R Us from January 2005 through June 2009 for about $250. During use, they can deflate. When this happens, the person on the slide can hit the ground underneath and become injured. The slide is also unstable and can topple over and has inadequate warnings and instructions.

The recalled slides are vinyl with a blue base, yellow sliding mat and an arch over the top of the slide. Hose water can be sprayed on the slide’s downward slope from a nozzle on the arch. The words “Banzai Splash” are printed in a circular blue, orange and white logo that is shaped like a wave on either side of the slide.

We urge you to stop using this slide immediately and return to Walmart or Toys R Us for a full refund.

For additional information, from Walmart, call (800) 925-6278 between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s website at www.walmartstores.com. For additional information from Toys R Us, call (800) 869-7787 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. ET Monday through Saturday and between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday, or visit the firm’s website at www.toysrus.com.

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2012/05/death-severe-neck-injuries-prompt-pool-slide-recall/

Fireworks: Hot as a Blow Torch!

fireworks: hot as a blow torch

Sparklers burn at 2000 degrees F or even hotter.

That’s as hot as a blow torch.

It’s as hot as the charcoal fire in a grill.

2000 degrees is so hot it can melt copper.

Fireworks commonly known as bottle rockets, meanwhile, can fly through the air at 7 to 10 feet per second. Larger stick rockets are powerful projectiles with uncertain flight paths.

How fast are bottle and stick rockets? They fly erratically enough and are fast enough to hit someone by surprise and hurt them.

Fireworks like bottle rockets and small firecrackers may appear harmless because of their small size, but they sent 1,900 consumers to emergency rooms last year during the 30 days surrounding July 4th. In total, about 8,600 consumer emergency room visits in 2010 were from fireworks injuries.

Imagine spending your Fourth of July in the ER, most likely with a child with a burn or a severe cut. We’re guessing that’s not in your plans. You have much better ways to spend your time – swimming and barbecuing (safely, of course!) or watching your local, professional fireworks show.

If you do decide to buy legal fireworks, be sure to take the following safety steps:

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that come in brown paper packaging, as this can often be a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents often don’t realize that there are many injuries from sparklers to children under five.
  • Never have any portion of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Move away to a safe distance immediately after lighting.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not gone off or fully functioned.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light one item at a time then move away quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks have gone off and fully functioned, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding to prevent a trash fire.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
    Know the risks. Prevent the tragedies. And have an injury-free Fourth!

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, watch in Windows Media format, or on CPSC’s YouTube Channel.)

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2011/06/fireworks-hot-as-a-blow-torch/

A New and Dangerous Recreational Activity

Have you heard about our consumer warning on water walking balls yet?

These balls are a new type of water-related recreational activity. You’ll find them at your local fair and amusement parks, on lakes and at the mall.

Water Walking Ball

Risks associated with the use of water walking balls include the potential for suffocation, drowning and impact injuries.

Before you jump in and try them out, be aware that this activity, called water walking, comes with potential risks of suffocation and drowning.

CPSC knows of two incidents involving these products. In one, a child was found unresponsive after being inside the ball for a short time. The child required medical attention. In another, a person inside a ball suffered a fracture when the ball fell out of a shallow, above-ground pool onto the hard ground.

Here’s what you should know:

  • These balls are airtight. Because of this, carbon dioxide can accumulate inside the ball. High carbon dioxide and low oxygen levels … makes it very difficult to breathe. Such a dangerous scenario can occur in just a few minutes.
  • Most balls have no emergency exit. They can be opened ONLY by a person outside the ball.
  • These balls are not padded. This means that injuries can happen if the balls – and the people inside — collide with each other, strike hard objects like a pier or a buoy, or simply fall out of the pool onto concrete or another hard surface.

Before you take these risks – or let your child take these risks – understand that CPSC does not know of any safe way to use this product.

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2011/06/a-new-and-dangerous-recreational-activity/