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.
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:
Step 2: Check your family’s bikes for safety.
Step 3: Be alert when riding.
Want to know more? This bicycle safety page has brochures and posters to guide you to better bike riding safety.]]>
Blog en español
Remember the happiness you felt when you first held your baby? Was your next thought “Now what?” Keeping your baby safe was likely one concern. Do you know there are some simple steps that you can take to lessen your worry and create a safer home for you and your baby? Well, there are!
So, relax this Mother’s Day and give yourself the gift of safety. Here are a few safety steps and safety devices that can give you peace of mind and can help reduce the risk of injuries to babies and young children. Most steps are easy to remember; the devices are relatively inexpensive:
Editor’s Note: Babycenter has cross-posted this blog in English and in Spanish.]]>
Community education programs work. That’s a message we at CPSC hear regularly through our Neighborhood Safety Network.
Last week, during Window Safety Week, Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel in Portland, Ore., touted that message while spreading the word on preventing window falls. “According to Oregon Trauma Registry data, the rate of children’s window falls has decreased 46 percent from 2009 to 2011,” the hospital says in a news release.
The Oregon hospital, along with Safe Kids Oregon and a mom whose child died in a window fall, formed the STOP at 4” campaign to raise awareness about window safety. The campaign’s slogan means that when you open windows, you should stop and lock the window at 4 inches to prevent children from falling from open windows. According to that campaign’s website, the campaign was launched by injury prevention specialists who were concerned by the large number of children in Oregon who fell from second-story windows in warm weather.
Window fall safety is a topic we’ve written about before. We have a fantastic video and a safety alert that you can post on your website and in your community or share in your social media channels to spread the message: Five minutes is all it takes to prevent your child from falling out of a window. We encourage you to follow these simple steps:
We applaud local safety campaigns such as those in Portland, New York City and other cities and towns. Our Neighborhood Safety Network sends free safety materials including posters, videos, pamphlets and alerts to subscribers around the country to help spread safety in local communities.
Do you want to help address a consumer product-related safety need in your community? Let our Neighborhood Safety Network team know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Six retailers are voluntarily recalling all Buckyballs and Buckycubes high-powered magnet sets that they sold. CPSC staff alleges that the magnets pose a substantial risk of injury and death to children and teenagers.
The retailers involved with today’s recall are:
These retailers have agreed to participate in the recall because Maxfield & Oberton, the importer of the magnets has refused to participate in the recall of all Buckyballs and Buckycubes.
CPSC began rulemaking in late August to address the serious risks posed by hazardous high-powered magnet sets.
In July 2012 CPSC staff filed an administrative complaint against Maxfield & Oberton after discussions with the company and its representatives failed to result in a voluntary recall plan that CPSC staff considered to be adequate to address the very serious hazard posed by these products. This type of legal action against a company is rare, as this is only the fourth administrative complaint filed by CPSC in the past 11 years.
If you bought these magnet sets from any of the retailers listed above, please contact the retailer for a remedy. All of the retailer contact information is included in this news release.]]>
While kids getting into bottles of pain medicine remains a leading cause of poisonings, new and different serious risks have emerged.
New single-load liquid laundry packets look like candy, toys or teethers, but they are dangerous for children. This isn’t the liquid laundry detergent from your childhood. These packets are filled with highly concentrated, toxic chemicals. Wet hands, water and saliva can quickly dissolve these packets, releasing the chemicals.
In 2012, CPSC staff learned of more than 500 incidents involving children and adults who were injured by these packets. If you use these packets in your home, always handle them with dry hands and keep them out of sight and reach of children. CPSC is encouraged that the manufacturers of laundry packets are developing improved warning labels, making their product packaging less attractive to children, and have committed to implement a comprehensive consumer awareness campaign. However, CPSC seeks additional design changes to all types of packages containing laundry packets that will make individual packets less accessible to children. You should start seeing safety alerts in stores soon that alert you to important laundry packet safety concerns.
If you have any type of electronics in your home, you likely have coin- or button-sized batteries. They are in remote controls, electronic games, toys, musical cards, hearing aids and other common electronic products. These small batteries pack a powerful —and deadly—punch. These batteries can cause life-threatening chemical burns inside the body in as little as two hours. Incidents often involve children younger than 4 and senior adults. Even completely dead batteries have enough residual power left in them to cause serious injuries.
While improvements are in the works to prevent people from suffering burn injuries if they ingest a battery, please take immediate steps to safeguard your children right now do the following:
CPSC is encouraged that the coin and button cell industry is developing more secure packaging and taking additional steps to try to keep the products away from young children. However, CPSC is looking to see design changes that eliminate the serious chemical burn injuries that often occur upon ingestion.
Here are other poison prevention tips, which can help you provide a safe environment for your children to explore.
If you have a poison emergency, call the national Poison Help Line at (800) 222-1222.]]>
Make today your SaferProducts Day. Explore the reports and recalls that have been posted, be informed, and be empowered.
Share this free poster. We have posted it on Flickr for easy sharing. We also have a print-friendly version for you to post in your community.
Did you know that CPSC has three YouTube channels? We launched with our main channel in 2009.
At the time, we posted Spanish videos on our single channel along with English. But as the channel grew, we wanted to make it easier for you to find our Spanish videos. USCPSC Español launched in May 2011. In addition, all of our Pool Safely campaign videos are on a dedicated Pool Safely YouTube channel.
Beginning Feb. 28, 2013, manufacturers and importers of infant and toddler play yards are required to test their play yards to ensure that they meet new federal safety standards.
Play yards are framed enclosures with a floor and mesh or fabric side panels. Most can be folded for storage or travel.
Play yards that meet the new safety standard must have:
The new play yard standard is one of many safety standards that CPSC has passed as part of the Danny Keysar Child Product Safety Notification Act, or what we call “Danny’s Law.” Danny Keysar was killed in Chicago in 1998 when a previously recalled play yard in which he was napping collapsed, suffocating him. This new play yard standard was completed in honor of Danny and his family.
In addition to the play yard safety standard, CPSC has issued mandatory safety standards for cribs, children’s bed rails, baby bath seats, baby walkers, infant swings and toddler beds.
CPSC staff is currently working on safety standards for bedside sleepers, hand-held infant carriers, bassinets, and bassinet attachments to play yards and will propose rules this year for strollers, soft infant carriers and infant slings.
If you use a play yard, keep it bare when you put your baby in it. Each year, CPSC receives reports of infant suffocation deaths. Some key causes of these deaths are the placement of pillows and thick quilts in a baby’s sleeping space and/or overcrowding in the space. Here’s more information on how to put your baby to sleep safely.]]>
Two women are reported to have died from carbon monoxide poisoning recently in Chicago, according to the Chicago Tribune. The newspaper reports that a faulty boiler is suspected. Elsewhere, in Oxford, Conn., a man reportedly died due to high levels of carbon monoxide (CO) found in a home where he was housesitting. The dogs in the house died, too. (Connecticut Post, 1/30/13).
These reported deaths are just two of the regular, tragic reminders we see that carbon monoxide is a killer. In fact, CO is called the “invisible killer,” because you can’t see, smell or taste it. Don’t let this happen to you.
The best way to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning in your home is to:
Carbon-monoxide deaths are more common than you might think. According to a new CPSC report:
In addition to carbon monoxide risks, space heaters also need to be handled with extra care to prevent unintentional fires. Space heaters are associated with an average of 100 deaths each year between 2008 and 2010.
Just last week, local fire officials reportedly blamed space heaters for fires at homes in Portsmouth, Va. (via Fox 43-TV) and Bristol Township, Pa. (via PhillyBurbs.com).
Have working smoke alarms on every level of your home, outside bedroom areas and inside each bedroom.
Look for additional life-saving information in CPSC’s Carbon Monoxide Information Center.
As a refresher: Beginning June 28, 2011, there are new new federal safety standards for cribs. All cribs made and sold after that date must meet these new standards, which prohibit traditional drop-side cribs, strengthen crib slats and mattress supports, improve the quality of hardware, and require more rigorous testing from entering the marketplace.
Cribs provided by child care facilities, family child care homes, hotels, motels and other places of public accommodation have until Dec. 28, 2012, to meet the requirements of the new standards.
Here are some materials that we have created to help you understand the new standards and what you need to do:
In addition, we continue to receive questions about the new standard. Many of your questions revolve around evacuation cribs and play yards.
Cribs in child care facilities, family child care homes and places of public accommodation must meet the requirements of the new federal safety standards for full-size or non-full-size cribs. The regulations do not offer any exemptions or exceptions for evacuation cribs, regardless of how they are used.
The new crib standards do not apply to play yards. CPSC recently strengthened the safety standards for play yards. This new standard will take effect in February 2013. From CPSC’s regulatory perspective, a play yard can be used in lieu of a crib. HOWEVER, some state regulations prohibit the use of play yards in lieu of cribs in a child care setting. If you choose to replace the cribs in your child care with play yards, please familiarize yourself with your state regulations.]]>
A new CPSC data report shows that 349 people (84 percent of them children under 9) were killed between 2000 and 2011 when TVs, furniture, or appliances toppled over onto them. The 41 reported deaths in 2011 were the highest number reported in one year. That’s an increase from 31 in 2010 and 27 in 2009.
Here are excerpts from our Twitter chat in February with more information and safety tips from CPSC, Kids in Danger and Dr. Gary A. Smith of Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Help teach all parents to prevent these tragedies. Share the poster above on Facebook. Pin it on Pinterest. Post it on Twitter. Print and post it for parents in your communities.]]>
In 2012, CPSC staff has learned of about 500 incidents involving children and adults who were injured by single-load laundry packets like those shown above. Children have required hospitalization from ingesting the product due to loss of consciousness, excessive vomiting, drowsiness, throat swelling, and difficulty breathing (requiring intubation).
Do NOT let children handle laundry packets. Keep them locked up and out of a child’s sight and reach.
Read and Share this CPSC Safety Alert.]]>
Infants and young children can roll off the edge of the inflatable air mattress, get trapped between the mattress and the fabric sides of the tent and suffocate. CPSC is aware of a death of a 5-month-old boy who was found with his face pressed against the side wall of the tent. The cause of his death was not determined. CPSC and Health Canada are jointly aware of nine reports of children who became trapped in the product or experienced physical distress inside of it. Two of those babies were found crying underneath the mattress, which had not been inserted into the zippered pocket on the bottom of the tent.
KidCo will start shipping repair kits to consumers in December 2012, but you can contact the company today. Here’s specific information about which models are included in the recall and KidCo’s contact information.]]>
The aftermath of a storm can sometimes be a time when people take risks. Do not make your generator placement one of those risks. It can have deadly consequences for you and your family. Since Hurricane Sandy hit, more than a dozen people in the Northeast have died from carbon monoxide, or CO, poisonings from generators, according to news accounts.
Generators need to be placed outside, away from windows and doors. They do not belong in garages or basements. Opening the garage or basement door does NOT provide enough ventilation to save you from the deadly gas.
Share this information with anyone you know in the affected areas. If you are in a storm-affected area and hear a generator running in your neighborhood, share this information with its owner.
If you’re running a generator, make sure you have a working CO alarm in your home. Even if you aren’t running a generator, install a CO alarm. This alarm can save your life. The initial symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea and dizziness.
Here’s more information on carbon monoxide.]]>
CPSC and U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s recent seizure at a U.S. port of two shipments of children’s Halloween costumes with safety issues has resulted in many questions to us about what parents should look for when buying a Halloween costume.
Here are some things for you to consider:
Q: Are costumes required to be flame resistant?
A: Yes. Costumes can’t have fabrics that burn rapidly and intensely. This applies to all clothing, including costumes.
Q: Are accessories such as wigs, beards and wings also required to be flame resistant?
A: Yes. Both Halloween accessories and toys must meet flammability requirements.
Q: Different Halloween costumes have different warnings. Some say “flame resistant.” Some say “keep away from flames.” Some say nothing. Does this mean that some items are flame resistant and others are not?
A: No. All costumes must meet the flammability requirements. This doesn’t mean that textiles won’t burn. All textiles can burn and should be kept away from flames. Parents should look for costumes made from synthetic fibers like nylon and polyester because these materials are less likely to ignite, will resist burning and will extinguish more quickly if they do ignite. Manufacturers sometimes promote this by putting a “flame resistant” label on the package. The warning label to keep a costume away from flames is important advice that is provided by the manufacturer.
Q: How can a parent tell if a costume is safe?
A: You should have two concerns. First, check for any labels on the costume about its flammability and the materials that the costume is made from. Second, choose well-fitting costumes that are not too big and billowy.
Q: The costumes mentioned above contained lead. How can parents know whether a product meets the lead requirement?
A: All children’s costumes sold in the U.S. must meet federal lead safety standards. Manufacturers must test costumes if they contain certain items that could have lead, like buttons, snaps and appliques, as well as other Halloween-themed accessories.
Q: How else can parents keep their children safe on Halloween?
You can find more Halloween safety tips in our Halloween Safety Alert.]]>