Did you know that November, December, January and February are top months for carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning deaths in the United States?
These are the primary months when consumers crank up their furnaces and portable heaters to stay warm. Nearly two-thirds of non-fire related CO deaths take place in those four cold weather months.
Portable gas generators are also used in the cold months because of power outages, due to snow and ice storms.
CPSC has joined with the National Fire Protection Association this year to warn consumers and firefighters about CO, which kills more than 400 people every year, according to the CDC. CO is called the invisible killer because you cannot see or smell it.
Here is what you can do to prevent CO from hurting your family:
Freezing weather and snow in the winter are a fact of life. Don’t let CO take yours.]]>
Before you carve out the scariest jack-o’-lantern in the neighborhood, read CPSC’s tips to prevent nicks and cuts this Halloween. During October and November 2013, more than half of the estimated 4,400 Halloween-related injuries involved pumpkin carving.
Has your little one requested to be a fairy with a long, flowing dress? Or is the request for a superhero with the best cape ever? Regardless of the type of costume you create this Halloween, CPSC urges you to begin crafting with safety in mind.
Lesson one for a Safe Haunted House is fire prevention. Prevent candle fires by substituting the open flame for battery-operated lights and glow sticks. Last year, CPSC received reports of fires involving Halloween-themed candles and a report of a house deemed a total loss after a decorative pumpkin went up in flames.
Lesson two is careful placement of decorations. To prevent falls, remove obstacles from lawns, steps and porches when expecting trick-or-treaters.
Lesson three, use CPSC’s ladder safety tips to prevent injuries while putting up or taking down decorations.
Now that your costumes and decorations have been created and placed with safety in mind, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) reminds you to take safe steps on Halloween night. Follow NHTSA’s pedestrian safety tips to help prevent injury.]]>
Monday, October 27, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. ET
4330 East West Highway
4th floor Hearing Rm.
Bethesda, Md. 20814
The press event will also be webcast at www.cpsc.gov.]]>
Researchers at CPSC know that carrying a passenger on a one-person ATV creates a hazard. We want to reduce this hazard, but CPSC needs your help. Our researchers want to know more about fatal and non-fatal ATV crashes and the role of passengers.
A recent CPSC study found interesting evidence about age, gender and location of ATV riders involved in reported, fatal ATV accidents. Although the study was not able to identify a significant relationship between the number of ATV passengers and the chances of overturning, the most conclusive finding was that more information is needed.
That is why we seek your input and have issued a request for information (RFI) to expand the data we have about passengers on ATVs. The information you provide can help us as we try to determine how we might reduce ATV hazards.
You can find more details about the RFI and how to submit information at www.federalregister.gov. The comment period closes on November 24, 2014.]]>
The Tragic Truth
In December 2012, we posted an OnSafety blog, warning of furniture, television and appliance-related tip-over incidents. At that time, CPSC reported nearly 350 deaths, most involving young children. Since then, more than 80 people have died when a dresser, TV, bookcase, table, appliance or other large item tipped over and fell on them. A new report from our staff indicates that 430 tragic deaths occurred between 2000 and 2013, and an estimated 38,000 annual injuries, many of which were serious, from 2011 through 2013.
In most of the incidents, a child was crushed by the product or struck on the head by the product. What is remarkable is the number of families who have turned tragedy into advocacy. Jackie Collas, a Philadelphia-area resident, is using social media to honor her son, Curren, and encourage parents to anchor their furniture. Lisa Seifert of Chicago created Shane’s Foundation to honor her precious son and to increase awareness, education and safety [www.shanesfoundation.org/SafetyInYourHome.html].
The Good News
By anchoring large furniture, televisions and appliances, these terrible tragedies can be prevented. As we say at CPSC, “Anchor it and Protect a Child.”
An Internet search of “anti-tip brackets” resulted in dozens of inexpensive options for consumers to anchor furniture, televisions and appliances. Prices for the devices range in price from $5 to $20. These devices are easy to install and unobtrusive. Most anti-tip brackets have some type of quick-release feature that allows homeowners to move furniture temporarily for cleaning or other maintenance.
New furniture, TVs, and appliances often come with an anti-tip device. When making a purchase, ask your salesperson before you leave the store about how to anchor the item.
The Next Step
When you get the new items home, install anchoring devices right away. When installing a new TV, CPSC recommends that you anchor not only the TV, but also the stand, bureau or dresser on which the TV sits. Secure the TV to the base product, and secure the base product to the wall.
Now that your new TV is anchored, where are you going to put the old TV? According to our new study, about 45 percent of tip-over fatalities involving a television occur in bedrooms.
So, if you’re planning to move the old box television into your child’s bedroom or into the family room, consider that statistic—and then think, plan, and decide how to prevent a tip-over incident. Place the television on a base that is appropriate for the size, weight, and width of the television. Anchor the television to the base and anchor both items to the wall to avoid a tip-over incident.
Children like to climb. In fact, about one-third of child fatalities involving a television occur when children climb onto the stand or dresser holding the TV. The children are often trying to reach a remote control, toy, juice box or some other item. Keep items like these, away from where children will try to climb and access them. If you have young children, the best idea may be to leave that old television on the floor.
Do you have a rental agreement or home design that prevents wall anchoring? Anchor the television to a low, sturdy base, as far back on the base as possible.]]>
As parents and caregivers, keeping your baby safe is always your number one priority.
Pediatricians are available for great advice on the health and safety of our babies including fevers, feedings, diaper rash and even car seat safety!
There are also additional sources available when it comes to the safety of our babies that you may not always think of.
There are three federal agencies responsible for keeping the most vulnerable bundles of joy safe along with our health professionals.
Federal partners—the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) – have been working for decades to reduce infant deaths and injuries and keep babies safe.
The Safe to Sleep® campaign, led by NICHD, in collaboration with HRSA and several other organizations and in partnership with CPSC, has a wealth of downloadable resources for creating a safe space for babies and reducing the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death.
Our three agencies all recommend that babies 1) be placed on their back to sleep, 2) the sleep environment be kept free of clutter that can cause suffocation, such as pillows, quilts, comforters, and cushions; and 3) be placed to sleep in a crib, bassinet, or play yard that meet new and stronger safety standards.
These Safe to Sleep® materials can be shared with other parents, caregivers, grandparents, and health and child care providers.
Check out http://safetosleep.nichd.nih.gov for more Safe to Sleep® resources.
Find out more about baby product safety recalls and updates to nursery product standards at www.cpsc.gov/cribs.
Finally, learn more about resources available for your community including health and child care providers at www.hrsa.gov.
Together, we CAN keep baby safe.
This fall, CPSC will honor individuals, businesses and organizations that have made significant contributions to improving consumer product safety.
The deadline to NOMINATE them for a CPSC Chairman’s Circle of Commendation Award has been extended to September 30, 2014.
Nomination forms and details about the award and previous winners are available at www.cpsc.gov/award .
Send your nomination to:
Chairman’s Circle of Commendation Award
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
4330 East West Highway, Suite 725
Bethesda, MD 20814
Nominations can also be submitted by e-mail to email@example.com.]]>
Here at CPSC, we are always looking for new ways to collaborate with our partners and improve the safety of imports that are headed for the stores that you shop in. On Aug. 29, Sept. 1, and Sept. 2, CPSC and the European Commission Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry (DG Enterprise) conducted in China the first-ever training events specifically designed for buyers and sourcing professionals. These training events are for the individuals who make vital decisions on products to be exported to the United States and Europe.
Company representatives who buy consumer products destined for retail sale are the key decision makers at the intersection of the production, supply and retail chains. They have the power to ensure that products purchased for their companies meet all U.S. and European safety requirements. Too often, they may lack the information to fulfill this role and that lack of information could impact the safety of you and your family. CPSC / DG Enterprise product safety buyer training aims to help fill that gap.
In each of three different manufacturing centers in China—Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shunde—product safety staff from the CPSC and DG Enterprise taught a one-day seminar (with simultaneous interpretation) for buyers and sourcing professionals, who procure consumer products for export to China’s two biggest foreign consumer markets. Beginning with a session covering general product safety information from both jurisdictions, attendees moved into more specific training sessions covering safety requirements for toys, apparel, and electrical products. These three categories represent products for the most vulnerable consumers or products that too often present a risk of injury or death.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce in China (AmCham) hosted the training events. More information is available here.
Our goal is for companies to use this training opportunity to empower their buyers to identify and prevent safety problems in the production and supply of products. Failure to take a proactive approach could lead to a product seizure or recall. It is good for business and good for the customer when buyers take safety to the source.]]>
Blog en español
Before you head to school or to work today, make sure you check your HP notebook computer chargers. You may have a faulty power cord that can cause burns or even a fire.
Hewlett-Packard recalled about 5.6 million power cords last week. The recalled power cords can overheat and pose a fire and burn hazard to you, your family and your home.
The power cords were distributed with HP and Compaq notebook and mini notebook computers and with AC adapter-powered accessories, such as docking stations. The power cords are black in color and have “LS-15” molded on the AC adapter end of the power cord.
With 29 reports of power cords overheating and melting and 13 claims of minor property damage, this recall is important, so take a minute and check if your power cord is part of the recall.
We urge consumers to immediately stop using the recalled cords, unplug them, and take action. Contact Hewlett-Packard for a free replacement power cord.
Hewlett-Packard can be reached toll-free at (877) 219-6676 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. MT Monday through Friday or online at www.hp.com/
Click here for more information on this recall.]]>
It’s that time of the year again!
Parents and caregivers have pencils, binders, backpacks and notebooks on their back-to-school shopping list. But, as the countdown begins and students head back to school, what should you have on the back-to-school “safety” list?
Here are a few things you should pencil in:
A. Always wear the right helmet
B. Be safe and have fun
C. Careful with the clothing, Mom and Dad.
At CPSC, we hope all kids have a safe school year and do great in the classroom.]]>
Have you ever heard of carbon monoxide? CO is a poisonous gas. It’s also called the invisible killer, because you can’t see or smell it, and it takes the lives of many people each year.
You can get CO poisoning from:
What can you do to prevent CO poisoning?
You can WIN prize money. CPSC will award $500 to the top 10 finalists (three from each grade and one winner of the public vote) and another $1,000 will go to one lucky grand prize winner. Students in 6th, 7th and 8th grades can enter.
Want to know more? Check out our contest at www.cpsc.gov/CO. Watch our video for more info too. Vote for your favorite poster. Draw a poster, save a life, win a cash prize! The contest runs through February 2015.]]>
Blog en español
Often, when thinking of the Fourth of July, one of the first things that come to mind are big, beautiful fireworks, with vibrant colors that light up a summer night’s sky. In the midst of all this holiday grandeur, it is important to understand fireworks safety and how to prevent tragedy during your July 4 celebration.
In 2013, 65 percent or 7,400, of all firework injuries occurred in the 30 days surrounding July 4th. The majority of these injuries occurred simply because of the malfunction or improper use of legal and illegal fireworks.
Here are some ways fireworks can malfunction:
You, your friends, and family can be put at risk by:
Small fireworks, like bottle rockets, sparklers, and small firecrackers can appear harmless to children, but during the 30 days surrounding July 4, these kinds of fireworks injured an estimated 1,000 children under the age of 5.
Did you know that sparklers can burn so hot they can melt copper? A sparkler can burn at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter! That’s as hot as a blow torch!
Take a look at our “Un Spark-tacular Celebration” video on children with sparklers.
If you do decide to buy legal fireworks, be sure to take the following safety steps:
Celebrate with safety this Fourth of July.
For more information on fireworks safety, visit our Fireworks Safety Information Center.]]>
We have an updated version of our Fireworks Injuries infographic. The risks are the same. The only change is in the numbers. We also post these infographics on Flickr for easy sharing.
The “maker movement” links long-standing American traditions of tinkering, inventing and entrepreneurship with newer technologies, such as desktop laser cutters, new design software and additional desktop machine tools. These new tools are enabling more Americans to design and build almost anything, oftentimes more quickly and without the costly infrastructure previously required.
CPSC has recognized the increasing importance of these small- and micro- businesses—these makers— in creating new, innovative, fun and useful products. CPSC continues its efforts to “take safety to the source” by working with these businesses as they design, develop, and manufacture to make sure their products are safe and compliant with safety requirements.
The new wizard will catalog safety requirements, which can sometimes be hard to find and decipher, and present them in a form that will be accessible to all businesses. This will allow small- and micro- businesses to spend less time trying to find applicable safety regulations and more time trying to make sure their new product meets or exceeds those requirements.
CPSC, through its Small Business Ombudsman, is developing the “regulation wizard” utilizing open-source software tools, developed by the General Service Administration’s (GSA) innovative technology startup 18F. CPSC is populating the “regulation wizard” with data to create an application that will provide an easy-to-understand and cost-effective way for small businesses and makers to cut through red tape. Once built, CPSC will invite users of Etsy.com and other small- and micro- businesses to a collaborative “data jam” session to make sure this publicly available information from CPSC performs as promised and is designed in a way to best help these small businesses find and comply with all applicable safety regulations for their new consumer products.
The White House is using #NationOfMakers on Twitter for the June 18 event. For updates from the CPSC’s Small Business Ombudsman on this “regulation wizard” project and other important regulatory updates, follow him on Twitter @CPSCSmallBiz and sign up for email updates at www.cpsc.gov/email. If you are a maker or a small- or micro- business that is just beginning to learn CPSC requirements, navigate to www.cpsc.gov/BusinessEducation to learn more.]]>
We’ve received a tragic sixth report of a baby dying in a Nap Nanny infant recliner.
Our Safe to Sleep experts urge all parents and caregivers who own a Nap Nanny or Nap Nanny Chill recliner to stop using it immediately. We do not want any other family to suffer the loss of their child or experience serious injury to their child.
Help us save other babies—spread the word.
Since 2010, safety problems with the Nap Nanny have been explained in recalls, a safety blog, and a legal settlement against the now out-of-business firm. CPSC is again warning parents to stop using these infant recliners because deaths occurred in two ways:
The latest death occurred in Hopatcong, N.J. where an 8-month-old girl secured by a belt was found partly hanging over the side of a Nap Nanny recliner, trapped between the product and a crib bumper.
Dispose of these products from your home immediately.
Nap Nanny recliners should no longer be sold in stores, but stay away from them at yard sales, as a hand-me-down gifts or on an online auction site. CPSC is aware of parents posting online about how much they like these products, but the products are hazardous and it is illegal to sell or resell them.
Our concern at CPSC is for the safety of any baby placed inside this product. Deaths have happened in both the Generation 2 (Gen 2) and Chill models of the Nap Nanny.
Five of the six deaths occurred in a Nap Nanny recliner placed in a crib with a crib bumper where the caregiver thought the child would be safe. Remember the safest place for your baby is in a bare crib on his or her back. Never add cushions, pillows, quilts or comforters to your baby’s crib, bassinet or play yard.
CPSC urges consumers to immediately stop using all Nap Nanny and Nap Nanny Chill recliners. The manufacturer, Baby Matters LLC, is no longer in business and is not accepting returns. In December 2012, four major retailers—Amazon.com, Buy Buy Baby, Diapers.com, and Toys R Us/Babies R Us—announced a voluntary recall of Nap Nanny and Chill models sold in their stores. Consumers who purchased a Nap Nanny from one of these retailers should contact the retailer for instructions on how to obtain a refund for the product.]]>