Release date: October 24, 1974
Release number: 74-072

Release Details

Bicycles rank number one for children under 16 while children under 5 are most often and most severely hurt in accidents involving non-glass tables, according to the reports. Women are injured most often and seriously in accidents involving stairs, ramps and landings.

The Consumer Product Hazard Indexes each rank 25 products considered most dangerous to women and children. The information is based on data collected by the Commission's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) between June 30, 1973 and July 1, 1974. NEISS monitors 119 hospital emergency rooms nationwide.

Commissioner Franklin, who initiated the studies, said the indexes "underscore the fact that children and women are extremely vulnerable consumers."

"Ordinary household products," Franklin said, "can be especially hazardous to young children, who can't read the labels, don't perceive possible dangers, and don't have full physical coordination and control."

"Women," she added, "are the primary purchasers and users of many products found in and around the home and too often become chief targets for injuries and deaths related to those products."

The indexes present a "special challenge" to industry, consumers and the Commission, according to Franklin. "There is a serious product safety problem in U.S.," she said. "An estimated 20 million men, women and children are hurt each year. The cost to the American public is about $5.5 billion annually: the cost in human anguish and suffering is staggering."

"We need action on many fronts and by many persons," she said. "We need safety at a reasonable price built into every product from the earliest design stages. We need increased consumer understanding about proper selection, use, maintenance, storage, and disposal of items."

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