As soccer season approaches, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is urging parents, coaches, school administrators, park officials, and players to anchor movable soccer goals to prevent them from tipping over and crushing children who climb or hang on them.
In 1995, CPSC issued voluntary safety guidelines addressing the design, use, storage, and set-up of movable soccer goals, which have been responsible for at least 21 deaths and hundreds of serious injuries since 1979. Most of these deaths and injuries occurred with unanchored homemade goals including those assembled by high school shop classes and local businesses.
In addition to fatal accidents, hospital emergency rooms treat about 120 soccer goal-related injuries each year.
"Parents would never think that something that looks so stable could tip over," said CPSC Chairman Ann Brown. "Movable soccer goals are a hidden hazard to kids, who can be hurt or killed even if they're not playing soccer."
In 1995, the National Federation of State High School Associations Soccer Rules Committee changed high school soccer rules to require that soccer goals be anchored at all times before, during, and after play. In February 1996, the Canadian Product Safety Bureau adopted CPSC's "Guidelines for Movable Soccer Goal Safety." CPSC had requested the Federated Internationale Football Association (FIFA) to consider similar changes at the international level.
"Coaches, parents and CPSC all want the same thing for kids: we want them to have fun and play soccer safely," Brown said. "Parents should check their children's soccer goals. If the goals aren't anchored, kids shouldn't play."
CPSC is working with manufacturers, soccer coaches, school and park officials, and others to distribute "Guidelines for Movable Soccer Goal Safety." For a copy of the guidelines, consumers should send a postcard with their name and address to Soccer Goal Guidelines, CPSC, Washington, D.C. 20207.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
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