Thursday, August 9th, 2012
It’s 6:00 p.m., and your daughter has soccer practice on the other side of town. As you gather her gear and frantically load the car, take a few extra minutes to be sure she is safely secured.
While it might seem obvious, a new study released in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine earlier this week found that only 3 percent of 1- to 3-year-olds and 10 percent of 8- to 10-year-olds were properly restrained in a car. Although car crashes are the leading cause of death for children over age 3, researchers say parents just aren’t used to adhering to the new regulations set in recent years.
So what’s the best way to keep your child safe in a vehicle?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children should sit in rear-facing seats until age 2, while toddlers should sit in front-facing seats with harnesses until they exceed the seat’s weight and height. And as your child continues to grow, the APA recommends using a booster seat until your bid kid is at least 57 inches tall.
Think you’ve got it figured out? Try taking our latest quiz on child car seat regulations here so you can make sure you’re ready for the road ahead.
Image: Woman helping a girl to fasten her seat belt in a car via Shuttershock
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Monday, July 9th, 2012
Drawstring Deaths in Kids Down After Regulations
The number of child deaths caused by clothing getting caught on vehicles or playground equipment has dropped dramatically thanks to voluntary measures adopted by manufacturers, according to U.S. researchers. (via Reuters)
Cambodian Children’s Deaths Linked to Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease
The mysterious illness that has killed dozens of Cambodian children may be a deadly strain of hand, foot and mouth disease, a common childhood illness, according to health officials. (via TIME)
For Healthier Kids, Get a Cat or Dog, Study Suggests
Kids who grow up with cats or dogs tend to get fewer respiratory infections during their first year of life, according to a new study from Finland. (via msnbc.com)
Should Movies with Smoking Be Rated R?
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If cigarette smoking were banned from teen-friendly movies, would kids be less likely to pick up the habit? Researchers at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College think so. (via TIME)
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Tuesday, April 26th, 2011
Could the window blinds in your home be posing a serious threat to your child’s safety? Unless they are cordless blinds, the answer is frighteningly, yes, according to a new article from the New York Times.
While in the past several years manufacturers have added safety features and provided parents with cautionary tips on their products, current statistics show that window blinds are still to blame for an average of one death per month due to strangulation by cords.
These grim statistics have motivated the Consumer Product Safety Commission to take action. The CPSC has stepped in and challenged the industry ”to devise a way to eliminate the risks from window cords or perhaps face mandatory regulations.” The Times reports that manufacturers have stepped up in reponse and are now working with a task force of regulators and consumer advocates, promising a fix by the fall.
While there is hope in this new convergence, unfortunately the manufacturers and consumer advocates have failed, thus far, to agree of what ‘safe’ really means. While blind manufacturers have offered several fixes to reduce risk, the task force stands firm that these efforts are not enough and the goal should not be to decrease risk but to eliminate it all together.
“It was my understanding that we were eliminating the hazard,” said Carol Pollack-Nelson, a safety consultant and member of the task force. “Now they are talking about reducing the hazard. We don’t want reduced strangulation. We want no chance of it.”
According to the Times, Ralph J. Vasami, executive director of the Window Covering Manufacturers Association, said it was unrealistic to expect the industry to eliminate every possible hazard. “Window blinds are not children’s products, he said, nor are they defective.” He goes on to imply that it’s a parent’s responsibility to take precaution around such products in order to keep their children safe and urges parents of young children to install cordless shades if they have concerns.
While the task force suggests ceasing the production of any blinds except cordless is an obvious solution to solving the problem entirely, manufacturers point out that cordless styles are more difficult to produce than corded blinds and can cost twice as much to make.
While Vasami predicts the number of deaths “will inevitably decline as older products are replaced by those with more safety features,” parents who have tragically lost a child to cord strangulation are taking a more assertive approach. One couple recently founded the Parents for Window Blind Safety, while all agree that anything that can be done to prevent another family from enduring the pain they have gone through is worth whatever it takes.
Share your thoughts on this issue. Do you think manufacturers are correct in their assertion that parents are ultimately responsible for keeping their children safe, regardless of the overall safety of a product— or do you side with the task force and believe it’s a manufacturer’s job to provide completely hazard-free products, no matter the cost?
Be sure to keep your family safe and find information on the very latest product recalls with our Recall Finder on Parents.com.
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