Tuesday, December 10th, 2013
More than 9,400 children are treated each year in U.S. emergency rooms after suffering injuries in their highchairs, most often from falling out of poorly secured chairs, according to a new study published by the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The numbers represent a significant rise in the number of highchair-related injuries–a 22 percent jump between the years 2003 and 2010. More from US News:
Despite the fact that millions of defective highchairs have been recalled in recent years, researchers at the hospital’s Center for Injury Research and Policy found that the number of children under the age of 3 who were treated in emergency departments between 2003 and 2010 increased by 22 percent. On average, one child each hour was treated for such an injury, according to the study, published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics.
“Families may not think about the dangers associated with the use of high chairs,” said Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research, in a statement. “High chairs are typically used in kitchens and dining areas, so when a child falls from the elevated height of the high chair, he is often falling head first onto a hard surface such as tile or wood flooring with considerable force.
Most often, the children seen were treated for closed head injuries, which include concussions and internal head injuries. More than one-third of the children injured (37 percent) were treated for closed head injuries.
Not only were closed head injuries the most common injury associated with highchairs, but they were also the type that saw the greatest increase between 2003 and 2010 – up nearly 90 percent, from 2,558 in 2003 to 4,789 in 2010.
Additionally, 33 percent were treated for bumps and bruises, and 19 percent were treated for cuts associated with falls from highchairs. Overall, 93 percent of the injuries involved a fall from a highchair or booster seat.
When information was available for what children were doing just before a fall from a highchair or booster seat, two-thirds of them were climbing or standing in the chair, which suggests that the chair’s safety restraints were either not being used or were ineffective.
Parents are urged to make sure their children are properly strapped into their high chairs and booster seats. If you are concerned about the safety of your highchairs, check the Parents.com Recall Finder, sign up for our Recall Alerts email, or check the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website to see whether your model has been recalled.
Watch this video for more tips on keeping your baby safe in his high chair:
Plus: Find a broad selection of high chairs at Shop Parents.
Image: Baby in highchair, via Shutterstock
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child safety, concussions, CPSC, head injuries, high chairs, highchairs, recalls, Safety | Categories:
Child Health, Must Read, Product Recalls, Safety
Friday, October 4th, 2013
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has approved new safety standards for cradles and bassinets, designed to prevent deaths and injuries that can happen in poorly constructed versions. More than 130 children died between 2007 and 2013 because of faulty bassinets and cradles, and the CPSC is aware of 426 incidents involving them. The new guidelines include:
- a clarification of the scope of the bassinet/cradle standard;
- a change to the pass/fail criterion for the mattress flatness test;
- an exemption from the mattress flatness requirement for bassinets that are less than 15 inches across;
- the addition of a removable bassinet bed stability requirement; and
- a change to the stability test procedure, requiring the use of a newborn CAMI dummy rather than an infant CAMI dummy.
The new standards, which define “bassinet or cradle” as a small bed designed primarily to provide sleeping accommodations for infants, supported by free standing legs, a stationary frame or stand, a wheeled base, a rocking base, or swing relative to a stationary base. In a stationary (non-rocking or swinging) position, a bassinet/cradle is intended to have a sleep surface less than or equal to 10 degrees from horizontal. Bassinets and cradles are not meant to be used past the age of 5 months.
A major impetus behind the new guidelines is the prevention of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Check your own sleep safety habits by reading this article by Parents.com’s health director: The Safe-Sleep Rules Parents Break
Image: Bassinet, via Shutterstock
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Monday, May 13th, 2013
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has, for the first time, voted to set federal safety standards for strollers. The commission’s vote, which was unanimous at 3-0, includes a series of previously voluntary regulations, and it adds specific provisions to prevent strollers from having a risk of injuries including scissoring, shearing, and pinching, most of which are associated with folding or foldable strollers. Last summer, Peg Perego recalled 223,000 strollers because of entrapment and strangulation hazards, and thousands of Kolcraft strollers were also recalled because of a finger amputation hazard.
For the new federal standards, CPSC staff reviewed more than 1,200 stroller-related incidents, including four fatalities and nearly 360 injuries that occurred from 2008 through 2012. The agency believes that the new standard will help to reduce the risks associated with the majority of the hazard patterns identified in reviewing the stroller incidents. Hazards include wheel breakage or detachment, hinge issues, car seat attachment, handlebar failures, and structural integrity issues. The injuries that have resulted from these problems include finger amputation, falls, and head entrapment.
The proposed standard has a 75-day “comment period” before it is added to the Federal Register, during which time the public can post comments at www.Regulations.gov. The CPSC recommends that the standard become effective 18 months after publication of the final rule in the Federal Register.
Image: Mother and baby with stroller, via Shutterstock
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Tuesday, February 26th, 2013
New federal standards will begin to govern play yards, sometimes called play pens, starting February 28, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced. The new standards are part of the Danny Keysar Child Product Safety Notification Act, or “Danny’s Law,” named for a Chicago child who was killed in 1998 when a previously recalled play yard in which he was napping collapsed, suffocating him.
According to the CPSC, play yards that meet the new safety standard must have:
- Side rails that do not form a sharp V when the product is folded. This prevents a child from strangling in the side rail.
- Stronger corner brackets to prevent sharp-edged cracks and to prevent a side-rail collapse.
- Sturdier mattress attachments to the play yard floor to prevent children from getting trapped or hurt.
See below for a CPSC poster detailing the new regulations.
Image via CPSC
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Thursday, January 31st, 2013
Three toddlers have reportedly died in accidents associated with their bedroom dressers tipping over, prompting the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to announce recalls of the two furniture brands responsible. Natart Chelsea Dressers, made by the Canadian company Gemme Juvenile Inc., and the popular California brand Million Dollar Baby Dressers are the two companies issuing recalls and offering parents retrofits for drawers and tip-over restraints to attach the dressers to a wall.
Here’s more information on each recall, and what to do if you have either dresser:
Natart Chelsea Dressers from Gemme Juvenile, Inc.:
When the dresser drawers are pulled all the way out and then the additional weight of a young child is applied, the dresser’s center of gravity can be altered and result in instability of the product and consequently tip over. A child can become injured in the fall or suffocate under the weight of the fallen dresser.
This recall involves the Chelsea three-drawer windowed dresser bearing model number 3033. The dressers were sold in five finishes Cappuccino, Cappuccino with a brown top, Ebony, Ebony with a brown top, and Antique or French White. A sticker with the word “Natart” and the firm’s logo is affixed to the inside of the top drawer. In addition, most dressers will have the model number, “Natart Juvenile,” “Made in Canada” and “Chelsea 3 Drawer Dresser” printed on another label located on the back of the dresser. The recalled dresser measures 35-inches high by 21- inches deep by 39- inches wide and is part of the Chelsea children’s bedroom furniture collection. The dresser is composed of engineered wood, solid wood and wood veneers. The top drawer has two clear plastic windows in front.
The dressers were sold at Furniture Kidz and other independent juvenile specialty stores and at Baby.com from January 2005 to December 2010 for between $600 and $900.
Consumers should immediately stop using and place the dresser out of a child’s reach. Free retrofit kits that contain wall anchor straps are being offered to consumers to help prevent the dresser from tipping. The kits can be ordered by visiting www.chelseawallanchors.com, www.NatartJuvenile.com, emailing the firm at email@example.com or calling toll-free at (855) 364-2619 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.
Million Dollar Baby Dressers by Bexco Enterprises, Inc.:
When a young child climbs up on open dresser drawers, the dresser becomes unstable and poses the risk of tip over and entrapment. CPSC and Million Dollar Baby have received two reports of deaths associated with these dressers. An 11-month-old boy from Tulsa, Okla. and a 20-month-old girl from Camarillo, Calif. were reported to have suffocated when their dressers tipped over, entrapping them between the dresser and the floor. The cause of the deaths has not been determined.
This voluntary recall involves “Emily” style four-drawer dressers with model numbers M4712, M4722, M4732 and M4742 and similar “Ryan” dressers with the model M4733. The dressers were sold in five finishes: Cherry, Ebony, Espresso, Honey Oak and White. The model number, “Million Dollar Baby” and “MADE IN TAIWAN” are printed on a label located on the back of the dresser. The recalled dresser measures 33-inches high by 20-inches deep by 40-inches wide and is a part of the DaVinci children’s bedroom furniture collection. The dressers are made from pine and wood composite.
The recalled dressers were sold at JCPenney and independent juvenile specialty stores nationwide and online at Amazon.com, BabiesRUs.com, BabyUniverse.com and other online retailers from January 2006 through June 2010 for between $230 and $300.
The Million Dollar Baby dressers met applicable voluntary standards when first produced, but a May 2009 voluntary industry standard, and subsequent revisions published in October 2009 and November 2009, requires that tip-over restraints be sold with the dressers. The restraints attach to a wall, framing or other support to help prevent dresser tip-over entrapment hazards to young children. Million Dollar Baby is offering free retrofit kits with tip-over restraints to consumers who have older dressers. Included in the kit is an adhesive warning label that consumers are to attach to the dresser, which describes how to prevent tip-over injuries.
Consumers should immediately stop using and keep the dresser out of a child’s reach. Consumers can contact Million Dollar Baby to receive a free retrofit kit that contains a wall anchor strap, which attaches to the dresser and wall to help prevent the dresser from tipping. The kits can be ordered by visiting the firm’s website at www.themdbfamily.com/safety2 and click on Safety HQ or call toll-free at (888) 673-6652 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday.
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