Small Hands-Big Dangers: Unsafe children’s products threaten the safety of the youngest consumers
Parents are devoted to keeping their children safe, but the same is not always true for product manufacturers. Too often, toys, cribs, car seats and many other products made specifically for children cause serious injuries and even death. The Consumer Product Safety Commission ("CPSC") often recalls children's products that are found to be unsafe, but many unsafe products slip through the cracks and even products that are recalled are still finding there way into children's hands. The CPSC maintains an updated list of recalled children's products on its website at http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prerel.html
One product that has a very dangerous history of causing injury and death are baby cribs. An average of 10,000 children are treated at emergency rooms annually because of crib related injuries and 22 children die every year because of unsafe cribs. The tragic death of a 6-month old boy from Cedar Rapids, Iowa caused by a defective drop side crib prompted a nationwide crib recall of the 20 models of Dorel Asia cribs. Because of increasing number of crib recalls, in 2010, Congress has been investigating revising voluntary crib safety standards and making them mandatory. These new regulations could require that cribs be tested for safety before being sold.
Another children's product that has been found too often to be unsafe are car and booster seats. In 2008, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that 13 of the 41 booster seats tested booster seats, were unsafe for children. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides helpful information regarding child safety seats on its website at www.nhtsa.dot.gov . Parents should make sure that they choose a car seat that is appropriate for the age, height and weight of their child. It is also important to make sure that your car sear is installed property. Parents can have their child's car seats inspected to determine if they are safe and correctly installed. To find an inspection location near you, call 1-866-Seat-Check or visit www.seatcheck.org.