More Halloween Child Safety Tips

Apparently the CPSC has copied my Halloween tips idea.  Seriously though, they did issue a press release yesterday – much of it is similar to my tips below, but they offer some additional suggestions that are worth checking out.

Also, my 7 year old daughter, Jane, wanted me to say that in addition to the flashlights, they will be wearing blinking necklaces for visibility.  I’ll let you know what luck I have getting her and her sister to wear a coat over their costumes if it’s cold.

Halloween Child Safety Tips

My seven year old is going as Gabriella from High School Musical, my five year old as a witch, my 17 month old as a fireman, and my 7 month old as a firehouse dog.  Here’s what we’re doing and telling them so that they’ll be as safe as possible.  If any one else has any good tips, let me know and I’ll include them next year.  By the way, Jane, Libby and I saw HSM3 over the weekend — all in all not bad.

Halloween Safety Tips –

  • Wear light colored or reflective clothing/costumes OR buy reflective tape (sold at any hardware or big box store) and place on costume.  3M makes good reflective tape.
  • Make sure your kids have flashlights.
  • Make sure costumes don’t drag on the ground – long costumes present an increased fire hazard.
  • Talk with your children about not getting too close to jack-o-lanterns with candles, or any other open flames.
  • Young children should have a parent with them when trick-or-treating.
  • It’s much more safe for children to travel in groups then by themselves or in pairs.
  • Take masks off between houses (better yet, don’t get a costume with a mask).
  • Don’t cut through yards — use driveways and walks.
  • The best neighborhoods for trick-or-treating are the ones with the fewest cars.  Take extra time to impress on your children the need to be on the lookout for cars – they will be excited and crossing the street often.  They absolutely need to stop and look before crossing, and young children need to wait for a parent before crossing.
  • Feed your kids dinner beforehand — lessens the candy intake (at least a little bit).
  • If your older kids are going out alone, it’s best for them to have a cellphone or some means of communicating with you.
  • Inspect your children’s candy for open packaging or anything else that might be suspicious.
  • AND, although not safety related, talk to your kids about being polite, saying thank you, and not grabbing handfuls of candy when offered.

BE SAFE AND HAVE FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dangerous Cribs Recalled

Given all that is known about crib safety, and how long the industry has known about potential hazards, it amazes me that we still have a problem with dangerous cribs.  Over the last month, there have been four crib recalls, all for entrapment and suffocation hazards.  As is too often the case, it took the death or serious injury of a child for these recalls to happen.  The recalled cribs are:

The Delta recall involves over 1,500,000 cribs.  The danger involves missing or failing safety pegs for the drop rails.  The CPSC is aware of two deaths and other instances of entrapment involving these cribs.

Whenever parents use previously owned/older cribs, they should make sure that they have all the hardware and that they are putting the crib together correctly.  For instance, for some older cribs, it is possible to switch the mattress platform with the crib rails.  If directions are not with the crib, parents should check the manufacturers website to see if they are posted there.  Most importantly, use common sense.  After the crib has been put together, look for any noticeable gaps.  Also make sure that the drop rail, if there is one, is well attached and slides smoothly.  Finally, make sure that there are no large gaps between the spindles where a baby’s head could become entrapped.  One useful test — if a soda can can fit through the spindles, they are too wide.

Recalls of Childrens’ Products – Child Safety Information

One of the important things I’d like to do with this site is provide a place where parents can get quick, easy access to recall information for children’s products.  Up-to-date recalls will be posted, and eventually we’ll have a sign-up for a monthly or weekly electronic newsletter that will, among other things, contain current recall information.

But what is a recall of a consumer product such as a toy or child safety seat?  A recall is a corrective action by a company with regard to a product that it has discovered may be unreasonably dangerous to users.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has jurisdiction over toys and child safety seats sold in the United States, as well as other consumer products such as household appliances, sporting equipment and furnaces.  It does not have jurisdiction over motor vehicles, drugs, pesticides or medical devices (other government agencies have jurisdiction over those).

The Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) is the umbrella statute for the CPSC.  Section 2064(b) of the Act requires manufacterers, importers, distributors and Retailers to report to CPSC information about products that are potentially hazardous.

A firm or company must notify the CPSC if it discovers information that suggests one of it’s products:

1)     contains a defect that could create a substantial product hazard;
2)     presents an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death;
3)     violates a mandatory CPSC standard.

If you would like to report a toy, car seat or other product that you believe is dangerous, go here.

If you would like more information on what has been recalled, go here or here.

As I stated above, we will soon have a regular email or electronic newsletter going out with current recall information.  If you would like to receive this information, please email me, Bryan Slaughter.