B-Nimble Strollers Recalled by CPSC and Britax Child Safety Inc.

A recall notice was issued on June 23, 2011, by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Health Canada, and Britax Child Safety Inc. of Charlotte, North Carolina, recalling 20,000 B-Nimble strollers in the United States and approximately 8,000 strollers in Canada, manufactured by Britax Child Safety, Inc. of Charlotte, North Carolina.

The reason for this particular recall is possible brake failure of the stroller, which could endanger a child occupant.  ”An audible click heard when the brake pedal is depressed could give a false impression that the brake is fully engaged, when it is not. When the brake is not engaged, the stroller can move unexpectedly posing the risk of injury to the child occupant.”http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml11/11256.html

The stroller was manufactured in China and imported to the U.S. by Britax Child Safety.  The stroller was sold at retail stores nationwide for approximately $200 from September 2010 to June 2011.  These strollers were manufactured on or after August 1, 2010, and possessed model numbers: U311771, U311773, U311775 and U311780.

Consumers are advised to stop using these strollers immediately. Consumers may contact Britax for more information and to receive an improved replacement stroller by calling Britax toll-free at (888) 427-4829 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday and, or visiting the firm’s website at www.britaxusa.com

To view photos of the B-Nimble stroller, please visit the CPSC website at:

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml11/11256.html   As always, the CPSC wants to remind consumers that it is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Tamper-Resistant Electric Receptacles–Important Safety Feature, Especially for Children, Required in New Homes!

The National Fire Protection Association says, “Each year, approximately 2,400 children suffer severe shock and burns when they stick items into the slots of electrical receptacles. It is estimated that there are 6 to 12 child fatalities a yearrelated to electrical shock due to young children placing items into electrical sockets.  According to one recent Anthony Dawes YouTube video, many of these injuries occur to young children–mostly boys age 3 and under!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxl33R39OV8&annotation_id=annotation_47156&feature=iv

The NFPA also notes that owners of homes and apartments tend to change and no matter whether a family has children or not, new dwellings are required to have the tamper-resistant receptacles in all new dwellings. This change to the National Electrical Code became effective in 2008, and while plastic caps and sliding outlet covers are good, they need to be tamper proof to protect young children especially.

http://www.nfpa.org/itemDetail.asp?categoryID=1508&itemID=36117&URL=Safety%20Information/For%20consumers/Causes/Electrical/Tamper-resistant%20electrical%20receptacles&cookie%5Ftest=1

It should also be noted that exposure to electrical shock and burn accidents are not limited to a child’s own home, as children frequently visit homes of relatives and friends who may or may not have children. The National Electrical Code® Article 406.11 requirement for tamper-proof receptacles ensures all new homes and apartments are safer for children, whether they are in their own home or they are visiting other homes.

So, if you have an older home, at a minimum, to keep young children safe, get the plastic caps or install new sliding outlet covers, but for maximum protection, have your electrician install the tamper-resistant outlets and urge relatives and friends with young children to be aware of this requirement as well.

Recall of 30,000 Metal Futon Bunk Beds by Big Lots

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in conjunction with BigLots of Columbus, Ohio, has announced the recall of approximately 30,000 metal futon bunk beds sold by BigLots due to a child’s entrapment death.

The problem with this bunk bed is that a child (behind the futon or in the ladder area) can and did become entrapped when the futon and its metal frame were lowered from the seated to the flat position. A three-year old Burlington, Iowa, boy died after becoming entrapped at the head and neck in the bunk bed in March of 2010. The weight of the futon’s metal frame prevented the child from breathing and escaping. Another hazard with this particular bunk bed is that the space between the last rung on the bunk bed’s ladder and the futon mattress is too small, creating a space for a child’s head and neck to become entrapped.  So, in a word, these bunk beds are “hazardous” to young children.

The bunk beds hold twin mattresses, and the bottom bunks have a convertible futon bed.  The model number BFB1008 can be located on a label on the bed’s upper bunk support rail. The recalled metal futon bunk beds weremanufactured in China, imported and sold exclusively by Big Lots stores nationwide from January 2009 through April 2010 for approximately $200 unassembled.

As with any recall, consumers are advised to stop using these bunk beds immediately and to contact BigLots for a repair kit which contains new ladders and other parts which can be assembled at home. For additional information on this recall, consumers may

contact Big Lots toll-free at (866) 244-5687 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, e-mail the firm at talk2us@biglots.com or visit the firm’s website www.biglots.com

To view a photo of the particular metal bunk bed, please go to: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml11/11250.html

In Childsafetyblog.org’s opinion if we had purchased such a set of bunk beds, rather than repairing it or using it at all, we would pack it up and send it back to BigLots!  We also think that at some point in time this country is going to have to take a stand vis à vis the safety of Chinese products being imported into the U.S.

We Need To Talk About “Water Safety” – Part 1 of 2

Two weeks ago, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) held a press conference releasing the latest statistics on water-related accidents and children.  Up to Memorial Day weekend, 55 drowning and 63 near-drowning incidents had been reported by the media occurring in 29 states and territories in the first five months of 2011.  Additional stunning statistics published by the CPSC are:

  • An annual average of 383 pool and spa-related drownings had occurred to children younger than 15 from 2006 to 2008; almost 76 percent of the reported fatalities involved children younger than five.
  • An estimated average of 5,100 pool or spa emergency department-treated submersions for children younger than 15 occurred each year from 2008 to 2010; children younger than five represented 79 percent of these-injuries.
  • Children between the ages of one and three (12 to 47 months) represented 66 percent of these fatalities and 64 percent of the injuries.

ChildSafetyBlog.org thinks these statistics are very significant and that safety cautions and water safety recommendations should be reviewed by parents, family members, baby sitters, and caregivers at the beginning of every summer swimming season.  Every year there are new water toys on the market; there are new types of pools and spas; not to mention new kinds of boats and watercraft to which you and your family may be exposed.  So before parents allow children to ride in or on, or use certain water toys, they need to know what they are and which are safest. They also need to know what is available for use in personal flotation devices–how safe they are and where and when to use them.

We recommend to all parents, family members and babysitters–that you not take a child into the water to swim or to ride in or on a watercraft if YOU cannot swim.  Many YMCA/YWCAs, universities, community colleges, community pools and wellness centers offer courses in swimming and life-saving. If you don’t know how to swim, it’s vital to learn if you have children who are going swimming! If you don’t know CPR (Cardio-Pulmonary Recussitation), it’s also good to have this in your personal skill set.  There is no more frustrating experience, than to watch a person who cannot swim get in trouble and not be able to help them–whether it is your child or someone else’s.

Childsafetyblog.org also recommends staying close to kids–simply watching your kids when they are in the water, at the beach, in the pool or in the spa is fundamental to their safety and your peace of mind. So take a break, get out on the dock or the deck and make sure you know where your children are and who they are with–if not you–when water is involved. Playing in the water is fun and kids can get tired.  Accidents can happen quickly and paying attention to your children and their swimming capabilities can prevent heartache.

Childsafetyblog.org wishes you a happy, healthy, and safe summer!

End of the School Year: What to do to keep kids safe over the summer!

Teaching your kids about safety is one summer pastime that we encourage parents to do.  Summer means children may be out of daycare and out of school, at home spending more of their time with family, caregivers and babysitters, especially if parents are working.  And parents want to make certain their kids are happily busy doing something healthy and safe, and participating in a pastime that they and you appreciate–whether it’s playing with friends, building a sandcastle, hunting for fireflies, or enjoying family outings.

President and CEO of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Ernie Allen says, “Child safety is important all year, but summer is an especially important time for parents and children to include safety in their activities.” “Always listen to your children and keep the lines of communication open. Your children are your best source for determining if everything is okay. Teach your children to get out of dangerous or uncomfortable situations right away and practice basic safety skills with them. Make sure they know they are able to tell you about anything that makes them feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused.”  NCMEC’s 10-point Child Safety checklist below is great for parents to review and use to keep kids safe this summer[1]:

1.         MAKE SURE children know their full names, address, telephone numbers and how to use the telephone.

2.       BE SURE children know what to do in case of an emergency and how to reach you using cell phone or pager number. Children should have a neighbor or trusted adult  they may call if they’re scared or there’s an emergency.

3.         REVIEW the rules with your children about whose homes they may visit and discuss the boundaries of where they may and may not go in the neighborhood.

4.         MAKE SURE children know to stay away from pools, creeks, or any body of water without adult supervision.

5.         CAUTION children to keep the door locked and not to open the door or talk to anyone who comes to the door when they are home alone.*

6.         DON’T drop your children off at malls, movies, video arcades or parks as these are not safe places for children to be alone. Make sure a responsible adult is supervising younger children any time they are outside or away from home.

7.         TEACH your children in whose vehicle they may ride. Children should be cautioned to never approach any vehicle, occupied or not, unless accompanied by a parent or other trusted adult.

8.         BE SURE your children know their curfew and check in with you if they are going to be late. If children are playing outside after dark, make sure they wear reflective clothing and stay close to home.

9.         CHOOSE babysitters with care. Obtain references from family, friends, and       neighbors. Many states now have registries for public access to check criminal history or sex-offender status. Observe the babysitter’s interaction with your children, and ask your children how they feel about the babysitter.

10.        CHECK out camp and other summer programs before enrolling your children. See if a    background screening check is completed on the individuals working with the children.   Make sure there will be adult supervision of your children at all times, and make sure you are made aware of all activities and field trips offered by the camp or program.

* And if you don’t have to leave your children at home alone, don’t. Always make sure there is someone with them if you can’t be, hopefully, a trusted adult, babysitter, family member, or caregiver.  Thank you and keep safe this summer! With grateful thanks to Ernie Allen and all the wonderful people at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for the work they do!

No Energy Drinks! Nada… None!

–”Kids should not have energy drinks!” http://www.medpagetoday.com/Pediatrics/GeneralPediatrics/26763?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=DailyHeadlines&utm_source=WC&userid=323650

I don’t know about you folks, but I am so relieved. Everyone interested in child safety and health has been awaiting the report by the American Academy of Pediatrics with baited breath!  And the APA says, “Kids shouldn’t have energy drinks at all and only need sports drinks occasionally.” Phew, I was beginning to wonder.

For years, doctors have warned parents and caregivers about giving kids too much sugar in candy, snacks, ice cream, sodas, sweetened juices and other foods; the evils of high fructose corn syrup and caffeine have been preached to us almost incessantly by nutrition activists–and then into the marketplace–as if in defiance of everything we’ve been taught–come energy drinks for kids.  You could have knocked me over with a feather! Caffeine and other stimulants contained in energy drinks “have no place in the diet of children and adolescents,” cautioned Marcie Beth Schneider, MD, of Greenwich Adolescent Medicine in Greenwich, Conn., and colleagues.  (I’m thinking we should recommend Marcie Beth for something in the order of sainthood.)

The APA says, “Frequently downing Gatorade, Powerade and other sports drinks can substantially boost risk of weight problems for the average child.” And here in the U.S. the problems associated with childhood obesity have increased in the past decade in geometric proportions! (APA says the exception to that statement is youth athletes who participate in regular, high-intensity sports and may benefit from electrolyte-replacing drinks following sports activity.)

But what the APA says parents really need to be aware of is that “sports and energy drinks are being marketed to kids for a wide variety of inappropriate uses.” Energy drink advertisements target kids’ desire to excel in sports, suggesting better athletic performance and replacement of fluid and electrolytes lost in sweat, as well as a boosting energy, enhancing concentration and mental alertness.” Nice huh… and meanwhile as sports enthusiasts, parents are concerned about a trend in adult sports figures (who shall remain nameless) consuming performance enhancing drugs in everything from bicycling competitions to baseball… Wouldn’t sanctioning energy drinks be kind of like programming our kids to do the same when they become adult sports enthusiasts or athletes?

One survey cited by the APA report says that “56.4% of U.S. kids drink sports beverages and 42.3% consume energy drinks.”  To me, those are startling figures!  And while sports drinks may contain around 70 calories per serving, energy drinks may contain as much as 270 calories per serving… whoa Nellie!  And the latter may contain–are you ready–stimulants like caffeine, guarana, taurine, ginseng, L-carnitine, and creatine.  This raises a whole host of issues in my book.

So, parents, if you want more information on the APA report, go to: Schneider MB, et al “Clinical report-Sports drinks and energy drinks for children and adolescents: Are they appropriate?” Pediatrics 2011; 127: 1182-1189.   But with this report, we can all breathe a sigh of relief, that water is still the best choice of drink for our kids!