Posted by Marianne Frederick
People will read about this kind of recall and say, “It should not happen!” We think, we hope, by now, that most people have heard repeated warnings about the dangers of window blind cords and strangulation. Parents, especially, have been warned by the news media, as well as by organizations focused on child safety, about placing a child’s crib near a window. So, why do accidents of this type keep happening and the statistics continue to increase?
We believe that it is not for lack of education or for the love of our children. The products are on the market, and people purchase them assuming that simply because they are being sold by reputable stores that they are safe! Parents and caregivers are busy, often caring for more than one child at home. There’s so much for parents to accomplish in the non-working hours. There’s a never-ending list of to-do’s with which most parents are all too familiar. It’s hard to stay focused. There are many distractions from meetings, to visitors, phone calls and text messages that demand a parent’s attention.
We’ve all heard of distracted driving… and even distracted walking… Perhaps what we’re doing is sometimes distracted living. Technology, as engaging as can be, often steals our focus from daily duties and priorities–and makes us forget what we need to be doing right now. I am as guilty as the next person–while working on my desktop PC, I forget to turn off eggs boiling on the stove–even though I’m in the same room. Exploding eggs and the smell of burned sulfur jar me back to the reality of the mess to clean up–and I think about what could have happened, even fire!
As parents, we are reminded continually to be focused, but beyond being and staying focused, we need to pay attention to recalls and warnings. Ignoring them won’t make them disappear. Not only are there many unsafe and untested children’s products on the market, but the normal things one finds in our homes on a daily basis can be deadly… like button batteries, medications, matches, space heaters, baby bathers and, certainly, window blinds. A woman at a class reunion recently announced, “We didn’t have all these cautions and we grew up!” Yes, many of us grew up, but some of us didn’t, like our classmate whose parents had a faulty swing set from which their daughter fell.
There are a number of websites listing recalls of unsafe products on the Internet. If parents don’t have a computer at home (or have access to a smart phone or iPad), they can check the http://www.cpsc.gov website for recalls from a computer at their local library. Check our website, http://www.childsafetyblog.org for recalls too! ChildSafetyBlog.org is devoted to keeping children safer and to helping parents and caregivers accomplish this most important goal. So, parents, stay focused, stay informed of recalls and keep children safe!