Since the horrific tragedy in Newtown, Ct, there’s been a lot of debate about whether the country needs stricter gun control measures. Many people understandably have strongly held beliefs on this subject, but there’s one aspect to this issue that we should all agree on – unsupervised children cannot be allowed to have access to guns. The statistics regarding kids and firearm deaths are staggering, but I’m not here to take a side in the gun control/gun rights battle – I just want to keep them out of the hands of unsupervised kids.
There is lots of web content on the internet about gun safety when it comes to children, and a great, comprehensive document I’ve found is by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. It’s entitled simply Gun Safety, and, if you have kids or if you own guns, I highly recommend that you read it.
A few of its initial recommendations:
- Unload and lock up guns
- Lock and store ammunition separately
- Hide keys where kids can’t find them
- Gun safe’s are best, but gun locks/trigger locks can also be effective when used correctly.
These suggestions are pretty self evident, but the article also contains helpful suggestions for how to teach children the difference between reality and fantasy play, and also separate tips for parents who own guns and parents who don’t. In my next posts, we’ll talk further about those topics.
It’s ironic, isn’t it? “Safety 1st” Push n’ Snap Cabinet locks are being recalled because the locks fail. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in cooperation with Dorel Juvenile Group (DJG) Inc., of Columbus, Indiana, is recalling 900,000 of these locks made in China and imported to the U.S., because children can gain access to things which may be unsafe. The product was sold at Bed, Bath and Beyond, retail stores throughout the U.S. and by Amazon’s online store for approximately $2 to $4, from January 2004 through February 2012.
According to the CPSC, 200 reports have been received by the company, DJG, about faulty locks which did not completely secure cabinets. Some reports noted the locks were damaged. DJG has also been made aware that 140 children from 9 months to 5 years old were able to disengage the locks and gained access to the cabinet’s contents. Three children who were able to gain access to items in the cabinets with faulty locks either “handled or swallowed” dishwashing detergent, window cleaner or oven cleaner. The children were treated and released from emergency rooms.
This recall includes Safety 1st Push ‘N Snap Cabinet locks model numbers 48391 and 48442. The model numbers are located on the back of the product and on packaging. The locks are supposed to secure cabinets with two straps that wrap around knobs or handles on a cabinet door. Locks manufactured between January 2004 and November 2010 are being recalled. The date of manufacture (DOM) is embossed on the back of the lock. A green triangle on the device is supposed to indicate that the product is in the lock position.
Consumers should immediately remove the locks from their cabinets and contact the company for a free replacement. Consumers should pay special attention to the contents of cabinets that are no longer locked and remove any dangerous items from children’s access. To contact DJG toll free, consumers may call 1 (866) 762-3212 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm’s website at www.djgusa.com.
To view photos of the locks being recalled, please visit the CPSC website at: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml12/12136.html.
The CPSC has recalled over 13 cribs and bassinets since the first of the year. Many feel that the CPSC is not aggressive enough in its recall measures, and that it is not sufficient to permit manufacturers to simply issue retrofit kits to satisfy the recalls. The Illinois Attorney General, Lisa Madigan, has taken matters into her own hands, and should be commended for her actions.
Here’s what’s happened. A company called Simplicity has had a lot of problems with recalls over the last year, some as a result of infant deaths. Due to the recalls, Simplicity was forced into bankruptcy. A company called SFCA, Inc, purchased the assets of Simplicity. That’s fine, except it appears that the only thing SFCA wanted to do was reap profits, and did not seem particularly interested in helping to save the lives of children. SFCA would not cooperate whatsoever with the CPSC recalls. Given that children’s lives are at stake, Madigan did not feel that the CPSC’s response to SFCA was sufficient, so she undertook her own action to force SFCA to stop marketing these dangerous cribs. She’s to be applauded.
AG Madigan has also put out a very useful guide for identifying which cribs have recently been recalled, as well as safe sleeping tips for infants.
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