News in 2005

In addition to providing information pertaining to our organization, KID provides brief updates on current children's product safety information and events. For more frequent news, visit KID's blog.

Contents of this Issue

KID urges safety in hurricane relief donations

September 2005 E Alert As Americans and the world continue their generous contributions to aid Hurricane survivors, Kids In Danger has prepared this short list of guidelines for donated children’s products.

To avoid compounding the current disaster with further injury, please pass these guidelines onto shelter workers, donors, volunteers, etc about safe sleeping and products for babies. After past disasters such as hurricanes, fires or floods, children have died in dangerous cribs, often donated to the families with the best intentions.

The safest sleeping place for babies is a fully assembled crib or portable crib with a firm fitting mattress with a fitted sheet. No soft bedding should be placed in the baby’s sleep environment. Babies should be placed on their backs and kept at a comfortable temperature, not overdressed.
Read more.

New transportation bill includes child safety provisions

August 2005 E Alert On August 10, President Bush signed the omnibus transportation bill (H.R. 3). It includes vital new safety measures. Many consumer organizations, led by Kids and Cars, worked on the important safety improvements. They include:

  • NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) will collect nontraffic, noncrash data. This is important to bring safety issues such as backovers, heat deaths in parked cars and power window injuries to light.
  • By April 1, 2007, all vehicles will have power window switches that are pulled up or out. Toggle switches on many cars have been involved in deaths due to the windows closing on young children.
  • NHTSA will study methods for reducing backovers, analysis of prevention technology and provide an estimate of cost savings that would result from widespread use of backover prevention devices.

For more information, visit Kids and Cars.

CPSC alert raises new concerns about bath seat use

July 2005 E Alert On July 6, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Dorel Juvenile Group issued an alert informing consumers that the Safety 1st Tubside Bath Seat can break under certain conditions.

Baby bath seats are consumer products intended to assist in bathing infants by holding the infant in a sitting position in full size bathtubs. The older model of baby bath seats relied upon suction cups to secure the seat to the bathtub, while the Tubside Bath Seat has a clamp arm that attaches over the side of the tub. The seat can break if used on a nonstandard tub – such as a claw foot, spa or drop-in model. In addition, the CPSC notes 67 incidents of breakage not related to the tub style.

Consumer advocates have called for a recall of all existing bath seats. Over 123 deaths in bath seats have been reported since they became popular in the early nineties. Read More.

Government releases “ease of use” ratings for car seats

June 2005 E Alert The 2005 ratings show improvements from last year especially in the clarity of labels and instructions. Ninety-two car seats from fourteen different manufacturers were reviewed in all their use modes. Out of the 92 seats rated, 74 received an “A” overall, the remainder were given B’s or mixed A’s and B’s. Even though surveys show that upwards of 80% of car seats are installed incorrectly, there were no child restraints that received an overall “C” rating.

To ensure a proper fit, try installing the child seat before purchasing and after purchase have the installation checked at a child safety seat inspection station. To find one, visit www.seatcheck.org or call 1-866-SEATCHECK. The ratings can be found here.

President Bush nominated Nancy Nord to fill vacant CPSC Commissioner post

February 2005 E Alert President Bush will nominate Nancy Ann Nord, of the District of Columbia, to be a Commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, for the remainder of a seven-year term expiring October 26, 2012. The vacancy occured when Commissioner Mary Sheila Gall resigned in October. Without a new commissioner, the Commission will not have a quorum as of the end of March, preventing them from levying fines, or adopting new regulations.

Ms. Nord recently served as Director of Federal Government Relations for the Eastman Kodak Company. Earlier in her career, she served as General Counsel to the Council on Environmental Quality at the White House. She was also the Republican Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives, Commerce Committee, specializing in products liability and consumer protection legislation. Ms. Nord received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska and her J.D. from The George Washington University.

Kids In Danger will be following this nomination and provide periodic updates.

CPSC reports on 2003 injuries from nursery products

January 2005 E Alert The latest data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) provides grounds for concern for the safety of America’s children. CPSC has released its Nursery Product-Related Injuries and Death Report for 2003. While overall injuries involving nursery products dropped in 2003, some product injuries have increased. Over 1,500 more injuries were caused by high chairs this year as compared to each of the last three years. Injuries due to playpens have also seen a resurgence this year, increasing by over 500 injuries as compared to last year.

According to the report, the average number of deaths in 2001 (the most recent year available for deaths) involving nursery products stands at 50 per year. At first glance, deaths due to cribs seems to have dropped. However, this year the CPSC divided the category into two separate categories, “Cribs” and “Bassinets and Cradles”. The death rate for those two categories combined shows a small increase in annual deaths. Also a continuing cause for concern is baby bath seats, whose fatality rate was only superceded by cribs. Their annual fatality rate rose from 6 per year to 8 per year. KID, along with many consumer advocates, believes that bath seats cannot be made safe and should be banned.

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