Finally there is a child safety solution for Deadbolt locks on doors. The new Safety 1st Deadbolt Door Safety Lock easily prevents your young child from opening the deadbolt lock on your front or rear door and venturing out. It has a clear cover that encases the lock assembly. Squeeze the two gray side tabs and rotate to operate the lock. This double action thwarts young hands. This type of safety item has been missing from the marketplace for years. We are happy that we can now offer it for sale.
February 8, 2013
December 7, 2012
Every Christmas holiday season, both fire departments and medical personnel go out on an increased amount of calls. The biggest dangers are falls and electrocutions from putting up Christmas lights as well as fires caused by cooking and improperly used or maintained Christmas decorations. Unnecessary tragedy is faced by families during what is supposed to be a joyous time due to shortcuts taken in safety measures and protective equipment.
Avoiding Holiday Injuries
Cooks get burned with grease and hot pans in busy kitchens. Small hand towels, paper towels and other combustible objects go up in a flash when they are left next to an electric or gas cooking appliance. Items being cooked on the stove burst into flame when a cook is distracted and walks away. This makes kitchens a prime place to keep a large commercial type fire extinguisher rated for multiple types of fires. In addition, adding a photocell type smoke detector that minimizes false alarms in cooking areas is also a good idea.
Falls from rooftops happen every year when Christmas decorations are being put up. Surfaces in some areas of the country may be slick with ice and snow. Falls from ladders also occur. Always use an appropriate ladder when putting up lights and decorations. Never overreach. Take the time to get off the ladder to reposition it. Always have a helper to steady the ladder and to keep strings of lights from getting tangled in the rungs of the ladder.
Electrical Safety Equipment and Concerns for Holiday Decorations
Every string of lights connected, whether inside or outside, needs to be plugged into a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) receptacle. Most newer homes have outdoor plugs that are GFCI rated. Each plug has a test button to confirm the protection circuit is working. Press the test button, and the GFCI should trip. GFCI units can be purchased as part of an extension cord or as a standalone product.
The tiny lights on most Christmas decorations do not look as if they will consume much power. However, outdoor decorations usually involve several different displays with many strings of lights. Light strings have a limit as to how many can be safely connected together as one continuous string. Adding more than the recommended amount of lights to a string can cause the wires to overheat, melt and short circuit. This is an electrocution and fire hazard.
Always check every bulb on every string and decoration. A broken bulb can arc across a bare filament and spark a fire, especially when they are strung on old decorations. A broken cord can also cause a spark or shock someone. Inspect every decoration with lights for any flaws.
Decorative Candle Hazards
Many decorations have a spot for a votive, pillar or stick candle. Most Christmas decorations follow a theme of pine, holly and other materials that are both natural and synthetic. All of these burn quite easily when touched by an open flame. Be sure to never be out of sight of any lit candle regardless of what type of container or candle holder it is in. Also, never place a candle where it can come in contact with combustibles such as curtains or be knocked over by a person or pet. Glass candle holders can break. It is safer to place a glass candle holder on a fireproof metal surface such as a pie plate.
The holiday season truly is “the most wonderful time of the year.” Do not let it be spoiled by an accident or injury that is caused by neglecting safety procedures or cutting corners on safety equipment. Be smart and careful. Destroy and throw out old decorations with lights that are no longer safe. Do not overdo the decorating, and always have someone in the kitchen when cooking is in progress.
November 30, 2012
KidCo recently recalled their PeaPod and PeaPod Plus Travel Tents. Infants and young children can roll off the edge of the inflatable mattress, become entrapped between the mattress and the fabric sides of the tent, and suffocate. There have been 3 incidents in Canada and 6 in the U.S. with no injuries and one death. A free repair kit is available starting Mid-December 2012 that includes a thinner replacement air mattress and braces that will strengthen the sides of both models. Call 855-847-8600 for the kit. This affects models P100 to P104, and P201 to P205, P900CS, and P001 in Canada only. KidCo Recall Page, CPSC Recall Page.
November 29, 2012
A nationwide study found that child injuries in inflatable bounce houses has soared in recent years. Kids can crowd into them and bounce into each other or send other kids flying with their bouncing. Injuries involved are broken bones, sprains, cuts and concussions. Article Link
October 19, 2012
According to the National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS), a nonprofit organization that funds efforts to reduce playground injuries, more than 200,000 preschool and elementary aged children are injured on playgrounds every year to the extent that they require hospital care.
What’s more, while many of us assume that such dangers lurk only on public playgrounds, the reality is that private playgrounds – the ones in our own backyards – also pose a hazard and, consequently, potential legal liability. In fact, at least 19% of playground injuries occur on home playground equipment.
However, with just a bit more awareness and increased diligence, we can ensure that our children get the most out of their playtime and that we aren’t unwittingly placing ourselves in legal jeopardy.
NPPS recommends using the acronym S.A.F.E. to guide us in our playground safety mission.
Supervise: Children should never be left alone while playing on playground equipment. Parents who supervise are able to better assess situations that children can’t and are consequently able to prevent injuries.
Age-Appropriate: Consider the level of difficulty in maneuvering the playground your child is using. Are the tasks and movements those that your child is capable of mastering? Taking kids to age-appropriate play sets drastically reduce the likelihood of injury.
Fall Surface: A vast majority of playground injuries result directly from falls. As a result, playground owners should always use a fall surface material that takes into account equipment height, durability, surface depth, and American Society for Testing & Materials standards. Recommended materials include shredded rubber, sand, pea gravel, and hardwood fiber.
Equipment Maintenance: Playgrounds that are kept free of splinters, rust, cracks, structural weaknesses, and openings in which children could become stuck are much safer for children to play on. Maintenance should be a routine endeavor. If a play set is visibly deteriorated, don’t go near it!
By following these basic guidelines, we can reduce the number of annual injuries our children sustain from playgrounds. After all, many of such unfortunate incidents are completely preventable. What’s more, by applying such recommendations to the play sets in our own backyards, we can minimize our liability and keep our personal assets out of jeopardy.
Author: Paul B. Harding; Martin, Harding & Mazzotti LLP ®
September 6, 2012
Many parents may view buying or borrowing second-hand baby gear as economical and eco-conscious. It may be hard to resist friends and relatives that want to save you the money of buying something new. However this can put your baby at risk because those products might not meet current safety standards. There have been great advancements in products over the years, and many products are recalled for safety issues. It is imperative that you check for a recall (www.recalls.gov) before you purchase or consider using older, used equipment. KidSafe often gets calls from people trying to use an older baby gate which has missing hardware. Often those gates are discontinued and hardware may not be available, in that case it would be safer not to use it.
August 30, 2012
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For kids spending time with their grandparents is great. They get extra attention and are often spoiled. But grandma’s house is not hazard free for toddlers, it probably contains similar safety hazards that your house contains, and may contain others such as more prescription medicine around the house. If your child spends a lot of time at grandma’s then you may want to consider a full-blown baby proofing effort, but if they are just visiting for a short time, less intrusive or temporary measures can be taken.
Grandparents often have to be educated about baby-proofing products that did exist not 20 or 30 years ago, and may be resistant to installing devices which they may deem to be inconvenient. But most grandparents will understand your desire to make their home safer for their precious grand-kids, and a lot of the products can be disabled when the grand kids are gone.
Checklist for baby proofing grandma’s house for a short visit:
- Move cleaning supplies and chemicals in any room out of reach. Product: XL Clean Guard
- Make sure medicine is moved out of reach and locked up. Product: Medi Guard
- Move breakable knick-knacks, glasses, etc. out of reach
- Make sure exposed electrical cords and window blind cords are secured or removed
- Move small kitchen countertop appliances, knives, etc. out of reach
- Make sure they have the phone number for Poison Control if needed: 800-222-1222
- Cover open electrical outlets with outlet caps. Product : Outlet Protectors
- Move sharp cornered coffee tables or other furnishings out of the way
Checklist for more thorough baby-proofing of Grandma’s:
- Install a Safety Gate at stairways, decks, or other problem areas. There are gates which can be easily removed when not needed.
- Use a Door Top Lock to keep kids out of troubling rooms such as a bathroom. These have a on and off position for when not needed.
- Install cabinet latches at cabinet doors and drawers which contain hazardous items. Some locks can be disabled when the grandkids are gone.
- Cover up exposed plugged-in outlets and power strips with baby proof covers.
- Install hearth guard padding on the sharp edges of raised fireplace hearths.
- Install cushioning at sharp edged furniture such as at coffee tables.
- Install window locks so that windows cannot be opened more than 4 inches to prevent falls.
- Install door locks on entrance and exit doors so that the child cannot escape to the outside.
- Secure TV’s and large furniture to eliminate tip-over accidents.
This is just a small sampling of potential hazards in a particular home. There are babyproofing professionals in most urban areas who can evaluate your home for you if desired. They can also install products for you, but most can be installed by yourself with little difficulty.