April 18, 2000
KEEPING CHILDREN SAFE FROM HAZARDOUS PRODUCTS
SPRINGFIELD, IL The Illinois Department of Public Health is
partnering with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) this spring
to help raise awareness for a "Recall Round-up" of hazardous
children's products that may still be in people's homes.
"Through government ordered recalls, dangerous products often can be
effectively removed from the shelves of retail stores," said Dr. John R.
Lumpkin, state public health director. "But many older hazardous products
remain in homes and can end up for sale in flea markets and second-hand stores
and at garage and yard sales. These dangerous items should be repaired,
returned or destroyed."
The Department, as a result of last year's passage of the Children's Product
Safety Act, maintains a Web site
that features a comprehensive recall list of consumer products that may pose a
safety risk to children.
These recalls, ordered by federal government agencies like the CPSC or the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration since 1989, are categorized by
topics -- bunk beds, child safety seats, clothing, furniture, gym/swing sets,
infant carriers and strollers, pacifiers, playpen/play yard, toys and other
As Illinoisans undertake their spring cleaning, Dr. Lumpkin encourages them
to look for products that might be hazardous to children. Products recently
recalled that may still be in homes include
- Infant car seat/carriers where the handles can unexpectedly release,
causing the seat to flip forward and the infant to fall. Carriers recalled are
Evenflo Model 207 and 492 made before July 27, 1997; Cosco "Arriva"
and "Turnabout" models made before Sept. 9, 1997; and Kolfcraft
"Infant Rider," "Secura" and other models made from Jan. 1,
1993 through June 30, 1999. CPSC knows of 160 injuries, including skull
fractures and concussions, involving the recalled carriers.
- Pokemon balls distributed with Burger King kids meals in November and
December 1999 may pose a suffocation hazard to children under 3 years of age.
Two young children have reportedly suffocated when the ball was pulled apart
and half of the ball got stuck on their face, covering the nose and mouth. The
Pokemon balls should be taken away from young children and discarded or
returned to a Burger King restaurant for a free order of french fries.
- Swimming pool dive sticks can cause rectal or vaginal impalement when a
child jumps into shallow water and falls or lands on the dive stick. CPSC knows
of nine such injuries to children 5 to 11 years of age. People should stop
using the hard plastic dive sticks and throw them away.
- Television carts made by Sauder Woodworking Co. and by Bush Industries Inc.
can tip over. There have been three reports of injuries when televisions stored
on the carts have tipped over, one involving a skull fracture suffered by a
3-year-old child. The ready-to-assemble carts have a bottom cabinet with hinged
double doors. Televisions and VCRs should be removed from the carts and people
should contact the manufacturer for a free repair kit to prevent tipping.
- Tubular metal cribs made by Cosco Inc. from July 1994 through September
1997 can entrap or strangle a baby. These cribs can be mis-assembled with the
mattress platform used as a side rail, creating a gap between the side rail
slats. This gap has led to reports of 27 babies being entrapped and one death.
In addition, when a child stands in the crib, the mattress can compress and be
pushed between the bars on the crib's platform. The child can then slip between
the bars and the platform and become entrapped. Cosco has received 12
complaints of entrapment due to a compressed mattress, one of which more
add 2 involved a death. People should contact Cosco at 1-800-221-6736 to
make sure the crib is properly assembled and to get a new, safer mattress.
- Old cribs and other products made predate CPSC's safety standards can
choke, strangle or suffocate children. Old cribs with more than 2 3/8 inches
between crib slats, corner posts or cut-outs on the headboard or footboard
present suffocation and strangulation hazards. Bunk beds with spaces larger
than 3 ½ inches can be large enough for a child to fall through or small
enough to entrap a child's head and cause strangulation. Old chest freezers can
suffocate children who may become trapped inside. Hair dryers without built-in
shock protection devices in the plug can cause electrocution. Drawstrings
around the neck of jackets and sweatshirts can strangle a child.
For more information about these recalls and others, people can check the
Department's Web site or call CPSC's toll-free hotline at 1-800-638-2772.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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