|U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Office of Information and Public Affairs Washington, DC
CPSC Releases the "Top Five Hidden Home Hazards"
Safety Agency Places Popular Magnetic Toys on the List of
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Whether it is an apartment, duplex or
single-family residence, the home is a place that is supposed to
give families a feeling of safety and security. For many
Americans families however, an injury or death of a loved one
can turn this place of happiness into one of tragedy.
Each year, 33.1 million people are injured by consumer products
in the home. Some hazards are from products the Agency has
warned about for years; others come from new products and
technologies. To keep Americans informed of dangers, the CPSC
has identified the Top Five Hidden Home Hazards – associated
with products that people may be using everyday, but are
unaware of the dangers that they can cause. These home hazards
are often unseen or unnoticed by consumers.
"The home is where people feel comfortable and secure, but
constant awareness is the key to keeping families safe," said
Acting Chairman Nancy Nord. "CPSC is aiming to increase
awareness of the hidden hazards around the home in order to
help consumers protect against these dangers."
With no or very little investment, incidents and injuries from
these dangers are preventable. Simply by being aware of these
Top Five Hidden Home Hazards, many lives can be spared and
life-altering injuries avoided:
1 Death, 86 Injuries;
8 million magnetic toys recalled. Today's rare-earth magnets can
be very small and powerful making them popular in toys,
building sets, and jewelry. As the number of products with
magnets has increased, so has the number of serious injuries to
children. In several hundred incidents, magnets have fallen out of
various toys and been swallowed by children. Small intact pieces
of building sets that contain magnets have also been swallowed
by children. If two or more magnets, or a magnet and another
metal object are swallowed separately, they can attract to one
another through intestinal walls and get trapped in place. The
injury is hard to diagnose. Parents and physicians may think that
the materials will pass through the child without consequence,
but magnets can attract in the body and twist or pinch the
intestines, causing holes, blockages, infection, and death, if not
treated properly and promptly.
Watch carefully for loose magnets and magnetic pieces and keep
away from younger children (less than 6). If you have a recalled
product with magnets, stop using it, call the company today, and
ask for the remedy.
Each year there about 400 recalls. CPSC is very effective at
getting dangerous products off store shelves, such as recalled
toys, clothing, children's jewelry, tools, appliances, electronics
and electrical products. But once a product gets into the home,
the consumer has to be on the lookout. Consumers need to be
aware of the latest safety recalls to keep dangerous recalled
products away from family members.
Get dangerous products out of the home. Join CPSC's "Drive To
One Million" campaign and sign up for free e-mail notifications
at https://www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx - an e-mail from CPSC is
not spam – it could save a life.
Average of 22 deaths per year;
31 in 2006 and an estimated 3,000 injuries. Furniture, TVs and
ranges can tip over and crush young children. Deaths and injuries
occur when children climb onto, fall against or pull themselves up
on television stands, shelves, bookcases, dressers, desks, and
chests. TVs placed on top of furniture can tip over causing head
trauma and other injuries. Items left on top of the TV, furniture,
and countertops, such as toys, remote controls and treats might
tempt kids to climb.
Verify that furniture is stable on its own. For added security,
anchor to the floor or attach to a wall. Free standing ranges and
stoves should be installed with anti-tip brackets.
Windows & Coverings
Average of 12 deaths annually from window cords;
Average of 9 deaths and an estimated 3,700 injuries to children
annually from window falls. Children can strangle on window
drapery and blind cords that can form a loop. Parents should use
cordless blinds or keep cords and chains permanently out of the
reach of children. Consumers should cut looped cords and install
a safety tassel at the end of each pull cord or use a tie-down
device, and install inner cord stays to prevent strangulation.
Never place a child's crib or playpen within reach of a window
The dangers of windows don't end with window coverings and
pull cords. Kids love to play around windows. Unfortunately,
kids can be injured or die when they fall out of windows. Do not
rely on window screens. Window screens are designed to keep
bugs out, not to keep kids in.
Safeguard your windows: repair pull cords ending in loops and
install window guards or stops today.
Pool & Spa Drains
15 injuries, 2 fatalities from 2002-2004. The suction from a pool
drain can be so powerful that it can hold an adult under water,
but most incidents involve children. The body can become sealed
against the drain or hair can be pulled in and tangled. Missing or
broken drain covers are a major reason many entrapment
incidents occur. Pool and spa owners can consider installing a
Safety Vacuum Release System (SVRS), which detects when a
drain is blocked and automatically shuts off the pool pump or
interrupts the water circulation to prevent an entrapment.
Every time you use a pool or spa, inspect it for entrapment
hazards. Check to make sure appropriate drain covers are in
place and undamaged.
To learn more about these and other home hazards, and to sign
up for recall information, visit our Web site at http://www.cpsc.
Send the link for this page to a friend! The U.S. Consumer
Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public
from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more
than 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's
jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from
consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $800
billion annually. The CPSC is committed to protecting
consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical,
chemical, or mechanical hazard. The CPSC's work to ensure the
safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools,
cigarette lighters, and household chemicals - contributed
significantly to the decline in the rate of deaths and injuries
associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call
CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC's teletypewriter at
(800) 638-8270, or visit CPSC's web site at www.cpsc.gov/talk.
html. To join a CPSC email subscription list, please go to https:
//www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx. Consumers can obtain this release
and recall information at CPSC's Web site at www.cpsc.gov.