According to federal data, heatstroke is the leading cause of non-accident motor vehicle deaths among children younger than 14. In 2011, more than 30 children died of heatstroke after being left in a vehicle, and 2010 saw nearly 50 such deaths.
New Jersey law dictates that children aged 7 years or younger and weighing less than 80 pounds must be in appropriate child restraints and in rear seat while riding in a motor vehicle. Although the law was created to keep small children safe from injuries in car accidents, its effectiveness is often undermined by the insufficiency of booster seats, according to a recent release from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS).
After two reported strangulation deaths in the past year, infant product manufacturer Summer Infant has announced a voluntary recall of approximately 2 million video baby monitors. The potential strangulation problem was first reported by the Consumer Product Safety Commission in October after receiving at least seven reports of strangulation since 2004. The company says that the defective products were sold at major retailers between 2003 and 2011.
Last month, we wrote about the potential dangers that lurk in toys and other holiday gifts intended for children. As previously discussed, Congress in 2009 strengthened consumer protection against potentially dangerous or defective products with the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. However, according to a new report by the United States Public Interest Research Group, there are many toys on store shelves that have found ways around federal regulations, and a surprising number that violate the laws altogether. Knowledge and awareness, the group advises, is the key to keeping your child safe this holiday season.
In October 2007, manufacturers of over-the-counter cough and cold medicines for the very youngest of children voluntarily withdrew all such products from store shelves after numerous complaints that the products posed a safety risk to infants and children. Pediatricians stated that the products were ineffective in young children, and were prone to accidental overdoses resulting in extreme drowsiness, an increased heart rate, and even deaths. Seeking to avoid products liability lawsuits and bad press, manufacturers voluntarily took cough and cold medicines, mostly syrups, off the shelves.
In the second infant-product recall in as many months, Graco Children's Products Inc. has announced a defective product recall of two million baby strollers after causing the deaths of four young children. Prior to the recall, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) received reports of five additional infants becoming entrapped in the strollers, with resulting cuts, bruises, and difficulty breathing.
After several reports of malfunctions, accidents and injuries, Fisher-Price has recalled over 11 million defective products. The toys recalled include tricycles, high chairs, inflatable balls, and toy cars for babies and small children.