Practice Toy Safety Year-Round 

Most parents learn about toy safety during the Holidays, when consumer safety advocates drive home the message that what might seem like a harmless toy could very well put your child in danger. But toys are bought year-round, and parents may forget that toy hazards may be hiding in plain sight. Learning about toy safety and which toys pose a risk to a child could very well prevent an unfortunate accident.

Worst Toys

Each year, the consumer advocate group World Against Toys Causing Harm (W.A.T.C.H.) releases a list of toys that parents should avoid. They evaluate toys for hazards such as potential for strangulation, damage to eyes, choking, and other dangers. Last year’s “Worst Toys” list included a Cabbage Patch doll,  a Marvel Black Panther Slash Claw, and a Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel Superstar Blade.

The group points out that the toys on their list aren’t the only ones that may be dangerous, but they represent some of the common hazards. Some of W.A.T.C.H.’s safety tips for parents when buying toys include avoiding anything with small parts, toxic materials, projectiles, or strings. They also caution that sometimes toys also come with unreliable age instructions or insufficient warnings.

Toy Injuries Increase

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that 251,700 children were injured by toys in 2017. Of these, 13 deaths occurred in children younger than 15. Rather than toy injuries decreasing over the years, a 2014 study found that toy-related injuries actually increased by 40 percent between 1990 and 2011.

Toy Safety Tips

What can you do to keep your child safe? Check to see if any of your child’s toys are on the CPSC’s recall list. W.A.T.C.H. cautions against toys sold on the internet that don’t have warnings or age recommendations on the website; toys that have longer than six-inch strings; and toys that need batteries (for children under eight years of age).

Toy safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics include selecting age-appropriate toys that will build developmental skills. They caution about toys that have small pieces, batteries, magnets, and balloons for small children, and digital toys for older kids.

Be vigilant when choosing toys, and remember that toy safetyshould be a priority all year. That popular new toy might not be as harmless asit looks.

National Child Passenger Safety Week: Is Your Child in the Right Car Seat?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13 years. This week is National Child Passenger Safety Week. Parents are urged to learn about car seat safety and make sure their children’s car seats and boosters are properly installed.

Free Car Seat Safety Checks

Make time to stop at one of the following events sponsored by Safe Kids Pima County, the Tucson Police Department and Tucson Medical Center to have your child’s car seat checked. You can call 324-4110 for more information.

 

Date:               Saturday, September 19, 2015

Time:              9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon

Location:        Larry H. Miller Chrysler 7800 E. 22nd  St. Tucson, Arizona

 

Date:               Thursday, September 24, 2015

Time:              8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Location:        Target 4040 N. Oracle Rd. Tucson, Arizona

 

Register Your Child’s Car Seat

According to NHTSA, last year more than six million car seats were recalled. Just today, Recaro car seat manufacturer announced it was recalling 173,000 car seats due to a problem with the top tether restraint that can detach in a crash.

Parents buying new car seats should make sure they immediately register the car seat with the manufacturer or by going to Safercar.gov. Parents should also frequently check the safercar.gov website to determine if their child’s car seat has been recalled.

Making sure your children are in the right car seat will improve their chances of safely surviving a car accident.

Is Your Child’s Car Seat a Death Trap?

Picking a car seat can be one of the most important decisions parents can make for their children. This is a matter not to be taken lightly, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that car accidents are the number one cause of death for children under the age of 12.

The trust a parent places in the car seat they select comes from the expectation that it is going protect their child if they’re in a car accident. Unfortunately, car seats are not always failproof.

Last February, car seat manufacturer Graco was forced by NHTSA to recall 4.9 million toddler seats because the harness buckles became easily jammed if food or drinks were spilled on them, making it difficult to remove the child from the seat. In some cases, parents had to cut the straps to remove their children from the defective seats.

Last month, Graco ended a five-month battle with NHTSA, agreeing to recall an additional 1.9 million infant car seats for the same issue. When combined with the earlier toddler car seat recall, the total Graco recall makes it the largest recall of car seats in American history.

What can parents do to make sure their children are safe in their car seats? They can start by registering their child’s car seat to ensure they receive email updates and recall notifications about their child’s car seat. This is especially important because manufacturers are required by law to inform consumers of any potential safety issues with their products.

Parents should also become familiar with the many resources available to them about car seat safety. NHTSA has set up a website at Safercar.gov to teach parents how to buy the right car seat for their child depending on their age and size; how to install a car seat; car seat ratings; and car seat registration and recalls.

Locally, Safe Kids Pima County and participating fire stations will help parents properly install their child’s car seat. Call 520-324-2783 for locations and to make an appointment.

Spending a few minutes learning about the products that you trust to protect your loved ones can make the difference between life and death if you find yourself involved in a car accident.

Give Your Baby a Boost

A new Arizona Law could result in a $50 fine if you are found driving with a child who is not seated in a booster seat. Starting August 2, 2012, a child must be seated and restrained in a booster seat if they are between the ages of 5 and 7 and under 4’ 10”.

According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, car crashes are the most fatal accident for children ages 1 to 12 in the U.S. To reduce these child injury statistics, proper use of booster seats may prevent serious injuries or fatalities.

As parents, we know that one of your biggest concerns while in the car is the safety of your infant or toddler. This is why the type of car seat or booster seat that you choose is immensely important. The right seat and proper installation can mean the difference between life and death for your child if you are in a car accident.

As you know, there are numerous types and models of car seats to choose from. It can be trying to choose the best option for your child. This is why the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety compiled a list of the best and worst booster seats for your child. It is imperative that the seat you choose properly fits not only your child, but your car as well.

Five-step safety test

There are various resources available to ensure the proper seat and fit for your child. SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A, a non-profit organization dedicated to child passenger safety offers this 5-step test that all parents should utilize when deciding whether or not their child needs a booster seat.

  • Does the child sit all the way back with hips against the auto seat?
  • Do your child’s knees bend comfortably at the edge of the auto seat?
  • Does the shoulder belt cross the shoulder between the neck and the arm?
  • Is the lap belt as low on the hips as possible and touching the thighs?
  • Can the child stay seated like this for the duration of the trip?

If the answer to any of these questions was “no” a booster seat is necessary to ensure proper seat belt positioning and protection.

Parents are also encouraged to take their booster seat and car the nearest car inspection station. The locations are available at the.

For those whose concern is the cost of a booster seat, there are programs available that offer assistance. Safe Kids Pima County and TMC offers parents information and training on how to properly install a car seat.

If you witness a child who is not properly restrained, you are encouraged to call the “Buckle Up, Baby” hot line: 1-800-505-BABY. The following information is necessary to file a report:

  • Vehicle License number and state
  • The location of the vehicle
  • Where the child was sitting in the vehicle

This information is provided as a public service by Hollingsworth Kelly and is not intended to serve as legal advice