As a new school year gets underway, President Obama launched a major back-to-school campaign today aimed at keeping kids in the classroom. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) new Chairman Inez Tenenbaum carried the President’s message to South Carolina where she met with students and faculty at Rosewood Elementary School in Columbia.
Tenenbaum, a former South Carolina State Superintendant of Education, brings a strong focus to CPSC on educating and informing children and consumers across the nation about product safety. She released CPSC’s “Back to School Safety Checklist” (PDF) and urged parents and schools to use it to create a safer school environment for children.
“It just takes a moment for a child to be seriously injured or even killed riding a bicycle, playing on the playground, using a movable soccer goal, wearing a jacket with a drawstring or by a recalled product,” said Tenenbaum. “Let’s keep kids in the classroom and out of the emergency room. Parents and school officials should make it a priority to check for hazards at home and at school.”
CPSC’s “Back to School Safety Checklist”
-I checked with my school’s officials to make sure that the school’s playground equipment has been inspected and maintained.
-There are at least nine inches of shock absorbing surface material around my school’s playground equipment.
Each year, more than 200,000 hospital emergency room visits are related to playground injuries. Most injuries involve falls onto the playground surface or playground equipment.
-My child wears a helmet that meets CPSC requirements every time he/she bikes or rides a scooter to and from school.
-My child’s helmet fits snuggly, level on top of the head, with a buckled chin strap.
CPSC staff has reports of an annual average of 80 children under 16 years of age who died in bicycle-related incidents in recent years. About half of the approximately 500,000 bicycle-related emergency room-treated injuries in 2008 involved children under 16 years of age.
-None of my child’s outerwear clothing has drawstrings at the hood or neck area.
Since 1985, CPSC has received reports of 28 deaths and 71 non-fatal incidents involving the entanglement of children’s clothing drawstrings.
Movable Soccer Goals
-All soccer goals are securely anchored while in use.
From 1998-2008, CPSC has reports of at least 8 deaths and an estimated 2,000 emergency department visits by children younger than 16 years of age that are related to soccer goal tip-overs and structural failures.
-I have checked CPSC’s Web site, www.cpsc.gov, to make sure all back to school purchases and previously owned items have not been recalled.
-I have signed up at www.cpsc.gov to have email alerts of CPSC recall announcements that interest me sent directly to my email inbox.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals - contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC's Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or teletypewriter at (301) 595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov, on Twitter @OnSafety or by subscribing to CPSC's free e-mail newsletters.