This week in safety: Attention to poison prevention

Consumer Reports News: March 20, 2009 03:59 PM

This week is National Poison Prevention Week during which the Consumer Product Safety Commission and other groups take aim at unintentional poisonings. Each year,  poisoning incidents involving consumer products commonly found in the home kill about 30 children and prompt more than 2 million calls to the nation's poison control centers. On average, each year an estimated 80,000 children are treated in hospital emergency departments for unintentional poisonings.

More than 90 percent of the calls to control centers involve poisonings in the home. Children younger than age five account for the majority of the non-fatal poisonings. A recent review conducted by the CPSC found that 70 percent of poisonings involve children one to two years of age. Oral prescription drugs, non prescription drugs and supplements were involved in more than half of the incidents.

The CPSC recommends that parents and caregivers immediately take these three steps.

  1. Keep medicines and household chemicals in their original, child-resistant containers.
  2. Store the potentially hazardous substances up and out of a child’s sight and reach.
  3. Keep the national toll-free poison control center telephone number, 800-222-1222, handy in case of an emergency.

For more tips, visit the CPSC's Web site. Here's more of the week's safety news.

Ski helmet law mulled after Richardson death
Associated Press (via Washington Post)
Quebec is considering making helmets mandatory on ski slopes following the death of actress Natasha Richardson. The actress was not wearing a helmet when she fell Monday while taking a beginners ski course in Quebec. The New York City medical examiner's office said she died Wednesday of blunt impact to the head. Read more ...

Nestle's inspectors saw rat droppings, rejected peanuts
Washington Post
Nestlé USA, considering whether to buy ingredients from Peanut Corporation of America, twice sent its own inspectors to check out the company. Both times, they rejected the company after finding sanitary problems at its facilities in Georgia and Texas, noting rat droppings, live beetles, dead insects and the potential for microbial contamination. Read more ...

Summer's coming: Are pool drains safe for kids?
Associated Press (via The New York Times)
Nearly three months after a federal deadline to make public swimming pools safer, many have yet to be fitted with equipment aimed at keeping children safe from the powerful and sometimes deadly suction of drains. Industry groups say public pools were given too little time to comply, and manufacturers of drain covers and pumps weren't able to keep up with heavy demand from the new law. Read more ...

Is that juicy peach poisonous? EWG dishes out its Dirty Dozen list
The Dirty Dozen is back. No, we're not talking about the movie—it's the recently released, fifth edition of The Environmental Working Group's (EWG) list of the 12 conventionally grown fruits and veggies with the highest levels of pesticide residue. Print out the list. Read more ...

CPSC probing safety of water toy after TV report
WCVB-TV Boston
Just hours after Team 5 Investigates uncovered a pattern of complaints about a water toy for babies, the Consumer Product Safety Commission confirmed it is actively working on the matter, looking into whether there may be reason to recall the Ticklish Turtle water toy, made by AquaLeisure Industries. Read more ...

'10 Americans' toxicity study hits home for one mom
San Francisco Chronicle
PCBs. VOCs. Pthalates. Bisphenol A (BPA). The list of industrial chemicals on the minds of consumers is crowded with confusing new acronyms as growing scientific data show a link between chemical exposure and a range of behavioral, reproductive and immunological problems. Read more ...

Increasing baby deaths put focus on safe sleeping environments
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
Every year in Wisconsin, dozens of babies die because they didn't have a safe place to sleep. Some were sleeping on couches or adult beds and became wedged between cushions or against walls. Some were smothered by pillows or blankets. Some were sleeping with a parent, caregiver or sibling and didn't wake up. Read more ...

Checkout alert system for recalled foods sought
Los Angeles Times
With more food recalls happening weekly, consumer advocates, supermarket chains and legislators are exploring better ways to stop the sale of tainted food, and one plan under discussion by lawmakers in California involves using supermarket checkout scanners to help. Read more ...

Motorbike sale to defy lead law
USA Today
Angry with a nationwide ban on sales of youth motorcycles and ATVs over lead concerns, one of the biggest dealers in Southern California plans to sell the child-size vehicles despite potential criminal penalties. Read more ...

Nordstrom shoes Safety news from the CR blogs

StateFarmBear Don't miss these recalls

800,000 State Farm Good Neigh Bears (choking hazard)
930,000 FloraKraft Solar System Kits and DNA kits (lead paint)
31,000 Nordstrom girl’s shoes (lead paint) [See photo above.]
20,000 Human Touch “Perfect Chairs” (entanglement hazard)
9,500 Kubota zero-turn riding mowers (fire hazard)
1,500 Sycamore Pro gas generators (fire hazard)
1,300 Cannondale  road bicycles (missing spoke protector disc)
1,000 Montessori N’ Such pails, cans and vases (lead paint)
215 Acer Predator desktop gaming computers (overheating)

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