February 28, 2008

CPSC: We're Still Ignoring The #1 Safety Threat: Car Seat/Infant Carriers


Here's something that was mentioned but not discussed in the CPSC's new, bed&bath-centric, staff analysis report, "Nursery Product-Related Injuries and Deaths Among Children under Age Five":

Car seats and infant carriers were the #1 cause of emergency department-treated infant injuries. Of an estimated 66,400 ER injuries in 2006, 14,200 (21%) involved infant carriers and car seats in a non-motor vehicle incident. Considering that infant carriers are, by definition, only used by infants, not 2-4 year-olds, that seems to account for an significant majority of all infant injuries.

Also not addressed anywhere: Infant carrier/car seats are the single most-recalled kid's/nursery [an important clarification, considering the Great Lead Toy Plague of '07, thanks AJ for the catch. -ed.]products of the last 10 years--over 12 million units since 1997--and almost all those carriers were recalled for the same reason: babydumping caused by handle failure.

Daddy Types--a freakin' blog, run as a part-time hobby, by some guy--was apparently the first media outlet of any type to ever run the numbers and identify this 10-year string of near-identical recalls. Consumer Reports' safety experts subsequently picked up and expanded on the ongoing babydumping scandal. The last word I heard, the CPSC had presented some data to the independent industry standards organization ASTM that suggested there may be an issue, and that the standards may need revisiting. That was in March 2007. I think they're right; this may need some revisiting.

Download the CPSC's Nursery Products Death & Injury '06 report in PDF [cpsc.gov]

May 11, 2007: Congratulations, You're Our 679th Faller! Evenflo Recalls Concussion-Prone Car Seats
May 12, 2007: Heckuva Job, CPSC: 12 Million Car Seats Recalled For Baby Catapulting Since 1997
May 18, 2007: Consumer Reports: Car Seat Handle Standards Need To Be Recalled

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