In July, Congress passed a transportation bill that includes vital new safety measures. The bill requires that:
• The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration collect non-traffic, non-crash data. This is important to bring to light safety issues such as backovers (when drivers back over someone behind them), heat deaths in parked cars and power window injuries.
• By April 1, 2007, all vehicles have power window switches that are pulled up or out. Toggle switches in many cars have been involved in the deaths of young children who were trapped when the windows closed on them.
• The traffic safety administration study methods for reducing backovers, analyze prevention technology and provide an estimate of cost savings from widespread use of backover prevention devices.
For more information, visit www.kidsandcars.org.
Furniture and soccer goal safety
In April, Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) introduced a bill called The Katie Elise and Meghan Agnes Act. It would require all furniture in danger of tipping over bear warning labels and come packaged with anchoring devices so they can be secured to a wall.
The bill is named in honor of Katie Elise Lambert and Meghan Agnes Beck, who were both killed at the age of 3 when furniture tipped over on them. The bill, co-sponsored by Illinois Democrats Danny Davis, Rahm Emanuel and Jan Schakowsky, would also require federal furniture guidelines to prevent future injuries.
In the absence of the law, parents can protect their children by anchoring all furniture such as chests, bookcases, armoires, TV stands, dressers and hutches to the wall with anchor brackets sold at most hardware stores. Get more information at www.meghanshope.org or www.katieeliselambert.com.
Zachary Tran, 6, was killed in Vernon Hills in 2003 when an unanchored soccer goal fell on him (see story on page 22). His parents have founded Anchored for Safety, an initiative to promote soccer goal safety. Find out more—and pass it on to soccer leagues—at www.anchoredforsafety.org.
• Radio Flyer Toddler Walker Wagon. This toddler walking toy has clickers on the wheels that can break off and pose a choking hazard to children. There have been 11 reports of the clickers breaking.
• H&M Baby Denim and Knit Jackets. The metal buttons on these jackets can detach, causing a choking hazard.
• Target Toy Trucks. Small parts can break off these trucks, causing a choking hazard.
• Mountain Buggy Jogging Stroller. The handlebar on this stroller can crack or break, possibly detaching from the stroller, causing injury to occupants or users.
To report a problem with a product or to see the complete list of recalls, visit www.cpsc.gov.
Nancy A. Cowles Executive director, Kids in Danger