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Ban The Bumpers–Once and For All

9 Feb

Although the use of crib bumpers has long been a hotly debated topic amongst parents and safety groups, their use remains widely accepted and legal throughout most of the country. As safety experts and parents ourselves, we are constantly frustrated to see parents choose the best in safety gear and the safest crib available, yet bolster that crib with bulky and dangerous bumpers.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is now reiterating it’s guidelines for the use of crib bumpers in hopes that parents will finally heed the warning. The following is part of an article published in the February 2012 issue of Parenting magazine.

Bumper pads should never be used in cribs, according to guidelines released by the AAP. There’s no evidence the bumpers protect against injury, but they do carry a potential risk of suffocation, strangulation or entrapment because infants lack the motor skills and strength to turn their heads away from the bumpers. Here’s the scoop on the new policy:

Q: Why are bumpers suddenly off-limits?

A: Reports in the Chicago Tribune from late 2010 and early 2011 allege that federal regulators knew for years that crib bumpers posed a suffocation hazard but had failed to warn parents of the danger. Chicago recently became the first U.S. city to ban the sale of crib bumpers, and Maryland has also proposed a ban. “We conclude that if there’s no reason for them to be in the crib, it’s better to get them out of there, in light of the reported deaths associated with the bumper pads,” says Rachel Moon, M.D., chair of the AAP’s sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) task force and lead author of the guidelines.

Q: Are bumper alternatives safe?

A: The AAP also wants to warn against bumper alternatives, including those made of breathable mesh. “As of now, we’re recommending nothing in the crib,” Dr. Moon says.

Q: Why do parents opt for bumpers in the first place?

A: They make the crib look cute, and many parents mistakenly believe bumpers prevent a baby from hitting his head on the crib or getting his limbs stuck in slats. But Dr. Moon says young babies simply don’t have the strength to fling themselves against the crib hard enough to hurt themselves. And safety experts have long recommended that crib bumpers be removed when babies become strong enough to pull themselves up and could potentially use the bumpers to climb out.

SCA Awareness Month–Spotlight on Parent Heart Watch

12 Oct

If you’ve been watching the news lately, you may be familiar with the miraculous survival story of a 12-year old Texas girl who was saved by the quick action of two school teachers and an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). See the story here.

This story highlights the importance of CPR training and AEDs in schools, the workplace and other public areas. It also reminds us that, although relatively uncommon, Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a real and potentially devastating occurrence.

Since October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month, we thought we’d take the opportunity to spotlight one of our favorite causes, Parent Heart Watch.

Parent Heart Watch is a nonprofit network of parents, families and partners dedicated to reducing SCA in youth. Parent Health Watch stresses the importance of early detection of dangerous heart conditions, CPR and AED training, and knowing the ‘Cardiac Chain of Survival’

Response LifeSafety strongly advocates CPR and AED training for all and the use of AEDs in schools and organized sports. We applaud the state of Texas for requiring AEDs in all public schools and Parent Heart Watch for the incredible work they do to educate the public.

For more information on Sudden Cardiac Arrest, visit Parent Heart Watch. For your CPR and AED training needs, visit our website.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors are the Law in CA

2 Aug

Every year, 30 to 40 California residents fall victim to carbon monoxide poisoning; More than 400 die nationwide and over 4000 are hospitalized annually. For years, safety and consumer groups have advocated for the use of carbon monoxide detectors in homes. Now, in California, it’s the law.

Most carbon monoxide (CO) poisonings and deaths occur as a result of faulty or leaky equipment in homes or boats.

Potential sources of CO

When appliances such as water heaters or gas stoves burn their fuel, one of the byproducts of combustion is carbon monoxide gas. Deemed the “silent killer” it’s colorless, odorless and is toxic to humans and animals in high concentrations. The molecule binds to an area on red blood cells that normally carries oxygen, essentially suffocating the body’s organs.

Exposure may cause the victim to feel nauseous, lightheaded, confused or have a headache. Often the victim becomes sleepy or is already asleep and does not know to move to fresh air.

In an effort to reduce the number of carbon monoxide poisonings and deaths in the state, a new California law requires all single-family homes with an attached garage or appliances that burn fuels like gas, coal or wood to have the devices. Multifamily dwellings, such as apartment buildings or condominiums, have until Jan. 1, 2013, to comply with the law.

A check of several popular retail websites showed a range of prices for the devices, from less than $20 to more than $100. They should be installed according to manufacturer specifications, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, according to the Fire Marshal’s Office.

Many manufacturers make combination smoke/carbon monoxide detectors that can replace existing smoke detectors throughout the home. If you have small children, remember that kids can sleep through the sound of an alarm. Find detectors that include or allow you to record a voice alarm!

For more information on carbon monoxide safety, visit the CalFire website.

For more information in the Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act (SB-183), visit the Office of the State Fire Marshall.