About 59,000 panel, loft, and bunk beds that were imported by Lea Industries and sold at furniture stores across the United States and Canada have been recalled because the "the bed's side mattress support rails can break, posing a fall hazard."
Since 2009, there have been at least 22 reports of incidents involving the recalled beds, including at least two injuries.
If you have one of the recalled beds, which were made in China and Vietnam and sold at stores nationwide from August 2008 through March 2013 for between $400 and $3,000, then you should stop using it until you can get free replacement side rails from Lea Industries.
Bed collections in the recall include:
- Sponge Bob Surf Club
- Lea Elite
- Home Town
- Jessica McClintock
- Bunks and Lofts
- Jackson Creek
- My Place
- The Getaway
- My Style
- Emma's Treasure
- Deer Run
- Nick and Funtime
Do you know the name of your child's bed? Since most of us don't, this is a good time to check it and compare the name and item number against the bed recall list and make sure that your child's bed hasn't been recalled.
Also check to make sure that the bed rails and other parts of the bed are still in good condition, even if it hasn't been recalled. Remember that you don't have to wait for a recall to make sure that your kids are safe.
Although the year seemed to get off to a slow start, we have seen several big measles outbreaks lately that are already boosting this year's numbers. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that the official measles case count from the CDC, which is now at 40, includes the large numbers of cases from the measles outbreaks in New York City or North Carolina.
There are now at least 30 cases of measles in the Borough Park and Williamsburg sections of Brooklyn, New York. And in North Carolina, the case count is up to at least 23. So we have almost surpassed last year's total measles count for the year (54 cases) in just two outbreaks.
And with large ongoing outbreaks in the UK and in Pakistan, in addition to many other developing countries where measles is still endemic, this could be another big year for measles. It is certainly a good reminder to get your kids vaccinated and protected against this vaccine-preventable disease.
In this week's Saturday Safety Roundup, stories of:
- a 12-month-old in Dallas, Texas who died after she was left in a hot car while her mother went to work as a teacher's aide at an area elementary school.
- an 11-month-old in Miami, Florida who died after he was left in a hot car after his mother went into their home without him.
- an 11-year-old in Bossier City, Louisiana who was unintentionally shot in the abdomen by a 13-year-old with a .22 revolver that belongs to a family member.
- an 11-year-old in Lake City, Florida who died when his 4-year-old sister unintentionally shot him in the neck on Mother's Day.
- a 15-year-old in Houston, Texas who died while sitting in the front seat of a car after he was unintentionally shot by another teen who was sitting in the back seat.
- a 13-month-old in Tullahoma, Tennessee who is in critical condition after her father unintentionally shot her in the chest while cleaning his gun.
- a 5-year-old in Denton, Texas who died after he was unintentionally shot in the head by an 8-year-old friend who had found a .22-caliber rifle in a bedroom at the younger child's home.
- a 6-year-old in Amarillo, Texas who unintentionally shot himself in the abdomen while at a relative's home.
- a 14-year-old in Santa Fe, New Mexico who was unintentionally shot in the thigh by a friend who was playing with a gun.
- a 13-year-old near Arborfield, Arizona who died when the ATV he was driving between his farm and his grandparent's home rolled after it got caught on some barbed wire between two fence posts.
- a 7-year-old in Tooele County, Utah who died when the ATV she was riding on as a passenger veered off a road, went into some trees, and a low-hanging branch ruptured an artery in her neck.
- a 16-year-old in Hinesburg, Vermont who died after an ATV accident. His father found him unconscious about a half mile from their home.
- a 12-year-old in Baldwin, New York who died when his ATV flipped while he was trying to remove a post from the ground.
- two toddlers in La Mesa, California who drowned in a backyard swimming pool.
- a 4-year-old in Topeka, Kansas who nearly drowned in a lake near his home. His father found him in the lake after he noticed he was gone.
- a 17-month-old in Glendale, California who is in critical condition after nearly drowning in a backyard pool at a relative's house, which he may have got to through a doggy-door.
- an 11-year-old in Springtown, Texas who died after he tripped and fell near a school bus that was pulling away from a bus stop and was run over.
- a 2-year-old in Middletown, Ohio who suffered severe burns on both of her arms after falling into a 13-gallon trash can that was filled with hot water (to clean it) while reaching for a pencil. The hot water heater in the home was set to 160 degrees.
- a 12-month-old in Mayo, Florida who is in serious condition after getting run over by a pickup truck as she played in her driveway.
Keep your kids safe. Not all, but many of these types of accidents can be prevented.
We may soon be getting safer strollers.
And that's good news if you have been affected by one of the many stroller recalls over the last few years. In addition to stroller recalls, the CPSC states that there have been "more than 1,200 stroller-related incidents, including four fatalities and nearly 360 injuries that occurred from 2008 through 2012."
Unfortunately, "soon" is a relative term. According to a press release from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, they "voted today to approve a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) to create a federal safety standard for strollers." There will now be a 75-day public comment period and then once the rules finally become final, at least another 18 months until they become effective following publication in the Federal Register.
While it is not a quick process, it is important to note that since the passage of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, the CPSC has approved safer federal standards for cribs, play yards, baby walkers, baby bath seats, and portable bed rails for kids.
Often, when you ask younger kids what they like best about school, they will say recess.
That's not surprising. Everyone could use a nice little break in their day to have some fun.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, in their policy statement on "The Crucial Role of Recess in School," even stated earlier this year that a "safe and well-supervised recess offers cognitive, social, emotional, and physical benefits" and that "recess is a crucial and necessary component of a child's development and, as such, it should not be withheld for punitive or academic reasons."
While most of our kids go to recess at school, there are things that can make it even better, including recess before lunch (may lead to less food waste than having recess after lunch) and structured recess.
In fact, a new study that was released by the Mathematica Policy Research and the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities at Stanford University found "widespread benefits, including less bullying, more physical activity, and more time for teaching" using the Playworks Training program. Playworks is a national nonprofit organization that is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and is already serving 360 schools in 22 cities.
Using Playworks, trained coaches teach kids "basic sports, playground and cooperative games, as well as lessons on physical health and fitness and principles of violence prevention and safety."
"These findings reinforce what we have seen across the nation in schools that partner with Playworks to make recess and play a priority," said Nancy Barrand, senior adviser for program development with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. "This study suggests that a great recess is an essential building block for healthy school environments that help kids thrive socially, emotionally, and physically."
What are your kids doing at recess?
In this week's Saturday Safety Roundup, stories of:
- a 12-year-old in Camden, New Jersey who was unintentionally shot in the face by a 12-year-old with a .38 caliber revolver as they got ready to go to school.
- a 2-year-old in Corsicana, Texas who died after he unintentionally shot himself in the head with a handgun that he found in a bedroom.
- a 3-year-old in Tampa, Florida who died after he unintentionally shot himself with his uncle's 9mm handgun that he had left in a backpack.
- a 6-year-old in Oakland Park, Florida who is in critical condition after she was unintentionally shot in the chest by her 13-year-old brother.
- a 4-year-old in Brighton, Alabama who is in critical condition after he was unintentionally shot in the head while in a bedroom with another 4-year-old.
- a 7-year-old in Omaha, Nebraska who was hospitalized after he was mauled by two Rottweilers who got through their yard's wireless electronic fence and attacked the boy on the street, biting him on his forehead and scalp.
- a 10-year-old in St. George, Utah who required surgery after sustaining 4 broken ribs and multiple wounds over his head, face, chest, and legs, etc., after he fell off a wall while playing hide-and-seek in his neighborhood and into a yard with three Rottweilers. A woman and her 11-year-old daughter at the home who rushed out to protect him were also attacked.
- a child in Henderson County, Texas who is critical condition after being attacked by a pit bull.
- a 15-year-old in Northland Township, Minnesota who died after losing control of the ATV she was driving, which flipped over.
- a 3-year-old in Tucson, Arizona who drowned in an unfenced backyard pool at a home where her parents were visiting for a gathering.
- a 3-year-old in Yuma, Arizona who drowned in his family's backyard swimming pool.
- a 3-year-old in Sarasota, Florida who nearly drowned in an apartment pool after taking off her floaties. She was saved by a 10-year-old neighbor who noticed her floating her face down, after the toddler's guardian had gotten out of the pool to put out a fire on a nearby barbecue grill.
- a 3-year-old in North Platte, Nebraska who is in critical condition after nearly drowning in a pond while his stepfather was fishing.
- a 20-month-old in El Cajon, California who is in critical condition after he nearly drowned in a backyard swimming pool.
- a 10-month-old in San Diego, California who is in critical condition after nearly drowning in a bathtub.
- a 23-month-old in Upper Marlboro, Maryland who is in critical condition and "battling for his life" after nearly drowning in a pool.
- a 2-year-old in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma who was briefly unattended and drowned in a bathtub.
- two teens in Pascagoula, Mississippi who drowned in the Pascagoula River after they were swept into the current and sucked under a barge while knee-boarding.
- a 2-year-old in Dublin, Ohio who had his foot amputated after a lawnmower accident.
- an 18-month-old in Camas, Washington who had his leg cut off when his grandfather unintentionally backed over the toddler on his Kubota riding lawnmower.
- a 10-year-old in Fort Gaines, Georgia who died after she was ejected while sitting near the front of a school bus during an accident. The driver lost control of the bus on a curve and hit a culvert.
Keep your kids safe. Not all, but many of these types of accidents can be prevented.
Today is the second annual National Bike to School Day, which joins Walk to School Day to help get kids more active and build "awareness for the need for walkable communities."
Why should your kids bike or walk to school?
In addition to being fun, biking or walking to school:
- encourages healthier habits and can help meet daily physical activity requirements
- can promote road and traffic safety as you teach your kids to be safe while walking or biking to school and work to make your neighborhood walkable
- can reduce air pollution as you get a few cars off the road
Did your kids bike or walk to school today? Now that you know the benefits, will they tomorrow?
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Keep Going! Walk & Bike Year-Round
Walking to School - The Road not Taken
Physical Activity for Toddlers and Preschoolers
As we observe National Youth Traffic Safety Month, let's take a look at some recent studies that show we need to do more to keep our kids safe on the road.
The first showed that texting while driving "is very prevalent among adolescents in the U.S." The study presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Washington, D.C. the other day found that "nearly 43 percent of high school students of driving age who were surveyed in 2011 reported texting while driving at least once in the past 30 days."
"Technological solutions will likely need to be developed to significantly reduce the frequency of texting while driving," Andrew Adesman, MD, FAAP, chief of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York conclude. "When it comes to teen texting while driving, phones will have to get smarter if they are to protect teens (and others) from doing dumb things."
Keep in mind that phones are already smart enough to keep kids from texting while driving, or at least there are apps to make them smarter. The AT&T DriveMode app automatically sends a customizable auto-reply message when you get an incoming text and your car is moving at least 25 mph. Unfortunately, it is only available for AT&T Android and BlackBerry users.
Another study, "Distracted Drivers, at Risk Child Passengers," found that in addition to their children and self-care, "drivers of child passengers are commonly distracted by their phones."
If you are wondering why so many teens text and drive, you only have to look to this study which found that "almost 90 percent of drivers reported engaging in at least one technology-based distraction while driving their child in the past month." In addition to texting, these driving distractions included talking on the phone, getting directions, and changing a CD or DVD.
In addition to waiting for more technological solutions for driving distractions, be a good role model for your kids and don't text and drive.
Lastly, the study "Bicycle Helmet Laws Decrease the Rates of Fatal and Incapacitating Injuries Resulting from Bicycle - Motor Vehicle Collisions in Children," found that "states with mandatory helmet laws had significantly lower rates of fatalities/incapacitating injuries after bicycle-motor vehicle collisions than states without helmet laws."
"In conjunction with our previous work on booster seat laws, this study further proves that mandatory safety equipment laws are effective," said Rebekah C. Mannix, MD, MPH, senior author on the study.
Twenty-nine states still don't have a bicycle helmet law. Does yours?
Have you made your car a no phone zone so that you don't talk or text while driving? Do you wear a helmet when biking?
An infant who wasn't vaccinated has developed a probably case of measles in Battle Creek, Michigan after traveling out of the country. The child likely exposed other people to measles at an area pediatric office and an emergency room in the Kalamazoo area.
None of this is too surprising, as we have seen this scenario before during outbreaks over the past few years.
What is surprising is that the local health department and newspapers are reporting that "The child affected is under the age of one year, too young to have received the first of two recommended Measles/Mump/Rubella (MMR) vaccine, and is known to have had recent travel out of the country and exposure to a rash illness."
While the MMR vaccine is routinely given once a child turns 12-months-old, it is very important to remember that infants 6-months through 11-months should receive a single dose of MMR before traveling internationally to reduce their risk of catching measles. They will still need the routinely recommended doses of MMR at 12-months and 4-years, but this early dose can protect them and protect the community from a measles outbreak. And children who are between the ages of 12-months and 4-years should have two doses of MMR separated by at least 28 days.
So this probable measles outbreak in Michigan likely could have been prevented if the current measles vaccination recommendations for travelers had been followed, since this infant is reported to be 8-months-old and could have and should have been vaccinated. This is all the more important since the infant went to Pakistan, where a very large outbreak of measles continues to produce new cases (over 11,000 cases in the past 5 months) and deaths (at least 64 so far).
If the case is confirmed, there will be concern that the outbreak could spread. Michigan is one of the states with fairly high school vaccine exemption rates. During the 2009-10 school year, the CDC reports that about 4.4% of children entering kindergarten in Michigan had a vaccine exemption, with the vast majority being non-medical, non-religious, personal belief exemptions.
Not to be confused with Global Handwashing Day, which was observed on October 15, today is Hand Hygiene Day, the World Health Organization's annual campaign to promote the message to Save Lives: Clean Your Hands.
So what is the difference between these two days? While they both promote handwashing, there are some differences, including that:
- Global Handwashing Day has been observed for the past 5 years to promote handwashing for children and schools, but is now observed by over 200 million people in 100 countries to try and reduce diarrheal diseases and respiratory infections by encouraging people to wash their hands with soap and water.
- Hand Hygiene Day similarly promotes handwashing to decrease infections, but targets health care-associated infections and the importance of hand hygiene in health care facilities, including hospitals, clinics, home-based care, and long-term care facilities.
This year, in observance of Hand Hygiene Day, learn to do your part to prevent hospital infections. Whether you are a patient or a visitor, watch the Hand Hygiene Saves Lives video from the CDC and learn the importance of practicing hand hygiene while in the hospital to prevent infections. The video also teaches that "it is appropriate to ask or remind their healthcare providers to practice hand hygiene as well."