February 12, 2006

Web Site Holds Parents Accountable

San Diego CA (PRWEB) February 8, 2006 — Child safety web site Play Date Secure www.playdatesecure.com has embarked on a mission to take the guess work out of play dates. The web company, which officially released it’s services to the public late last month, states that it’s program provides answers to questions all parents should be asking before they have another parent care for their child.

“Gone are the days of old-fashioned idealism,” States Co-Founder Steve Lincoln. “We have come to a place in time where having a good feeling about someone caring for our child has become an act of carelessness.”

Just ask Carol Price. On Aug. 20, 1998, Carol Price’s 13-year old son, John, asked to go play with his friend down the street. In the five years that John’s friend’s parents had been neighbors, she had never thought about the safety of her son playing at their house, so she let him go. He tousled her hair as he always did and said “Thanks mom–I love you.” she watched him through the dining room window as he walked down the sidewalk, stopped just short of their neighbor’s front door and blew her a kiss.

That was the last time she saw him alive. Twenty minutes later she found the police at her front door. While John watched TV, Phillip, a nine-year-old child in the home, went to an upstairs bedroom, opened a dresser drawer and took out a 9-mm handgun. A few moments later he pulled the trigger. Unaware, John was struck once in the face and died instantly. The neighbors moved out in the middle of the night that day and the Price family has not heard from them since. It turned out that there were 11 unsecured weapons throughout their neighbor’s house. None of them ever knew about the weapons because no one ever asked the question, “Do you have a gun in your home?”

Every year, an estimated 1,500 children under the age of 14 are treated in emergency rooms for unintentional gun related injuries. Many of these injuries occur in homes where guns are kept unlocked, loaded and accessible to children. Over 4000 children are injured or die in drowning incidents, many occurring in residential pools and spas. In 2004 the CDC reported 133,504 children were treated for dog bites where severe injuries result almost exclusively in children less than 10 years of age.

The web site provides parents with an unobtrusive method of acquiring potentially life saving information.

Toddlers at Risk of Paper Shredder Injury in the Home

(PRWEB via PR Web Direct) February 9, 2006 — The increase in the number of paper shredders being bought for home use in the UK, as a result of the increased publicity that is being given to identity theft and fraud, is likely to result in horrific finger injuries to toddlers judging from what has happened in the USA where domestic shredders have been more commonplace for a number of years.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) carried out an investigation of reported injuries, including amputations, and the characteristics of paper shredders that might have contributed to those injuries. The National Electronics Injury Surveillance System (NIESS) database collected 23 reported finger injuries attributable to paper shredders. The ages of the victims ranged from 14 months upwards.

The most severe injuries, amputations, involved children. Injury occurred when a child was feeding paper into a shredder (under adult supervision) and did not release the paper in time to prevent their fingers from entering the shredder opening. As the paper shredder continued to pull the paper into the shredder opening, it also pulled in the children’s fingers.

Since most paper shredders have auto start features, a child can be at risk even when an adult is present. A child may insert a piece of paper into the shredder opening and activate the shredder mechanism, allowing it to pull the paper (and possibly the child’s fingers) into the shredder. Children are not conscious of hazards to themselves and may not let go of the paper as it is being pulled in.

Paper shredders can pose a risk of finger injury to children as young as 15 months because of their small finger size. With no force applied, a child’s finger would be unlikely to penetrate the shredder opening since their finger diameter is typically larger than a paper shredder opening. However, depending on the design of the shredder, the shredder opening may enlarge as the shredder pulls in the paper and child’s fingers. The height of a 15-month-old can be more than twice the height of a domestic paper shredder, putting them within easy reach of the paper shredder opening.

AB Technology (London) Ltd, authorised dealers for 8 major shredder manufacturers, have been warning of the danger for some weeks now since learning of the injuries being caused by certain domestic paper shredders in the USA. A printable leaflet, warning of the dangers and outlining safe practice when using a paper shredder, is available to download in a print-friendly format from their shredders website which can be found at www.abt-shredders.co.uk. Vincent Woodall, sales and marketing manager of ABT, urges anyone who has a shredder to at the very least read or better, display the leaflet anywhere a child may be in close proximity to a paper shredder, to alert users of the danger posed to small children.

David Jenkins, of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents was quoted in the Daily Telegraph of 9th February as saying “I am not aware of a problem in this country yet but with the increasing popularity of paper shredders — and if similar designs are available as in America — accidents are likely to happen”.

An 84 page report can be downloaded via the ABT website. The report is entitled “An Evaluation of Finger Injuries Associated with Home Document (Paper) Shredder Machine. The report was compiled as long ago as December 2004 by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission of Washington, D.C.