Posted On: July 24, 2010

Getting the Word Out on Dangerous Kids' Products

Many kids' products -- cribs, high chairs, strollers and more -- last for years and years, which can be a tragic problem if the product turns out to have a hidden danger that only becomes obvious long after purchase. Now there's a law intended to deal with the issue.

As of this summer, manufacturers of children's products have to comply with new safety requirements per the “Danny Keysar Child Product Safety Notification Act,” named after a child who was strangled to death in a defective crib. The act requires manufacturers of children products to “establish and maintain a registration card program,” reports Lisa Parker of NBC Chicago. The registration cards will be included with the product and the program will keep records for at least 6 years of consumers who do register. This will facilitate notification of any recalls or safety concerns regarding the product.

The act, which took effect on June 28, 2010, affects the following product categories, according to Parker: Full-size and other cribs, Toddler beds, High chairs, Booster chairs, Hook-on chairs, Bath seats, Gates, Play yards, Stationary activity centers, Infant carriers, Strollers, Walkers, Swings, Bassinets, Cradles, Children’s folding chairs, Changing tables, Infant bouncers, Infant bathtubs, Portable toddler bed rails, and Infant slings.

An announcement of the act going into effect can be found on the Kids In Danger website.

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Posted On: July 23, 2010

Higher Risk of Death for Babies Born at Night?

There might be a greater risk for medical malpractice in childbirth when babies are born at night, a provocative but inconclusive study suggests.

In a study published in British Medical Journal’s July 2010 issue, researchers from University of Cambridge and University of Glasgow report a slightly higher mortality rate of babies born outside of normal working hours, according to NHS News of the U.K.

The study analyzes Scotland’s records of more than one million full-term, single baby births from 1985 to 2004. After adjusting several factors (e.g. socioeconomic and maternal age, among others), the researchers find that babies born over weekends or overnight during weekdays are three times more likely to die of lack of oxygen than those born during normal working hours. However, the mortality rates in both groups are still very low: the mortality rate of those born during normal working hours is 4.2 out of 10,000 births; and that of babies born outside of the “safer” hours is 5.6 out of 10,000.

Authors of the study did not explore causes of the higher mortality rate for births outside of normal working hours, but cited fatigue and shortage of hospital staff as some of the possibilities. The BMJ article can be found here.

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