The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is advising parents and caregivers to lock up single-load liquid laundry packets and keep them away from children.
Liquid laundry packets are attractive to children because they are soft and colorful and resemble familiar items like candy and teething products.
These items also dissolve quickly when placed in the mouth or are handled with wet hands. Children who are exposed to the chemicals are at risk of serious injury because they can be toxic.
In 2012, CPSC staff have learned of about 500 incidents involving children and adults who were injured by the packets.
CPSC recommends these steps to prevent unintentional poisonings and eye injuries:
- Do NOT let children handle laundry packets.
- Keep the liquid laundry packets sealed in their original packaging, and make sure they are locked up and out of a child’s sight and reach.
- If swallowed or exposed to the eye, immediately call Poison Help at 1-800-222-1222.
Learn more about the dangers of single-load laundry packets. (PDF)
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regulates car seats based on recommendations for different age groups. There are different recommendations for children’s age groups ranging from birth until 12 years old.
Children should be kept in a rear facing car seat for as long as possible, especially when they are one or younger. Only when they have reached the correct height and weight for a front facing car seat, as stated by the manufacturer, should you transfer them to that type of safety seat.
Once your child outgrows the front facing car seat, usually between the ages of 4 to 7, you should move them to a booster seat in the back seat of your car. They should remain in a booster seat until they can fit in a seat belt properly.
According to the NHTSA for a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snug across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face, and your child should ride in the back seat because it’s safer there.
Each state has its own laws regarding which car safety seats you must use. Make sure to know your state’s laws before buckling your child in.
Learn more about car safety seat recommendations and see the laws in your state.
Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for children ages 3 -14. This Saturday, you can get a free car seat inspection and hands-on advice about car seat safety at National Seat Check events nationwide.
To help your child stay safe on the road:
- Select a car seat based on your child’s age and size, and choose a seat that fits in your vehicle and use it every time.
- Always refer to your specific car seat manufacturer’s instructions; read the vehicle owner’s manual on how to install the car seat using the seat belt or LATCH system; and check height and weight limits.
- To maximize safety, keep your child in the car seat for as long as possible, as long as the child fits within the manufacturer’s height and weight requirements.
- Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.
- Register your car seat with the manufacturer to ensure you are alerted in case of safety alerts or recalls.
Learn more about car seat safety and find where you can get your seat inspected.