The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) just issued a warning that baby monitors pose a strangulation risk. We have long been writing about the risks to infants associated with baby monitor cords, including a number of fatalities.
For instance, said Ozarks First, Lisa Rushton and Charley Pereira’s baby daughter Savannah, died from strangulation by a baby monitor cord. “Where it was placed at the time, she was unable to reach it, but she reached a milestone 24 hours before the accident occurred,” Rushton told Ozarks First. The couple was using a video baby monitor to watch Savannah in those moments when she would be alone in her room.
Savannah, sadly, is not the only baby who died. According to the CPSC, at least seven babies, in all, have died in the past 10 years, the result of strangulation from baby monitor cords. “Children are curious, they’ll reach out if they can get it within their grasp, and that cord ends up their neck and strangling them,” said Inez Tenenbaum, CPSC chairman. Last year, the CPSC issued a warning about baby monitor cord dangers, which can be accessed at http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2011/02/baby-monitor-cords-have-strangled-children/.
Now, said Ozarks First, the CPSC and the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) are urging parents to ensure that baby monitors are kept well out of the reach of children and never within or on the edge of a crib or playpen. The recommended distance is at least three feet away from the baby’s reach. “That’s not just true for electric line cords on monitors. That’s true for drapery cords and window blinds and any other corded equipment around the nursery. Keep them out of the child’s reach,” Rick Locker of JPMA, told Ozarks First.
The CPSC noted that three feet is the equivalent of three large adult feet or about the width of a baby’s crib plus six additional inches.
The joint effort also includes warning labels to be affixed to corded devices, including baby monitor cords, to help ensure caregivers are reminded to place devices sufficiently away from the grasp of babies, said Ozarks First.
The CPSC stated that, in addition to the seven infant deaths, it is aware of three near strangulations since 2002 that involved video and audio baby monitors in which monitors and cords where in reaching distance of the children.
The CPSC confirmed that it is collaborating with JPMA on a national baby safety campaign that involves a website launch, video, and other advertising as well as giving away free electric cord warning labels. The web site can be accessed here, the video can be accessed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MujupBNLBg, and the free warning labels can be obtained here.