Children's Products

Social Distancing Means Extra Vigilance in Protecting Children from Home Hazards

What to Watch Out For When Keeping Kids at Home During COVID-19

Washington, D.C. – Today, Consumer Federation of American (CFA) and Kids In Danger (KID) released a consumer guide “Protecting Children While Sheltering in Place” to alert parents and caregivers about common childhood hazards as families are sequestered during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While many American cities and states have official “shelter-at-home” policies in place and millions of parents are working from home while caring for children, the nation’s leading child safety organizations have identified specific hazards that parents can protect against during home isolation.

Dangers presented in the guide include:

  • Ingestion hazards posed by high-powered magnets, button batteries, and laundry detergent packs,
  • Poisoning from cleaning products accessible to children,
  • Furniture and television tip-overs due to instability and lack of proper anchoring,
  • Toys meant for older children that are now readily available to younger children that can pose choking hazards,
  • Unsafe sleeping arrangements for infants,
  • Window covering cords that pose strangulation hazards, and
  • Recalled products still in use at homes.

The guide offers tips for parents and caregivers to remove these hazards from their homes.

“There are parents who are now homeschooling their kids while balancing full-time jobs working from home which can create new child safety hazards in homes that normally wouldn’t exist,” said Nancy Cowles, executive director of Kids In Danger. “Our guide hopes to make this experience a little safer and easier for families as they cope during this difficult time.”

“While sequestered at home to protect your families from COVID-19, now is a good time to make sure that furniture is anchored to the wall, window coverings are cordless, and nursery products are registered online with the manufacturer so parents can be alerted to product recalls in the future,” said Rachel Weintraub legislative director and general counsel with Consumer Federation of America.

KID released its annual recall report this week Seeking Safety: 2019 Children’s Product Recalls analyzing children’s products recalled in 2019. The report highlights the large amount of deaths associated with inclined sleepers, and the high number of furniture recalls due to tip-over hazards. While infants may have altered sleeping arrangements due to COVID-19 isolation, parents should avoid using infant inclined sleepers due to suffocation risks.