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Are Your Children At Risk From Products In Your Home? Check This Week, Urges Safe Kids Canada

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(NC)óMost homes with young children are full of products such as cribs, baby gates, and playpens. Parents naturally think that these products are safe, but this could be a dangerous assumption, says Safe Kids Canada.

"Some older products have caused deaths and have been taken off the market, but they're still found at garage sales or are passed from family to family," says Allyson Hewitt, executive director of Safe Kids Canada. "Another problem is that some common products are often used incorrectly, putting children at risk for injury. We're urging Canadian parents and caregivers to check their homes and make sure their children are safe." Products to check include:

Baby walkers with wheels: Don't use these, warns Safe Kids Canada. Children have suffered head injuries from falling down stairs in walkers.

Baby bath seats with suction cups: Babies left alone in bath seats have drowned; some have almost drowned even when their parents were in the bathroom. The suction cups on the bottom of the bath seats don't always stick properly, and babies may fall over into the water. "This isn't a product you need to look after your baby," says Ms Hewitt. "It's not worth taking the risk."

Playpens: Millions of playpens have been recalled for safety reasons in the last decade. "Every parent with a playpen should check with the company to see if it has been recalled, even if it's a recent model," says Ms Hewitt.

Baby gates at the top of stairs: "Make sure that any gates at the top of stairs are fastened to the wall with screws," says Ms Hewitt. "It's not uncommon for parents to mistakenly use pressure gates, which aren't fastened to the wall, and these can give way if children lean on them."

For more information on these products and others such as bunk beds, and car seats, look for a free "Check It Out" product safety booklet from Safe Kids Canada in more than 5,000 pharmacies across the country. This booklet has been made available due to a generous grant from Johnson & Johnson and McNeil, and can be picked up next to Johnson & Johnson product displays in participating stores during Safe Kids Week, June 2-8. Detailed information is also available on the Safe Kids Canada Web site at www.safekidscanada.ca. and at 1 888 SAFE TIPS (1-888-723-3847).

- News Canada

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