By Jim Donovan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Lisa Rushton and Charley Pereira enlisted the help of a video baby monitor to keep tabs on their daughter Savannah when a caregiver wasn’t in the room.
“Where it was placed at the time, she was unable to reach it, but she reached a milestone 24 hours before the accident occurred,” says Rushton.
Baby monitors are aimed at protecting children, but there’s a potential hazard that wouldn’t even occur to most caregivers.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says at least seven children, including baby Savannah, have died in the last decade as a 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 around their neck and strangling them,” says Inez Tenenbaum, Chairman of the CPSC.
The CPSC and The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association are urging parents to keep baby monitors out of reach, never inside or on the edge of a crib or playpen, and preferably more than three feet away.
“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,” says Rick Locker, of the Association.
Also part of the effort are warning labels to affix to baby monitor cords and other corded devices, so that any caregiver is reminded to place it far from a baby’s grasp.
For more advice, or to receive a tag for your baby monitor cord, parents can visit www.babymonitorsafety.org .