Bottom Line: Nation’s first house dedicated to child safety
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC/CONSUMER REPORTS) - Every year tens of thousands of children are injured by products and appliances in and around the house, many of which could be easily prevented.
Now there’s a new, hands-on way for parents to spot those hidden dangers.
Consumer Reports takes us inside a first-of-its-kind house created by a family that turned a tragedy into a way to help other families and save lives.
On Nov. 1, 2007, Brett Horn’s life changed forever. His two-and-a-half-year-old son Charlie was killed while attempting to climb on a small dresser in his bedroom.
Turning tragedy into a mission, Brett and his wife, Jenny, created Charlie’s House, the nation’s first safety demonstration home, designed from the ground up and dedicated to reducing at-home accidents and injuries. It opened in Kansas City, Mo., in 2021.
Parents should be aware of unsafe sleep practices in a nursery, furniture prone to tipping over in a bedroom or living room, poisonous items and choking hazards in a bathroom, kitchen, or laundry area, and fire hazards.
The demonstration house is a place where parents and caregivers can go to learn about various hazards and what they can do to prevent them.
For years, Consumer Reports has worked alongside parents like Brett, Jenny, and other safety advocates demanding tougher standards for furniture.
The recently enacted Sturdy Act does just that, establishing a mandatory safety standard for clothing storage furniture like the dresser that killed Charlie.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission will enforce the law.
It means that consumers are going to have safer options when they go to buy new dressers. And they can also expect the CPSC to take steps when there’s noncompliance in the marketplace.
Sometimes as new products hit the market, new risks arise. So it’s important to keep up to date on guidance, for example, on safe sleeping habits and on water beads that are dangerous for children if they ingest them.
It’s a never-ending battle that advocates like Brett Horn and many others are embracing.
Charlie’s House offers virtual tours. Here’s the link to check it out: charlieshouse.org/safety-demonstration-house
If you’ve experienced unstable furniture or any other product safety issue, report it to the CPSC at saferproducts.gov.
“Consumer Reports TV News” is published by Consumer Reports. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization that does not accept advertising and does not have any commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site.
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