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Glass tables: An overlooked safety threat
Date:3/16/2009

Boston, Mass. - Many households harbor a threat to young children that safety regulations, surprisingly, have overlooked: glass-topped tables and tables with glass panels. A review by Children's Hospital Boston, in collaboration with Consumers Union, nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, finds that glass-table injuries aren't as rare as one might think, and that many could have been avoided had tempered glass been used.

The report appears in the March issue of Pediatric Emergency Care. Consumer tips and information on other safety-related issues are available in the Consumer Reports safety blog (http://blogs.consumerreports.org/safety).

Although glass doors and windshields are mandated to contain tempered glass, which is four to five times stronger than standard glass and breaks into small fragments that are unlikely to cause injury, no such standards apply to glass tables, neither patio nor indoor furniture. Injuries are typically caused when children jump, sit or fall on glass tables or knock them over. The shattered glass or jagged edges of broken tables - can cause severe lacerations, leaving disfiguring scars and damaging tendons and nerves.

"Huge shards of glass are basically like knives. If they sever an artery, they can cause uncontrolled bleeding, and the injury can be fatal," says Amir Kimia, MD, of the Division of Emergency Medicine at Children's Hospital Boston, who led the study.

Last December, a Rhode Island girl died from a severe puncture wound to her leg. After earlier media reports about children seen at Children's Hospital Boston with severe lacerations, Consumers Union collaborated with Kimia on a systematic study.

"This is a serious safety hazard with a simple remedy," says Donald Mays, Senior Director of Product Safety and Technical Policy for Consumers Union. "The use of tempered glass can significantly reduce the more than 2
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Contact: Keri Stedman
keri.stedman@childrens.harvard.edu
617-919-3110
Children's Hospital Boston
Source:Eurekalert

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