News 12 This Morning / Monday, July 23, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- When it comes to the safety of your toddler, every parent wants to be there 24/7.
Better technology enables many parents to have an extra set of eyes and ears through baby monitors.
Rene Hopkins, with Safe Kids led by GHSU, said, "They are placing them closer and closer to the crib, so they feel like they get a better visual image."
With wider screens and better cameras, these devices aren't just for hearing anymore, but placing them too close or inside of a crib can be downright dangerous.
"Anything that is placed within the child's reach, they are going to reach for it -- they are curious by nature," Hopkins said.
Since 2002, seven babies have been strangled by baby monitor cords and three toddlers had close calls. The victims were as young as 6 months to 20 months old.
"The cords on these monitors are longer than 7 inches. Anything longer than 7 inches is a strangulation hazard for a child," Hopkins said.
As Hopkins with demonstrates with a doll which represents a 16-month-old, she shows us children can easily reach out for a cord, even when it's outside of the crib.
"Remember when you put a child in a crib to sleep, it's the one time we expect them to be outside of our direct observation," she said.
This month, the Consumer Product Safety Commission launched a new campaign to warn parents about the danger through a new website, and they are also urging baby monitor manufacturers to label their cords.
"Now that the issue has been brought to light, there will be may be some design changes," Hopkins added.
Whether it's a basic $19 or a fancier cordless version that can run you upwards of of $99, the threat still remains the same with cords powering or charging the device.
"Some parents will read every single word, other parents will just assume and plug it in," Hopkins said.
Hopkins advises to keep cords at least 3 feet away to make room for a baby safe zone. Free warning labels are available for parents.
You can visit the safety website here.
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