Collapsible hampers pose eye injury risk to children

There's No Substitute for Experience

There are plenty of products that may seem safe, but that are actually extremely dangerous to children. Just the simple handling of some of these products can lead to serious children's injuries and life-long disabilities.

Take for example the recent report warning of the dangers associated with collapsible laundry hampers. This report followed two separate cases involving children who received eye injuries from these types of hampers. The details of their cases will be published in the print issue of Pediatrics next month. The online issue is already live.

The two cases in this report involved an 11-year-old boy and a 23-month-old girl. Both ended up receiving treatments at the same hospital within a year of each other.

In looking at the safety issues tied to these types of hampers, the problem is in the design. Basically, the hampers are like giant springs, with a wire running along the outside of the hamper. This is what allows for it to be collapsible. However, the hampers become dangerous when the fabric holding in the wire becomes frayed, which is something that can naturally happen over time.

When the fabric frays the wire inside can suddenly pop out. This wire is sharp and comes out with force, which poses an eye injury threat to a child.

The types of injuries stemming from being stabbed in the eye with a wire are also quite severe and can lead to permanent blindness. In other cases, vision can be impaired and require ongoing vision therapy.

For parents, being aware of the risks is the No. 1 way to avoid injury. In homes where there are these types of hampers, parents are reminded these are not toys and should be kept away from children.

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