Tag Archive: child


Let’s be clear: This is not how you make a warning label when you want it to be followed; this is how you make a warning label when you’re trying to avoid a lawsuit without regard to the well being of your users (or maybe if a government agency is requiring it).

There is a warning label similar to this on my son’s Graco combination changing table/playpen. I was looking for the safe load weight (to ensure that the changing table would not give out below him), and, much to my dismay, this information was not provided on the warning label.

What was present on this warning label, however, was a warning to parents to not leave their kid in the play pen with the changing table attached or else the child could strangle themselves. Now, let’s examine the steps needed for a child to strangle themselves in this manner…The child would have to:

  1. Stand in the playpen
  2. Reach outside of the playpen, and depress the two locking pins on the changing table supports (which is difficult for me to do)
  3. Lift the posts of the changing table portion out of the holes in the playpen
  4. Place their head over the edge of the playpen
  5. Replace the changing table portion poles into the corresponding holes in the playpen

Compare that to the steps needed to exceed the weight limit:

  1. Place a kid who is too heavy onto the changing table

When creating warnings, companies need to figure out what questions the customers have and what actions the customers are likely to perform incorrectly (which cannot be corrected with design).

Safety is too important to leave to poorly formatted warning labels.


Trip Hazard!

Ok, so this post has been brewing for some time…

If you recall, last month my wife had an incident with a bouncy seat that sent us to the ER in the middle of the night. Well, since that incident, in conversation with a lot of friends and co-workers, I have found that tripping over the bouncy seat is not an uncommon occurrence in their homes either!

In all seriousness, I trip over at least one of our two bouncy seats at least once per day.

Now that I know that it is a common issue, it’s not hard to see why. Look at the picture to the left; specifically, look at the right leg of the bouncy seat. That leg seems to disappear right into the floor tiles, doesn’t it?

Now, you may be thinking,  ‘What are the odds of that leg being so blended into the surface on which the chair is sitting?’

My answer to you would be: VERY OFTEN!!! That brushed metal blends quite nicely with  the rest of the grey in my peripheral vision! I’ve also seen similar bouncy chairs with powder blue legs which are no better than the grey.

So, here’s my question: If we’ve invested so much time and energy to conform to the the many standards for child safety, why have we neglected to account for the safety of the people who may be  walking near the seat and carrying the child?

Why aren’t the legs neon orange (or some other neon color)? That color would actually work well with the color scheme of the bouncy seat that I have pictured! Kids love neon colors, and neon colors stick out much better than the dull brushed grey.

We may not be able to entirely fix the problem, but why aren’t we doing everything we can to reduce the risk of someone tripping over these things!?!