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Pool Alarms No Substitute for Barriers, Vigilance

Pool Alarms No Substitute for Barriers, Vigilance...



WASHINGTON, May 26, 2000 -- Memorial Day weekend is the time many families open their home pools for the summer. Pool owners, especially those with young children and grandchildren, should always keep in mind the deadly hazards a pool can pose.

About 350 children under 5 years old drown in pools each year nationwide and 2,600 are treated in hospital emergency rooms for near-drowning incidents. Most of the cases involve residential pools.

To prevent this tragedy, many pool owners use pool alarms designed to sound a warning if a child falls into the water. Sales of pool alarms have doubled since 1994. A study released today by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) tested the performance of various pool alarm systems.

The CPSC study looked at three types of alarms: floating alarms that detect waves on the surface; underwater alarms that detect waves under the surface; and a wristband alarm, which is worn by a child, and alarms when exposed to water.

CPSC's tests showed that underwater alarms performed the most consistently (with one surface alarm - PoolSOS - performing almost as well). Underwater sensors worked more consistently and were less likely to set off false alarms. When a test object, intended to simulate the weight of a small child, was pushed into a pool, the underwater sensors detected it most reliably.

The underwater alarms also can be used in conjunction with pool covers, whereas the surface alarms cannot. The wristband device worked well but can be impractical because the caregiver must remember to put it on the child, and it also responds when exposed to any water source, such as tap water.

Pool Alarms that Performed Well in the CPSC Tests
Underwater AlarmsFloating/Surface Alarm
Poolguard - PBM IndustriesPoolSOS - Allweather Inc.
Sentinel LINK - Lambo Products Inc. 


"Pool alarms can be used as an extra safeguard, but should never be relied upon as the only line of defense in preventing a child from drowning in your pool," said CPSC Chairman Ann Brown. "The keys to preventing these tragedies are placing barriers around your pool, closely supervising your child and being prepared in case of an emergency."


BOB Jogging Strollers

BOB Jogging Strollers Recall...

WASHINGTON, May 2, 2000 -- BOB Trailers Inc., of San Luis Obispo, Calif., is voluntarily recalling about 3,700 jogging strollers because of a problem with the front wheel.

BOB jogging strollerThe stroller's front wheel connector can crack during use, causing the wheel to separate from the frame. A jogger could lose control of the stroller or the stroller could suddenly collapse resulting in injury to a child.

BOB Trailers has received seven reports of the wheel connector cracking causing the front wheel to become loose. No injuries have been reported.

The recall involves the BOB Sport Utility Stroller and BOB Sport Utility Stroller D'lux. The strollers have three wheels and are pacific blue and black, or hunter green and black. Each stroller has a canopy. The "BOB" logo is on the stroller's frame, canopy and on the seat back. Bike, baby and outdoor product stores and web sites retailers sold the strollers nationwide from November 1998 through March 2000 for about $280 to $370.

Consumers should stop using the stroller immediately, and return it to the store where purchased for repair. Consumers also can return the strollers to BOB Trailers for repair. For more information, call (800) 893-2447 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday or access the company's website.