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2003 Model Practice Application (Public)

Application Name: 2003 Model Practice Application (Public) : Central District Health Department Medical Reserve Corps : Consumer Product Safety Recalled Products in Child Care Settings - An inspection program
Applicant Name: Ms. Kathryn Quinn
Practice Title
Consumer Product Safety Recalled Products in Child Care Settings - An inspection program
Submitting LHD/Agency/Organization
Central District Health Department


Since its inception in 1971, the Federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), along with industry, has issued many recalls of products that are considered potentially unsafe for children. Some products have been responsible for death and injury to children in child care settings. The recalled product inspection program assesses the presence of recalled products in childcare settings by conducting a physical survey of each facility in conjunction with routine health and safety inspections. If a recalled product is found during inspection, the operator is given information on the product along with a contract for the repair or replacement. The staff anticipates that by the end of FY2003, all facilities will have been surveyed.

Responsiveness and Innovation
In calendar year 2002, health department staff conducted routine health and safety inspections in 740 facilities caring for 6,775 children, 35 percent of whom were under the age of 36 months. The number of children in each facility ranged from 1 to 106. The issue of safety in childcare settings is of critical importance, especially with the high percentage of children under 3 years of age who are in the care of these facilities. This program, when initiated, was the first time on-site surveys for recalled products were conducted routinely. In 2001, the national reported unintentional child injury rate was 12,999 per 100,000 children, and 6 of the top 10 causes of injury could occur in a childcare setting. This program not only helps to remove potentially harmful items from childcare facilities, it also provides an opportunity to better educate the facility operators about various recalled products.

Agency Community Roles
CDHD conducted the initial study of 400 centers within its jurisdiction, funded by a grant from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (IDHW). As a result of the findings of the initial project, IDHW provided funding to all seven health districts in Idaho to adopt the inspection program in their areas. The surveys are conducted in conjunction with the routine inspections. The operators were very willing to cooperate when they understood that the program was about keeping the children in their facility safe.

Costs and Expenditures
The survey takes an average of 20 minutes to conduct. Since the survey is performed in conjunction with routine planned inspections, there are no additional arrangements or costs involved in the procedure.

Staff used two telephone surveys—one employed by the Kids in Danger organization and one from the Seattle area. The list of recalled products came from the Consumer Product Safety Commission Web site at www.cpsc.gov.

As mentioned, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has funded the program through FY2004. The plan is to continue the surveys and provide information to new childcare facilities as they open. Presently there is a 20 percent annual turnover of facilities, which means there are approximately 140 new facilities at which to conduct an initial survey each year.

Outcome Process Evaluation
The evaluation consists of conducting follow-up surveys with the childcare centers. The follow-up surveys showed 87% of the facilities did not have a recalled product present after one year.

Lessons Learned
As with many programs, the major challenge was to convince the staff and other health districts that there was a public health value to conducting the surveys. After the staff conducted the surveys, they became supporters of the program. Across the state, almost 50 percent of all facilities surveyed have had at least one recalled product. In some cases, facilities may have had many recalled products. The main lesson learned is that, once the staff sees the real value of the program, they will be the ones that really promote the program.

Key Elements Replication
The keys elements needed to replicate this practice include:
  • An adequate amount of time: Initially, allow about 30 minutes per survey then after training, the survey will take about 20 minutes.
  • Staff who already routinely conduct health and safety inspections of child care facilities.
  • Resources including a listing of recalled products (these products can be viewed at www.cpsc.gov).
  • A binder that contains copies (preferably in color) of recalled product.
  • Staff training provided by CPSC.