August 31, 2020

Cárdenas, Davis Introduce COVID-19 Home Safety Act

WASHINGTON, DC – On Friday, Congressman Tony Cárdenas (D-CA-29), Vice Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce, and Rodney Davis (R-IL-13) introduced the COVID-19 Home Safety Act. This bill would require the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to study the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on injuries and deaths associated with consumer products.

“Families across America are adapting to this new world of teleworking and virtual schooling,” said Congressman Cárdenas. “While we work to address the challenges that come with these changes, we must also address the very real problems of consumer safety and home injuries brought on by shelter-in-place orders. While stay-at-home orders are necessary, we cannot ignore child-safety risks certain consumer products pose. My bipartisan bill will require this issue to be studied so that lawmakers can take appropriate measures to protect consumers and American children.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has truly changed the world as we know it, and that includes our daily routines,” said Rep. Davis. “Stay-at-home orders and other COVID-19 mitigation efforts mean families and individuals are spending more time at home, which may translate into an increase in certain types of injuries caused by consumer products. Some news reports say that families are putting off hospital and ER visits due to health concerns caused by the pandemic, and that may translate into other negative health consequences as well. That’s why Rep. Cardenas and I are introducing legislation to study this issue – so we get a full understanding of how the pandemic is affecting consumer safety and families across our country.”

According to recent reports, pediatricians and ER doctors have seen an increase in patients seeking treatment for home injuries following the coronavirus outbreak. The COVID-19 Home Safety Act specifically requires that the CPSC submit to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and make publicly available, a report on the effect of the COVID-19 public health emergency on injuries and deaths from consumer products. The bill requires that the CPSC report include:

  1. Relevant data and statistics from the Commission and relevant agencies media reports, and any other relevant data sources.
  2. An identification of trends in injuries and deaths from consumer products,     comparing data from representative time periods before and during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  3. An identification of subpopulations that have experienced elevated risk of injury or death from consumer products during the COVID-19 public health emergency, such as minorities, infants, people with disabilities, children, or the elderly.

“The National Consumers League supports the COVID-19 Home Safety Act sponsored by Congressman Tony Cardenas (D-CA) and Congressman Rodney Davis (R-IL). This Legislation will require the CPSC to track the impact of the Covid pandemic on Injuries and accidents from consumer products. We especially applaud the bill’s focus on injuries to children, older Americans and other vulnerable populations. The gathering of data on injuries from products at this challenging time -as America faces the Covid pandemic - is essential to preventing these incidents and better protecting the American public,” said Sally Greenberg Executive Director for National Consumers League.

“Consumer Federation of America applauds the introduction of the COVID-19 Home Safety Act of2020. This bill will provide the public, CPSC, Members of Congress, product manufacturers, pediatricians and other doctors, and consumer advocates about whether the impacts of the novel corona virus include changes in deaths and injuries associated with consumer products,” stated Rachel Weintraub, legislative director and general counsel with the Consumer Federation of America. “With the fundamental  shifts in  how and where Americans are living due to compliance with social distancing and stay at home orders due to COVID-19, it is critical that we have data about whether these changes have implications on unintentional injuries and deaths, and then, whether  changes are necessary to reduce these incidents,” Rachel Weintraub Legislative Director and Senior Counsel for Consumer Federation of America (CFA).

“Kids In Danger (KID) applauds U.S. Reps. Cárdenas and Davis for introducing the COVID–19 Home Safety Act of 2020. From the beginning of this pandemic, KID has raised concerns about the impact on the safety of children as their routines are interrupted and they are spending much more time indoors and at home,” stated Nancy Cowles, Executive Director of Kids In Danger.  “At the same time, their parents and caregivers are stretched thin working remotely and supervising virtual schooling.  CPSC is the government agency charged with protecting children from dangerous products and a key function during this crisis should be giving consumers, other agencies and companies the information they need to take action to protect families.”

“With so many of us spending more time at home, it’s critical to understand how people – and especially children – are getting injured by household products during this unusual time,” said Oriene Shin, policy counsel for Consumer Reports. “This bipartisan bill recognizes that helping people keep their families safe right now depends on having clear data about the effect of the pandemic on injury and fatality trends. Consumer Reports thanks the bill’s sponsors for their leadership and urges Congress to pass the bill swiftly.”