Former state Superintendent of Education Inez Tenenbaum returned to Columbia Tuesday. But now Tenebaum serves as Chair of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. Tenenbaum used children at Rosewood Elementary School as a backdrop to kick off a nationwide back-to-school safety campaign.
Tenenbaum said that she is passionate about the safety of children, and she mentioned that the Obama Administration has given her the freedom she needs to run the agency. “The President has allowed us to operated independently. My areas of focus will be edcation and advocacy, and operating in an open and transparent way.”
Tenenbaum emphasized that kids should wear approved safety helmets when biking.
Tenenbaum also talked about the harm sometimes caused by drawstrings on sweatshirts. She says a child was recently strangled and her agency fined a manufacturer. “The CPSC penalized Hill Sportswear $100,000 for failing to report drawstrings in their hooded sweatshirts. A little boy was strangled after his sweatshirt got caught in playground equipment.”
Tenenbaum recommends removing drawstrings from any clothing.
She also mentioned another safety concern affecting children, that goals on soccer fields should always be secured, saying that unsecured goals can topple over and hurt children.
Tenenbaum urged adults and students to check product recalls and make sure playgrounds are inspected on a regular basis.
Tenenbaum was confirmed in June as head of the Consumer Products Safety Commission. It oversees about 15,000 products.