Pet Doors Prove to be a Portal to Danger for Children
A New Advocacy Website and May National Water Safety Month Spotlight this Danger
“Our family has chosen to respond to Matthew’s death by informing the public and working to ensure that pet doors are made safer,”
Pet door-related drowning incidents have been identified through news stories, public health specialists, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and coroners/medical examiners.
“But the total number to date underestimates the true scope of the problem because most accidental drownings are classified only by cause of death or injury and do not identify how the child accessed the water,” said
The size of the opening appears deceptively small. Parents may believe that their child is safely contained inside the home. But an average “medium” pet door with a typical opening of 8×11 inches is recommended by manufacturers for use with pets up to 40 pounds. A 95th percentile, three-year-old male child weighs only 38 pounds and can easily pass through this opening. Reasonable and economically feasible alternatives to the simple flap-style pet door closure exist, yet companies are still marketing and selling these doors with no locking mechanism and without warnings.
“Manufacturers, while quick to blame parents for a lack of supervision, are aware of the risk that pet doors pose to small children,” said product safety attorney
SOURCE Safety Research & Strategies, Inc.