How safe are nursery products?

The Challenge 

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) collects reliable data about the number of accidents and injuries that occur with nursery products such as cribs, bath seats, strollers, and high chairs. The CPSC Durable Nursery Products Exposure Survey was designed to answer:

  • How many people own different types of infant or toddler products?
  • How do people who own these products acquire, use, and discontinue using them?
  • Did people experience problems with any of these products? If so, were these problems reported?

Designing the study and instrument to address the needs of data collection had several challenges:

  • Locating the appropriate population; only about 10%-15% of households have children under age 6
  • Asking about not only basic product ownership questions but also safety-related behavioral use questions
  • Asking about products, most of which are used by parents for relatively short periods of time in an infant or toddler’s life, some for only a few months

Our Solutions 

  • Westat collaborated with CPSC on all aspects of the project, including
    • Sample design (including identifying and crafting questions)
    • Instrument development
    • Extensive cognitive usability testing
    • IRB and OMB clearances
    • Interviewer training and monitoring
    • Data collection
    • Data tabulations
  • To ensure all U.S. households were represented, Westat designed a random national address-based sample of all U.S. residential addresses from a file maintained by the U.S. Postal Service. Residents at each sampled address were mailed a screener survey that determined the household’s eligibility. Respondents from eligible households provided a phone number and/or email address that allowed Westat to invite them to complete the full survey by phone or web.
  • The CPSC Durable Nursery Products Exposure Survey (data collection completed in 2013) was a multimode (mail, phone, and web) national probability sample of households with parents of children under age 6 about
    • Ownership characteristics of durable infant and toddler products
    • Life cycle of these products
    • Consumer behaviors and perceptions regarding these products.
  • The interviews covered 24 categories of durable infant or toddler products and included questions about accidents or injuries associated with these products. For each product that the household owned and used regularly, the survey included questions that collected details about
    • Product acquisition
    • Usage and disposal
    • Product durability
    • Accidents
    • Product use timeline
  • The survey was administered in both Spanish and English for all modes.
  • The sampled household respondents were weighted to represent all U.S. households with children ages 0-5.  WesVar, a statistical software for the analysis of data from complex surveys, was used to weight the data and to create standard error estimates.

The Results 

  • The goals of the survey and analysis were to
    • Estimate the prevalence and usage of infant products in households with children under age 6
    • Estimate exposure to the products
  • This information will be used in conjunction with other CPSC data to better understand the relative risks of nursery products and how people use them.
  • With this information, CPSC will be better able to develop policies and guidelines in line with its mission.

Our Client 

Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)