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Doctors: Collapsible laundry hampers can cause eye injuries

Doctors are warning that collapsible laundry hampers can be dangerous after two children received serious eye injuries from the products. The doctors, from the University of Illinois at Chicago, recently wrote a journal article that urged warnings that the hampers could be potentially dangerous household products.

The collapsible laundry hampers contain wires that enable them to collapse and expand. Those wires can cause severe injuries. The doctors described cases in which two children, ages 11 years old and 23 months, had to have emergency surgery after the wiring in the hampers punctured their eyeballs.

    The injuries were serious. The 11-year-old boy had to have a second surgery and must now wear a contact lens and the toddler girl developed a lazy eye that required glasses and a patch for 18 months.

    As a result of these injuries, a doctor involved in the journal articles is recommending that collapsible laundry hampers be placed away from children. She also recommends that parents check the condition of their collapsible hampers. If they are worn or the fabric is frayed, it's time to throw them away. She believes that warning labels may be needed. Design changes could also be needed, she said.

    A spokesman for a company that makes collapsible hampers said that the company had never heard complaints about its collapsible hampers, but that it would look into warning labels.

    Hampers are among a wide range of household products and appliances that can pose dangers to children and adults. After a serious injury from a household product, people may want to consider having a personal injury attorney evaluate whether they have a potential products liability claim.

    Source: Reuters, "Collapsible hampers pose eye risk for kids: doctors," Genevra Pittman, July 1, 2013

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