Industrial five-gallon plastic buckets that have been blamed for the drowning deaths of 40 toddlers a year could be redesigned as a result of action by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The three-member panel voted Thursday to issue regulations governing the buckets and to force manufacturers to make them so it would be difficult for infants to climb inside.
Most of the victims are children between the ages of 8 and 14 months who climb into a bucket of water or some other liquid and cannot get out, commission Chairwoman Ann Brown said.
Five manufacturers that represent three-fourths of the industry already plan to put warning labels on buckets made after Jan. 1, 1995, spokesman Bill Roper said. They also plan to begin an educational and informational program by July 1 to alert consumers to the drowning hazards, he said.