Requires child day care centers, public institutions for children and certain other facilities installing new or replacement window coverings on or after October 1, 2013, to install cordless window coverings; requires child day care centers, public institutions for children and certain other facilities that have window coverings in place before October 1, 2013, to meet minimum safety standards established in regulations jointly adopted by the department of children and family services and the department of education.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the social services law, in relation to requiring cordless window coverings in child day care centers, public institutions for children and certain other facilities
PURPOSE: This bill will prohibit the use of corded blinds in certain public child care facilities in order to remove the threat of strangulation or other harms caused by window covering cords.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: The social services law will be amended by adding a new section 390-i defining relevant terms and establishing the prohibition.
JUSTIFICATION: Since 1982, the federal Consumer Protection Safety Commission has estimated at least 200 children have died of strangulation from Roman and roll-up window blinds. According to advocacy groups such as the Parents for Window Blind Safety, the number of fatalities and serious injuries is closer to 500. Those most at risk are children aged 1 to 3 years old, who have some mobility but are still unable to fully control their motor functions.
That window blinds and coverings with easily accessible drawstrings are a serious safety hazard is nothing new. In 2009, a joint effort by the Consumer Protection Safety Commission and window blind manufacturers ordered the recall of 50 million sets of blinds throughout the United States. As far as three decades earlier, a federal study tied the deaths of 41 children between 1973 and 1980 to blind and shade cord strangulation.
This legislation strengthens regulatory standards for the different types of blinds, shades and window coverings currently available to consumers. It also requires boarding homes, group homes, child day care centers, authorized agencies and public institutions for children, in the course of regular maintenance and renovation, to replace their blinds with safe alternatives or modify them with safety mechanisms.
While this proposal does not directly apply to family foster homes or child care facilities situated in an individual's residence, it is already within Office of Children and Family Services authority to regulate safety standards in those locations. Authorized "home finders" visit prospective parents and operators, perform safety assessments, provide training on taking proper care of children, and require modifications when necessary.
Building on the legacy of Maryland's Angel's Law, enacted in 2010 in response to the 2009 death of Angel Duane, a toddler who caught and strangled himself in corded window blinds after being left alone for 20 minutes, despite the fact that the cords were in the raised position. A similar effort is being made to address this issue in Congress. In enacting this legislation, New York State would be sending a message that corded, roman and roll-up blinds can be a serious safety hazard, and deserve greater attention and analysis by parents, consumers, child-care agencies, manufacturers and the government.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act will take effect October 1, 2013. Effective immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6721 IN SENATE March 13, 2012 ___________Introduced by Sen. GALLIVAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Social Services AN ACT to amend the social services law, in relation to requiring cord- less window coverings in child day care centers, public institutions for children and certain other facilities THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The social services law is amended by adding a new section 390-i to read as follows: S 390-I. CORDLESS WINDOW COVERINGS REQUIRED. 1. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION THE FOLLOWING TERMS SHALL HAVE THE MEANINGS SET FORTH BELOW: (A) "BEADED CHAIN" MEANS A SERIES OF SMALL SPHERES, EQUALLY SPACED ON A CORD OR CONNECTED BY METAL SHAFTS USED TO RAISE AND LOWER A WINDOW COVERING. (B) "CORD LOOP" MEANS A CURVING OR DOUBLING OF A BEADED CHAIN OR CORD TO FORM A CLOSED LOOP. (C) "CORDLESS WINDOW COVERING" MEANS: (I) A HORIZONTAL BLIND OR CELLULAR SHADE THAT HAS NO DRAW CORD AND THE INTERNAL LIFT CORD RUNS IN THE SLATS OF THE HORIZONTAL BLIND SO THAT THE CORD IS INCAPABLE OF FORMING A LOOP GREATER THAN 7.25 INCHES; (II) A ROMAN SHADE, ROLL-UP BLIND, OR WOVEN SHADE THAT HAS NO DRAW CORD AND THE LIFT CORD IS COMPLETELY ENCLOSED SO THAT IT IS NOT ACCESSI- BLE; (III) A VERTICAL BLIND THAT HAS A WAND AS ITS OPERATING MECHANISM AND DOES NOT CONTAIN ANY BEADED CHAINS, CORDED PULLEYS, OR OTHER CORD LOOP OPERATING MECHANISMS; AND (IV) A ROLLER SHADE THAT DOES NOT CONTAIN A CORD OR BEADED CHAIN. (D) "DRAW CORD" MEANS ANY FORM OF ROPE, STRAP, OR STRING USED TO RAISE OR LOWER A WINDOW COVERING. (E) "INTERNAL LIFT CORD" MEANS A CORD THAT IS CONTAINED INSIDE THE BODY AND RAILS OF THE BLIND OR SHADE. (F) "WAND" MEANS A ROD USED TO: (I) ROTATE A VERTICAL BLIND; OR (II) TILT A HORIZONTAL BLIND.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD11069-07-2 S. 6721 2
2. ANY AGENCY BOARDING HOME, GROUP HOME, CHILD DAY CARE CENTER, PUBLIC INSTITUTION FOR CHILDREN, OR ANY AUTHORIZED AGENCY NOT INCLUDING A FOSTER HOME, FAMILY DAY CARE CENTER OR GROUP FAMILY DAY CARE CENTER INSTALLING NEW OR REPLACEMENT WINDOW COVERINGS ON OR AFTER OCTOBER FIRST, TWO THOUSAND THIRTEEN, SHALL INSTALL CORDLESS WINDOW COVERINGS OR WINDOW COVERINGS WITH INACCESSIBLE OPERATIONAL AND INNER CORDS. 3. ANY AGENCY BOARDING HOME, GROUP HOME, CHILD DAY CARE CENTER, OR PUBLIC INSTITUTION FOR CHILDREN OR ANY AUTHORIZED AGENCY NOT INCLUDING A FOSTER HOME, FAMILY DAY CARE CENTER OR GROUP FAMILY DAY CARE CENTER THAT HAS WINDOW COVERINGS IN PLACE BEFORE OCTOBER FIRST, TWO THOUSAND THIR- TEEN, SHALL MEET MINIMUM SAFETY STANDARDS ESTABLISHED IN REGULATIONS JOINTLY ADOPTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES AND THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION THAT INCLUDE STANDARDS FOR: (A) ROMAN SHADES, ROLL-UP SHADES, WOVEN SHADES, AND ALL WINDOW COVERINGS WITH EXPOSED AND UNSECURED CORDS; (B) HORIZONTAL BLINDS, CELLULAR SHADES, AND ALL WINDOW COVERINGS THAT HAVE DRAW CORDS FOR THEIR OPERATION; AND (C) VERTICAL BLINDS AND OTHER WINDOW COVERING PRODUCTS WITH LOOPS UTILIZED IN THEIR OPERATION. 4. IF A PERSON FAILS TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF SUBDIVISION THREE OF THIS SECTION, THE AUTHORIZED AGENCY SHALL REQUIRE REPLACEMENT OF EXISTING WINDOW COVERINGS WITH CORDLESS WINDOW COVERINGS OR WINDOW COVERINGS WITH INACCESSIBLE OPERATIONAL AND INNER CORDS. S 2. This act shall take effect October 1, 2013. Effective immediate- ly, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date.