2004 Legislative Update
from the Assembly Subcommittee on
Child Product Safety

Sheldon Silver, Speaker • Margaret Markey, Chair
Audrey I. Pheffer, Chair, Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee

Message from the Chair

I am pleased to report the results of another successful legislative session. I have supported initiatives that would increase child product safety and improve information available to the purchaser of consumer products. Such initiatives include the clarification of standards regarding drawstrings on children’s clothing, and requiring the disclosure of the name and address of the manufacturer of consumer products, and importer if the product is distributed by the importer.

This newsletter will highlight these issues as well as other child product safety information that is vital to the protection of our children. Together with the Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection, the Subcommittee on Child Product Safety will continue to work on issues to keep our children safe and happy.

I welcome questions and comments from the public regarding your thoughts about these issues and any other concerns you may have regarding child product safety. If you would like additional copies of this newsletter, please contact my office at (718) 651-3185.

Margaret Markey
Chair, Subcommittee on Child Product Safety

2004 Child Product Safety Legislation

Drawstrings used in Children’s Clothing
A.10866 (Dinowitz) would prohibit the sale of clothing from children’s size two-T to children’s size sixteen, inclusive, that has a drawstring at the bottom opening of an upper garment or a drawstring at the waist longer than three inches, and it also would prohibit the sale of any children’s clothing up to and including children’s size twelve that has a hood-or neck-opening drawstring.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued guidelines to help prevent children from strangling or getting entangled in the neck and waist drawstrings of upper outerwear garments, such as jackets and sweatshirts. This bill clarifies and strengthens current law regarding drawstrings and its use in children’s clothing. This bill has passed both the Assembly and the Senate and awaits action by the Governor.

Notice of Manufacturer and Importer
A.1431 (Jacobs) would require the name and address of the manufacturer, and the name and address of the importer if the importer distributes for sale, to be placed on the consumer item. A “consumer product” as defined by this bill is any toy or other article intended for use by children or any electrical product intended for a consumer’s personal use. The purpose of this legislation is to be able to quickly locate the manufacturer or importer of a consumer product in the case of a recall.

Child Safety Seat Compatibility
A.5074 (Pheffer) would require child safety seats to be labeled with information informing the consumer that not all child safety seats are compatible with all automobiles. This bill would encourage persons to ensure that the child safety seat being purchased is compatible with their automobiles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that a properly used child safety seat reduces the risk of fatality by 71 percent and the risk of serious injury by 67 percent among children less than five years of age.

Safety from Household Poisons*

  • Never leave a bottle of aspirin or other pills where children can reach it. Return it to a safe place immediately after using.
  • Use child-resistant closures for medications and household products whenever young children are around.
  • Store medications and household products so that children cannot reach them, preferably in a locked cabinet or closet.
  • Keep all products in original containers. Never place kerosene, anti-freeze, paints, or solvents in cups, glasses, milk or soft-drink bottles, or other utensils customarily used for food or drinks.
  • Cleaning fluids, detergents, lye, soap powders, insecticides, and other everyday household products should be stored away from food and medications. Death could be the result of a mistaken identity.
  • Children should not be deceived by having flavored medicines called “candy.” When left alone, they may locate the bottle and eat or drink its contents.
  • If the child is walking, be certain that bottles and boxes containing medicines or household products are put away before answering the telephone or doorbell.
  • Be sure that all products are properly labeled, and read the label before using.
  • Always turn the light on when giving or taking medicine to be sure you have the right medicine and the correct measure or count of the dosage.
  • Get rid of old medicines by flushing them down the drain or toilet, rinsing the container in water, and then discarding it. Do not put container with its contents into trash.

*Information from the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission

You should have the number of your local Poison Control Center easily accessible. The phone number of the Poison Control Center in Manhattan is 212-340-4494. The number for the U.S. Poison Control Center is 1-800-222-1222. This toll-free number will put you in touch with the poison control center in your area.

Child Product Safety Information

If you have questions about recalled products or you want to report an unsafe product or report any injury or death involving consumer products, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission provides a hotline where information about specific concerns is available. They can be reached at 1-800-638-CPSC (1-800-638-2772) (TTY 800-638-8270), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also contact the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission online at www.cpsc.gov.

Remember, the CPSC does not have jurisdiction over automobiles, trucks and motorcycles, car seats protecting children in on-road vehicles, foods, medicines, cosmetics, and medical devices, or dissatisfaction with business practices.

Assemblymember Margaret Markey
Chair, Assembly Subcommittee on Child Product Safety
Room 654 LOB
Albany, New York 12248

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