Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal Passes Legislation to Prevent Children Strangulation Deaths

October 7, 2013

New York, NY – Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF-Manhattan) announced today that she passed legislation (A.812-A/ S.3678-A), carried by Partick M. Gallivan in the State Senate, that would protect infants and young children against the dangers posed for corded window blinds and roman shades.

“Too many parents are suffering with a loss far too great to bear because of a common but no less dangerous household threat – corded window blinds,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal. “Not only will this legislation, once it is signed into law, help to prevent death and serious injury, it will also begin a conversation and help raise potentially life-saving awareness.”

Since 1982, the Consumer Protection Safety Commission has estimated that at least 200 children have died of strangulation from roman and roll-up window blinds. According to the Parents for Window Blind Safety, a national advocacy group, the total number of fatalities is closer to 500. Young children inadvertently get caught in the cord that dangles beside the window covering and asphyxiate in moments.

The bill, portions of which would take effect 60 days after it becomes law or alternatively in 2016, would apply to state child care facilities and other public institutions for children and would require that these institutions, during the ordinary course of maintenance and renovation, replace corded window coverings with cordless alternatives of modify them with safety mechanisms. The bill awaits the Governor’s signature.