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
This bill prohibits the use, in certain public child care facilities,
of window coverings that are not cordless, do not comply with
established national voluntary safety standards (ANSI/WCMA A100.1 -
the American National Standard for Safety of Corded Window Covering
Products), or have not been retrofitted to mitigate the risk of
strangulation associated with window covering cords.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 amends the social services law by adding a new section
390-aa to provide that any agency boarding home, group home, child day
care center, public institution for children, or any authorized
agency, excluding a foster home, family day care center, or group
family day care center, that installs new or replacement window
coverings on or after October 1, 2014 must install cordless window
coverings that meet the requirements of ANSI/WCMA A100.1-2012. Where
cordless window covering products are not available or are impractical
for certain window applications, non-cordless window covering products
may be used with written documentation by at least two New York window
covering retailers that such product is unavailable or impractical.
Window coverings that are in place before October 1, 2014 must meet
the requirements of a version of ANSI/WCMA A100.1-2012 for certain
shades and blinds listed under this section or be retrofitted with
repair kits approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
for distribution to consumers by the Window Covering Safety Council
Section 2 states that this act shall take effect October 1, 2014;
provided that the provisions of subdivision 4 shall take effect
October 1, 2016.
The Federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has estimated
that, since 1982, at least 200 children have died from strangulation
associated with corded window coverings. Those most at risk are
children aged one to three years old, who have some mobility but are
still unable to fully control their motor functions.
Since 1996, CPSC has partnered with the Window Coverings Manufacturers
Association (WCMA) to develop standards for window coverings that
address this risk, and has also partnered with the Window Coverings
Safety Council (WCSC) to distribute free kits to retrofit older window
coverings that pre-date standards and to reduce the risk of
strangulation. More recently, in 2009, CPSC and window blind
manufacturers participated in a joint voluntary corrective action
program to recall to repair 50 million sets of Roman shades and roll
up blinds throughout the United States to address a risk of
strangulation associated with exposed cords.
This legislation establishes regulatory standards for the different
types of blinds, shades, and window coverings currently available to
consumers in New York. It requires any agency boarding home, group
home, child day care center, public institution for children, or any
authorized agency to replace their blinds with safer alternatives or
modify them with safety mechanisms.
While this proposal does not apply to family foster homes or child
care facilities situated in an individual's residence, it is already
within the Office of Children and Family Services' authority to
regulate compliance with safety standards in these 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.
In enacting this legislation, New York State would be sending a
message that corded window coverings can be a safety hazard to
children and deserve attention and analysis by parents, consumers,
child care agencies, manufacturers, and the government.
None to the state.
This act shall take effect October 1, 2014; provided, however that the
provisions of subdivision 4 of section 390-aa of the social services
law, as added by section one of this act, shall take effect October 1,
2016. 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.