2003 Legislative Update
from the Assembly Subcommittee on


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

A Message from the Chair

This year has been another successful year for the Subcommittee on Child Product Safety. I was able to raise awareness of significant issues facing consumers regarding car seat safety, the dangers of box cutters sold to minors, and the importance of reporting dangerous toys.

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 Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee, the Subcommittee on Child Product Safety will continue to work on issues to keep our children safe and happy.

I welcome comments and questions 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

2003 Child Product Safety Legislation

Child Safety Seat Compatibility
Assembly bill 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 automobile.

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 under five. This bill has passed the Assembly.

Sale of Box Cutters to Minors
Assembly bill A.128 (Markey) would prohibit the sale of box cutters or utility knives to any person under eighteen years of age. However, this bill would not prohibit the temporary transfer of a box cutter or utility knife to a person under eighteen years of age by a personís employer during the course and scope of employment.

This bill attempts to curb the increase of box cutters being used as weapons against students and teachers. Such attacks have increased in New York State. This bill has passed the Assembly.

Child Product Safety Information

If you have questions about recalled products, 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.

12 Ways to Childproof Your Home*

  • Use safety latches and locks for cabinets and drawers in kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas to help prevent poisonings and other injuries.
  • Use safety gates to help prevent falls down stairs and to keep children away from dangerous areas.
  • Use doorknob covers and door locks to help prevent children from entering rooms and other areas with possible dangers.
  • Child Product Safety Tips

    • As of March 1999, all bicycle helmets made in or imported to the United States must meet a uniform safety standard issued by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Look for a label or sticker that says the helmet meets the new CPSC standard.
    • When children ride their scooters, remember to always have them wear a helmet, elbow pads, and kneepads. In addition, the scooter should be ridden on the sidewalk or paved off-road paths away from cars and other vehicles. When riding a scooter, have them stay away from sand, gravel, water and dirt because it increases the chance an accident may occur.

    Use anti-scald devices for faucets and shower heads and set your water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to help prevent burns from hot water.
  • Use smoke detectors on every level of your home and near bedrooms to alert you to fires.
  • Use window guards and safety netting to help prevent falls from windows, balconies, decks, and landings.
  • Use corner and edge bumpers to help prevent injuries from falls against sharp edges or furniture and fireplaces.
  • Use outlet covers and outlet plates to help prevent electrocution.
  • Use a carbon monoxide (CO) detector outside bedrooms to help prevent CO poisoning.
  • Cut window blind cords; use safety tassels and inner cord stops to help prevent children from strangling in blind cord loops.
  • Use doorstops and door holders to help prevent injuries to fingers and hands.
  • Use a cordless phone to make it easier to continuously watch young children, especially when they are in bathtubs, swimming pools, or other potentially dangerous areas.

*Information from the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission

In the Assembly, Assemblywoman Margaret Markey passionately argues the need for Child Product Safety.
Susan Crane of NYPIRG joins Assemblywoman Margaret Markey at a roundtable on Child Product Safety. During a break, they display two potentially dangerous childrenís toys.

For additional information, contact:

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

New York State Assembly
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