MI Senate votes to protect children from window blind cord

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LANSING Measures to help prevent accidental strangulations of children caught in window blind cords was approved by the Michigan Senate Thursday, said Sen. Mike Kowall, sponsor of the legislation.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a child dies every two weeks from window cord strangulations. Window blind cord strangulation is rated as one of the top five home hazards.

“As a parent and grandparent, I want to do everything possible to help protect Michigan children,” said Kowall, R-White Lake. “It was my honor to introduce these simple and sensible measures to help save the lives of children all across our state. I look forward to seeing them signed into law.”

Senate Bill 602 would require child care facilities to retrofit or buy window blinds or coverings that are designed to prevent strangulation accidents.

SB 603 prohibits the sale of window blinds or coverings that do not include hardware designed to prevent strangulation accidents. The bill also requires blinds and coverings be sold with a warning.

Kowall introduced both measures to help prevent tragedies like the death of two-year-old Isabela Grace Nagara, of Commerce Township, who was accidentally strangled by a window blind cord in June 2009 while taking a nap.

According to a June 2011 story in the Chicago Tribune, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reports “that more than 200 children in the United States have died in the last two decades from being strangled in window-cord related accidents with blinds and shades.”

An article in The New York Times last spring stated that a federal study conducted in 1981 by the commission determined that 41 children died from strangling to death in drapery and blind cords between 1973 and 1980.

Due to strangulation hazards, in 2005 the commission recalled 50 million Roman shades and roll-up blinds, one of the biggest product recalls in history.

SBs 602 and 603 now go to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

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