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Trenton, NJ - Concerns Over Falling Furniture, TVs Spur New Jersey Bill

Published on: September 6, 2009 07:36 PM
By: AP
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Trenton, NJ - Concerned about the increasing number of children across the nation being injured by falling furniture and televisions, lawmakers in New Jersey want manufacturers to do more to help prevent such tip-over accidents.

The Assembly has given its approval to a measure that requires manufacturers to provide consumers with written notice about devices that can anchor, stabilize or prevent tip-overs and injury, disability or death — particularly with respect to young children. Consumers would be provided with the information when they buy or rent such products.

Known as “Chloe and Samantha’s Law,” in honor of two girls — ages 18 months and 3 years old — who were killed when large televisions tipped onto them in separate incidents. The measure passed the Assembly in June and now awaits action in the Senate’s Commerce Committee.

The proposed rules would apply to dressers, bookcases, bureaus, armoires or similar furniture that is 42 inches or more in height and designed to store, display, or otherwise place items; televisions with display screens that are 25 inches or more; and all television stands.

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A recent study by researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, found childhood injuries from falling furniture and appliances in recent years were up more than 40 percent from levels in the early 1990s. They based their conclusions on government data collected from emergency rooms across the country between 1990 and 2007.

“Losing a child because a household item tipped onto them is unimaginable,” said Assemblyman Matthew W. Milam, D-Cape May Court House, who sponsored the legislation along with colleagues Nelson T. Albano, D-Cape May Court House, and Ruben J. Ramos Jr., D-Hoboken.

“All we’re trying to do here is improve retailer responsibility and consumer knowledge to make sure we do everything we can to protect our children,” Milam said.

If the measure becomes law, it would impose $250 fines for first violations and not more than $500 for each subsequent violation.

“We’re not trying to regulate furniture and televisions,” Ramos said. “Rather, we’re making sure consumers are aware of the dangers associated with some households.”



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Read Comments (14)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Sep 06, 2009 at 06:45 PM Anonymous Says:

So maybe all windows sold in NJ will have a sticker saying: Don't open and jump out if this window is installed on the 10th floor or higher. We cannot protect the am ha'ortzem of the world from themselves.

2

 Sep 06, 2009 at 07:32 PM Rifka Says:

I seriously can't fathom the sheer am aratzus of the last post. Do you actually think your post is humorous?
It is incumbant upon every parent of young children to tether their furniture. There was a three year old frum girl who died bc she pulled a moniter on top of herself in Brooklyn last year. All our furniture is tethered -- and it has to be because I can't be everywhere at once, and you can bet my four year old isn't smart enough to know not to climb the bookcase to get a book on the top shelf.
When my eldest child was only two, in the middle of the night, she tried to climb a bookcase that was baruch Hashem empty, and it fell on her and she got stuck inside one of the shelves. It would have killed her too chas ve-Shalom, had we not been lucky enough that she was small enough to fit inside that shelf and the fact that we had just moved, and we hadn't filled the shelf yet.. Little children, as brilliant as we think they are, don't have enough seychel to protect themselves from themselves. And until they do, it is certainly our achrayus -- regardless of the last post -- to comply with this regulation.

3

 Sep 06, 2009 at 07:40 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

So maybe all windows sold in NJ will have a sticker saying: Don't open and jump out if this window is installed on the 10th floor or higher. We cannot protect the am ha'ortzem of the world from themselves.

The article is about protecting children. If furniture can be designed more safely and children avoid getting killed or paralyzed, then why not.

4

 Sep 06, 2009 at 07:51 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Rifka Says:

I seriously can't fathom the sheer am aratzus of the last post. Do you actually think your post is humorous?
It is incumbant upon every parent of young children to tether their furniture. There was a three year old frum girl who died bc she pulled a moniter on top of herself in Brooklyn last year. All our furniture is tethered -- and it has to be because I can't be everywhere at once, and you can bet my four year old isn't smart enough to know not to climb the bookcase to get a book on the top shelf.
When my eldest child was only two, in the middle of the night, she tried to climb a bookcase that was baruch Hashem empty, and it fell on her and she got stuck inside one of the shelves. It would have killed her too chas ve-Shalom, had we not been lucky enough that she was small enough to fit inside that shelf and the fact that we had just moved, and we hadn't filled the shelf yet.. Little children, as brilliant as we think they are, don't have enough seychel to protect themselves from themselves. And until they do, it is certainly our achrayus -- regardless of the last post -- to comply with this regulation.

Post no. 1 is not suggesting that little children should know not to pull on furniture. His/her point is that any parent who would not know to take such an obvious precaution without the government requiring a special tag on the furniture shouldn't be raising children. We cannot legislate common sense, especially for somthing muvan matzmah.

5

 Sep 06, 2009 at 07:51 PM professor Says:

"Govt., stay out of my home!"

6

 Sep 06, 2009 at 08:02 PM Anonymous Says:

To no #4 - if it SO obvious - are all YOUR wardrobes and bookshelves secured to the wall. Genius.

7

 Sep 06, 2009 at 11:01 PM Paul Says:

Protecting our nation's borders is the government's responsibility. Protecting our children is our responsibility.

8

 Sep 06, 2009 at 09:39 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

To no #4 - if it SO obvious - are all YOUR wardrobes and bookshelves secured to the wall. Genius.

“To no #4 - if it SO obvious - are all YOUR wardrobes and bookshelves secured to the wall. Genius.”

Of course they are. We have raised 5 children safely and never had such an accident. All it costs is a few dollars for several molly bolts through the back of a bookcase or dresser into the drywall. It takes about 5 minutes to pull out the drawers drill the holes, screw in the molly bolts and put the doors back in. After the first time, my wife did this by herself and she is not what I would call a talmid chacham when it comes to "do it yourself" projects. What home does not an electric drill, a screwdriver and a few minutes to stop at the hardware store to pick up the bolts.

9

 Sep 07, 2009 at 02:45 AM Elchonon Says:

The gemarah clearly states that a father is mechuyav to teach his son to swim.. in my thinking I also transelate this as a chiyuv to teach the child how to shoot a gun but thats not now here here.

Most of us who have younger siblings and normal parents, can clearly recall the disappointments and tears at losing your tiny lego pieces etc etc etc etc etc etc.. all the exchanged chanuka gifts.. the toys we couldent buy "no, its too small and the baby may c'v eat it"

Does the amonia REALLY need to say "keep out of the reach of children".. and bug spray etc etc etc..

The issues are that parents are mostly not able to cope.. they go into parenthood refusing to adjust.... yes the shabbos candles should NOT be on the table if your kids eat at the table.. you MUST say no to small toys..lock away the chemicals and medicine etc..

If you cannot make the adjustments.. give up your kids or dont have any..

10

 Sep 07, 2009 at 01:37 AM Anonymous Says:

I am going to bubble wrap my house for my kids one day. that will keep them safe. also draws shouldn't be able to come out all the way that's wat helps the tipping. anchor to the wall behind is the only option for furniture. people make jokes about how gov. is trying to control our houses. but it happens to b there are a lot of injuries and deaths from such type of accidents.

11

 Sep 07, 2009 at 07:48 AM Anonymous Says:

i am not a fan of government intervention, but i have NO problem with the government regulating safety measures for things we buy and bring into our home. they're not forcing us to install the tethers, just ensuring that we know they exist and the dangers of not using them. they're not even forcing the companies to install them for you, just provide information! this is not neccessarily a common sense issue - i'm not so sure it would have occured to me that such a thing could happen had i not read about it in parenting magazines (which many people, especially frum, don't read).

12

 Sep 07, 2009 at 08:44 AM plumber Says:

in jersy the plumbing code already requires all stoves to be equipped with anti tip devices this can be enforced at plumbing ins or by co ins but I'm not sure how this would be enforced being after people move in? What are they going to knock on our doors and do random ins!!!?

13

 Sep 07, 2009 at 02:32 PM D.B.S. Says:

I don't know, but in my house we had a carpenter who screwed in every piece of furniture to the walls... All bookshelfs, etc. had a few strong screws to the wall...

14

 Sep 07, 2009 at 05:30 PM heshy Says:

Reply to #7  
Paul Says:

Protecting our nation's borders is the government's responsibility. Protecting our children is our responsibility.

Not much of a liberal myself, actually more libertarian, i theoretically agree that the Gov't shouldn't be my father and mother.

However, requiring a safety message can't harm anyone.

(PS I avoided wearing seatbelts until I was stopped the 3rd time. It finally dawned on me that 1. It wasn't worth the hassle. And 2. If it saves some lives & prevents the taxpayer to pay huge amounts of money to care for people injured while not wearing seatbelts, maybe it's not the worst thing that the Gov't can do to you.)

15

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