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Shapiro passes law to create child safety task force in PA

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 4:37 pm    Post subject: Shapiro passes law to create child safety task force in PA
From Sun Jul 02, 2006 3:00 am to Wed Jul 05, 2006 2:59 am (included)
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CONTACT: Lauren Rooney
House Democratic Communications Office
Phone: 717-787-7895
Fax: 717-783-6839
Email: lrooney@pahouse.net
State Rep. Josh Shapiro


Shapiro passes law to create child safety task force in PA

Katie Elise Lambert Task Force on Child Safety would investigate unintentional deaths, injuries

HARRISBURG, July 2 – State Rep. Josh Shapiro’s proposal to create a statewide commission to investigate unintentional child deaths and suggest ways to reduce them became law in Pennsylvania Saturday.

Shapiro’s legislation (H.R. 357) creates the “Katie Elise Lambert Task Force on Child Safety,” a panel that will review state laws and regulations and make recommendations for improving child safety through the efforts of parents, health-care providers, legislators and product manufacturers.

The task force, named in honor of a 3-year-old Abington girl who died in January 2005 in a furniture tip-over accident at home, will hold hearings and report its findings to state lawmakers.

Shapiro crafted the resolution after meeting with Katie’s parents Bob and Judy Lambert who also testified before a House Children and Youth Committee hearing convened by Shapiro last year about childhood accidental injuries and deaths.

“As a father, I know that there is certainly nothing that could possibly take away the pain of a child lost, but this task force honors Katie’s legacy by helping to craft laws that will keep other children safe,” Shapiro said.

The Lamberts created the Katie Elise Lambert Foundation (www.katieeliselambert.com) to focus attention on the importance of child safety and to give parents tips to keeping their homes safe for children. Shapiro said the task force created by this legislation further advances their efforts.

The task force will include legislators, a parent representative, a pediatrician, a member of a county child death review team, child safety advocate and a product safety expert in the manufacturing industry.

The task force’s final report is to include:

· Statistics on the leading causes of unintentional childhood injury deaths and serious injuries;

· Behaviors and strategies to reduce the risk of childhood injuries and inform others about possible injury hazards in the home;

· Recommendations to raise awareness among parents and others of the threat of unintentional injuries to children;

· Suggestions pediatricians and other health-care professionals can provide to parents during routine health visits about steps they can take to prevent unintentional injuries at home;

· The feasibility of laws mandating warning labels on assembled and ready-to-assemble furniture.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 8,000 to 10,000 people, mostly children, are injured or killed each year as the result of tipping furniture. It is estimated that six children die each year as a result of injuries sustained from tipping furniture.
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