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Proposed Legislation Would Protect Children From Accidents

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 8:35 pm    Post subject: Proposed Legislation Would Protect Children From Accidents
From Thu Jan 10, 2008 3:00 am to Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:59 am (included)
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January 10, 2008

Press Release

News From: Senator Jeff Van Drew, Assemblyman Nelson Albano & Matt Milam

Van Drew Introduces Senate Bill To Protect Children From Fatal Accidents

Legislation Would Prevent Fatal Accident That Caused Death Of Vineland Native Chloe Keiser and Lawrenceville Toddler Samantha Ventresca

Contact: Senator Van Drew 609-381-6150
Assemblyman Albano 609-319-7180
Assemblyman Milam 609-465-0700
Allison Murphy 609-675-0747

Millville, NJ - Senator Jeff Van Drew announces that he will introduce a bill into the Senate that will require furniture and appliance vendors to warn consumers of the possible danger their products can cause children. Assembleyman Nelson Albano and Matt Milam will introduce the companion bill into the Assembly.

The bill, "Chloe and Samantha's Law" named after Chloe Keiser of Vineland and Samantha Ventresca of Lawrenceville, was crafted after Senator Van Drew met with Chloe's mother, Erin. The law would make sure the most dangerous types of furniture and appliances for children (furniture with drawers that children can pull out and climb onto, entertainment centers, televisions/computer monitors and appliances like stoves) would carry a warning to let people know that children under 10 years old can seriously be injured or killed from these fixtures tipping over. It would also require vendors of these pieces to inform consumers about the safety devices.

Chloe Keiser was killed when a 27 inch television accidentally fell on top of her. The television stand did not come with safety straps, warning lables or a warning to buy safety straps for the device. If the Keiser family knew that accidental deaths or injury could happen from these types of furniture and appliances, then they would have taken all precautions to safely secure all furniture. Erin Keiser has been relentlessly petitioning elected officials as well as furniture and appliance vendors to make buyers aware of these dangers. She hopes that Chloe and her story will help prevent deaths like these.

Samantha Ventresca was killed when a 30 inch television fell off of a bureau and onto her head. The Ventresca's would have also taken all precautions necessary to safely secure furniture if they knew of the dangers. Tonya Ventresca, Samantha's mother, has also been an advocate of furniture and television safety since her daughter's death.

"We can't regulate every piece of furniture out there," Senator Van Drew said. "We can make families aware of the danger certain types of household fixtures have. By letting consumers know the hazards certain furniture have, we can prevent more deaths like these. The warnings this law requires will clearly state how to make household objects safer and is worthwhile even if we save one young life."

Chloe and Samantha's Law will recommend fabric wall straps be available for purchase for storage furniture with drawers that weigh less than 125 pounds. Each piece of furniture should have two straps that are secured from the fixture into a stud in the wall. Furniture over 125 pounds should use the fabric straps and "L" brackets. There should be two "L" brackets per piece of furniture and should also be fastened into a wall stud. The law will also recommend that television and computer straps be available for large screen televisions and computer monitors.

"Parents should know what options are available to them in order to protect their most prized possession, their children," said Assembleyman Albano.

Currently the fabric furniture wall straps are available at Babies R Us stores and online. The top choice brand for professional baby proofers is "Safety 1st," according to the International Association for Child Safety.

"L Brackets are common and available at most home improvement stores and home improvement websites. More information on the International Association for Child Safety is available on the website at http://www.iafcs.com/

"If more parents knew they had an option to make life better for their children, they would take that option without hesitation," Assemblyman Milam said.

The U.S. Consumer Protect Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that in 2005 at least 3,000 children younger than 5 were treated in U.S. hospitals for injuries related to televisions tipping over. The CPSC also reports that between the years 2000-2005, 64 deaths were related to furniture tipping over while 36 deaths were caused by a television tip-over. More information on the voluntary safety standards the CPSC puts forth can be found online at http://www.cspc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/5004.pdf
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