If you have small kids in your house, you know all about child proofing. But here's an area that might have slipped by: dangling window or blind cords.
The Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) are urging parents and caregivers to check their window coverings for exposed or dangling cords, which pose a strangulation hazard to infants and young children -- and to replace them as soon as possible with safer blinds and shades. They strongly recommend that only cordless window coverings or those with inaccessible cords be used in homes with young children.
“Every year, cords from window blinds kill children,” said CPSC Chairman Elliot F. Kaye. “Corded window coverings are one of the top five hidden hazards in American homes -- and they are a preventable hazard.”
To heighten public awareness of window cord dangers, the council and CPSC have again declared October “National Window Covering Safety Month.”
“Parents with young children should replace their corded window coverings with the cordless products available,” explained WCSC Executive Director, Peter Rush. “There are many cordless products available in different styles, colors, and sizes that will soon be easily identified with the Best for Kids label.”
A safety push
The industry recently launched the Best for Kids certification program to help consumers and retailers easily identify window covering products that are suitable for use in homes with infants and young children.
For a product to be eligible for this certification program, manufacturers must meet specified program criteria and submit their window covering products to a designated third party testing laboratory.
Once a product passes the third party testing, the manufacturer will be allowed to label the product with the Best for Kids certification seal.
The multiple cordless products available include (partial list):
- cordless drapes,
- light-filtering cordless shades,
- cordless blackout shades,
- cordless roman shades,
- cordless mini-blinds,
- faux wood blinds,
- cordless pleated shades, and
- cordless motorized shades to name a few.
All of the above come in a variety of sizes, patterns, and fabrics from which to choose.
What to do
WCSC and CPSC offer these basic window safety precautions:
- Install only cordless window coverings, or window coverings with inaccessible cords, in homes with young children.
- Move all furniture, cribs, beds, and climbable surfaces away from windows.
- Mount window guards or window stops to prevent children from potentially falling from a window. Ensure that windows cannot open more than four inches if young children are in the home.