Caregivers urged to check their window coverings for dangerous cords
Corded window coverings may pose a strangulation risk to young children
Parents and caregivers are urged to check the window coverings in places where young children frequent. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), window covering cords are one of the top five hazards in the home due to the potential strangulation hazard to young children. To increase awareness of the potential danger that exposed cords can present to young children, October is declared Window Covering Safety Month. The Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC), as well as safety experts, urge parents and caregivers to use only cordless window covering products or those that have inaccessible cords in homes with young children.
Some homes may have older window coverings in place which may not be recognized as a danger by new homeowners or new parents. It’s important to take notice of the window coverings where the children reside and make necessary safety updates. Fortunately, it is easier than ever to “go cordless.” A window covering safety standard went into effect in 2018 requiring all window covering stock products (products commonly sold in retail stores and online) to be cordless or have inaccessible cords to reduce the potential strangulation hazard that exposed cords can present to young children.
To identify window covering products that are safer for homes with young children, consumers should look for products marked with the Best For Kids™ logo. Products marked with this logo either have no cords, no operating cords or inner cords that are not accessible and are also unable to create a hazardous loop. Best For Kids™ products are required to be tested by a third-party. Shoppers can find Best for Kids™ labeled products at all major US retailers.
“Increasing awareness of the dangers of corded window coverings can save lives,” said Window Covering Safety Council Executive Director, Peter Rush. “Safety experts recommend that families in homes with young children should only use cordless window coverings or window coverings with inaccessible cords to limit the risk of preventable accidents.”
The Window Covering Safety Council recommends the following guidelines for window covering safety:
- Install only cordless window coverings or those with inaccessible cords in homes with young children. Replace window blinds and corded shades with products that are cordless or have inaccessible cords marked with the Best for Kids™ certification label.
- If the corded window coverings can’t be replaced with today’s safer products at this time, parents and caregivers should check for the following:
o Keep all window covering cords well out of the reach of children. Eliminate any dangling cords.
o Move all cribs, beds, furniture and toys away from windows and window covering cords, preferably to another wall.
o Make certain that tasseled pull cords are tied up out of reach and as short as possible.
o Continuous-loop cords on draperies and vertical blinds should be permanently anchored to the floor or wall and kept under tension at all times.
o Check that cord stops are properly installed and adjusted to limit the movement of inner lift cords.
For more information on window covering cord safety, visit www.windowcoverings.org. Connect with WCSC on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more home safety information and ideas.
The Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) is a coalition of major U.S. manufacturers, importers and retailers of window coverings. The Council assists and supports its members in the industry’s ongoing efforts to encourage the use of cordless products in homes with young children, its redesign of corded products, and to support the national ANSI/WCMA standard for the safety of corded window coverings. WCSC’s activities in no way constitute an assumption of any legal duty owed by its members or any other entity. Consumers seeking more information can visit WCSC’s website at www.windowcoverings.org.