Window Covering Cords – A Hidden Household Danger

Wood BlindsAbout once a month, a child between the ages of 7 months and 10 years old dies from strangulation by a “window covering cord” — which is a cord on or in blinds, shades, or draperies.  Even more children are seriously injured.

Injuries can occur when a child is able to reach cords inside or outside of a window covering, the cords form a loop, and a child’s neck becomes trapped inside.  Even two separate cords on blinds can form a loop if they become tangled.  The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a “Safety Alert” highlighting the dangers.  You can see the Safety Alert here[1]

 What Can You Do?

  • Window coverings with cords cannot be made completely safe so, if possible, use “cordless” or “cord free” window coverings in all homes where children live or visit.
  • Take a look at all corded shades and blinds in your home and make sure there are no cords that can be reached on the front, side, or back of the window covering.
  • Do not place cribs, beds, or furniture close to the windows because children can climb on them and gain access to window covering cords.
  • If the window covering has looped bead chains or nylon cords, install devices to keep the cord tight so it cannot be pulled away from the wall.
  • Window blinds sold before 2000 are likely to have cords on the inside that can be pulled out by a child to form a loop.  Lower the risk associated with the inner cords on these blinds by using kits provided by  by the Window Covering Safety Council.  You can order retrofit kits here, or call the organization at 1-800-506-4636. [2]closed shutter

–Janell Mayo Duncan

Sources:

[1] Parents for Window Blind Safety, http://parentsforwindowblindsafety.org; CPSC Safety Alert, “Are Your Window Coverings Safe?”  (viewed 9/22/2014).

[2]  CPSC Blogger, “Kids and Cords Don’t Mix,” December 6, 2010, http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2010/12/kids-and-cords-don’t-mix/; CPSC Safety Alert, “Are Your Window Coverings Safe?”; Window Covering Information Center, http://www.windowcoverings.org (viewed 9/23/2014).

COPYRIGHT©2014 by Living Well Black, Inc.

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