According the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC,) a young child is likely to die this month, strangled by a window covering cord. “Window cord strangulations are one of the top hidden hazards in the home,” explains CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “CPSC recommends that only cordless window coverings or those with inaccessible cords be used in homes with young children.  They are available today in the marketplace and will prevent window blind strangulations. Make sure all window shades, blinds and draperies in your home do not have cords that are within the reach of a child.” CPSC has recalled millions of window coverings that have cords in the past few years. This is a hidden danger and parents and caregivers need to be made aware.

The following are recommendations from WCSC and CPSC to help prevent strangulations:

  • Examine all shared and blinds for exposed cords on the front, side and back of the project.
  • Use cordless window coverings in home with young children.
  • If you cannot afford new cordless window coverings, contact the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) at 800-506-4636 or at www.windowcoverings.org for a free repair kit to make them safer.
  • Move all furniture, cribs, beds and climbable surfaces away from windows.
  • Keep all window cords well out of the reach of children.
  • Be sure cord stops are properly installed and adjusted to limit inner-cord movement.
  • Make sure tasseled pull cords are as short as possible. Continuous-loop pull cords on draperies and vertical blinds should be pulled tight and anchored to the floor or wall.

 “Parents who check their windows and window coverings for safety and replace their older corded blinds, shades and draperies with cordless products can feel more confident about their child’s well-being,” says Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) Executive Director Peter Rush.

In May of this year, the WCMA and CPSC held a public meeting to discuss the technologies and associated challenges in making window coverings safer. The CPSC staff continues to develop a “mandatory performance standard,” and will meet again by the end of 2015 to host a window coverings voluntary standards meeting at the CPSC National Product Test and Evaluation Center in Rockville, MD.