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The message is clear: Got kids? Go cordless! Window cords are one of the most dangerous hidden hazards in the home. During October’s Window Covering Safety Month, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging parents and caregivers to check all window coverings for exposed or dangling cords, which pose a strangulation hazard to infants and children.
“CPSC wants to remind parents and caregivers to use only cordless window coverings or those with inaccessible cords in homes with young children,” says CPSC Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle. “We encourage parents and caregivers to examine all shades and blinds in their homes for accessible cords on the front, side and back, and replace corded products with cordless window products that are widely available for sale today.”
To heighten public awareness of window cord dangers, the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) once again declared October National Window Covering Safety Month.
CPSC is in agreement with WCSC and safety advocates that only cordless window coverings, or those with inaccessible cords, should be used in homes, childcare centers, and other places where young children are present.
The good news is that, come December 15, 2018, products that consumers can pick up in a retail store or order online as ready-made will not contain hazardous cords if the product is compliant with the ANSI/WCMA A100.1-2018 standard. Consumers should look for window coverings that comply with the new voluntary standard.
The more sobering news is that from 2012 to 2017, there have been 50 fatalities reported to CPSC that were related to window cord strangulation among infants and young children.
Remember, if you have corded window coverings in your house, we recommend that you replace them with cordless ones to prevent this deadly hazard to children.
If you are unable to do so, follow these tips:
– Move all cribs, beds, furniture and toys away from windows and window cords, preferably to another wall.
– Make sure that tasseled pull cords are as short as possible.
– Keep all window cords well out of the reach of children. Eliminate any dangling cords.
– Check that cord stops are properly installed and adjusted to limit the movement of inner lift cords.
– Continuous-loop cords on draperies and vertical blinds should be permanently anchored to the floor or wall.
For more information, check out CPSC’s Window Covering Safety Education Center.