CPSC Urges Those With Children To Use Cordless Window Coverings To Avoid Strangulation Risks
Federal consumer safety officials are again urging parents and those with young children in the home to install cordless window coverings, due to the continuing problems with strangulations linked to corded blinds and shades.
Earlier this month, the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) declared October National Window Covering Safety Month, launching a month-long effort to raise awareness of the dangers window coverings with cords pose to children.
Curtains, blinds, and other window coverings with cords pose a risk for young children, which can lead to strangulation, permanent brain damage, quadriplegia, scars around the neck and death.
The danger involves the window blind pull cords, continuous loops cords, inner cords or any other accessible cords on windows coverings. Nine children under the age of five die every year from strangulation in window blinds, shades and curtains with cords, according to the CPSC, and there have been nearly 200 strangulation accidents involving window blinds from January 2009 to December 2020.
“Children have strangled to death on the cords of window blinds, shades, draperies and other window coverings, and this can happen in mere moments, even with an adult nearby,” CPSC Acting Chairman Robert Adler said in a press release. “The safest option when young children are present is to go cordless.”
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The CPSC has campaigned against what it deemed unsafe window coverings for years. In 2018, the CPSC established voluntary cordless blinds standards for manufacturers. According to the voluntary standard, stock windows sold online or in store should be cordless.
The commission held a similar safety campaign last year, and this month the CPSC is once again urging consumers to choose cordless window coverings to help ensure the safety of young children. Consumers are encouraged to buy and install cordless window coverings in all rooms where a child may be present.
Many cordless products are available at most major retailers and online, and some inexpensive options are available. The CPSC has also established the Window Covering Safety Education Center to help provide more information for caregivers.
If consumers are unable to replace existing window coverings with cords, the CPSC recommends the following safety steps:
- Eliminate dangling cords by making the pull cords as short as possible.
- Keep all window covering cords out of the reach or children.
- Ensure that cord stops are installed properly and adjusted to limit the movement of inner lift cords.
- Anchor to the floor or wall continuous-loop cords for draperies and blinds.
- Move all cribs, beds, furniture and toys away from windows and window covering cords, preferably to another wall.