October is National Window Covering Safety Month. Tragically, children have silently suffered catastrophic injuries or strangled to death on cords for window coverings like blinds and drapes. It doesn’t take much time for a child to get a cord caught around his or her neck. As a matter of safety, it is wise for parents and caregivers to install cordless blinds. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently advised consumers to buy and install cordless window coverings in those rooms where their children are. It is expected the CPSC will issue a new rule to regulate corded window coverings that are stock items, though custom items will likely remain unaddressed.
Generally, you can buy a cordless window covering at most major retailers and online retailers. Many of these are quite affordable. Certain safety steps should be taken if you can’t replace your existing corded blinds. The cords that remain should be made as short as feasible to keep them out of reach of children. Cords that cannot be made any shorter should be tucked out of reach or anchored to the wall. Stops should be properly adjusted to stop the inner lift cords from moving. A baby’s crib or child’s bed should be moved away from both the window and any cords that are attached to window coverings.
The CPSC has reported that around 9 children who are five or younger died every year when strangled by the cords on window coverings. Children as old as 8 have also been at risk of strangulation hazards; there were 200 incidents from January 2009 – December 2020.