Over the past three decades, hundreds of children have been killed or sustained serious injuries due to the cords on window blinds. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regularly lists window cords as one of the top household hazards.
With that in mind, safety advocates and the window industry now say cordless blinds are the only option.
“There are no acceptable alternatives with cords at this point,” says Linda Kaiser, founder of Parents for Window Blind Safety, told Parents magazine in 2011.
Kaiser started her organization in 2002 after the death of her infant daughter, who choked on a window cord in her room.
And although the industry has made safety improvements, advocates for safer window treatments say there is still work to be done. As recently as last November, the CPSC was lobbying manufacturers and retailers to stop selling corded blinds.
There are also steps parents and homeowners can take to make their windows safer:
- Make sure you’ve moved all furniture, cribs, beds and any otherclimbable surfaces away from windows
- In homes with young children, install only cordless window coverings, and keep all existing window cords well out of the reach of children
- If you have a window covering that uses a tasseled pull cord, make sure the cords are as short as possible.
- Continuous-loop pull cords on draperies and vertical blinds need to be pulled tight and anchored to the floor or wall.
- Make sure cord stops are properly installed and adjusted to limit inner-cord movement.
According to the Window Covering Safety Council, nearly every type of window fashion now comes with a cordless option. It notes that consumers can also opt to go with traditionally non-corded window coverings such as shutters, curtains or spring-loaded roller shades.
The WCSC also provides consumers with retro-fit safety kits for window coverings that don’t meet the latest safety standards. You can order a kit on their website.
At John’s Window Fashions, we carry a wide variety of window treatments in PA, from shutters, to draperies to blinds to shades. But if you have small children – or pets – at home, we’d advise you to always go cordless. Think of it as our family looking out for yours.