This month the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) have announced a voluntary corrective action plan for window coverings including vertical and horizontal blinds as well as roll-up and roman-style shades to protect children from potential injury or death.
“According to information provided by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, since 1990, more than 200 infants and young children have died from accidentally strangling in window cords.”
Consumers are able to secure a free “retrofit kit” from WCSC to help make safe existing blinds, shades and other window coverings, especially where cords are involved.
To secure your free kit, go to www.windowcoverings.org or call WCSC's toll-free phone line at (800) 506-4636.
Since some of the repair kits are on back order, especially for the older model blinds and shades, please, in the meantime, tie up your cords or switch to cordless products especially in homes where children are frequent. Consumers are advised to replace all window coverings made before 2001 with safer products.
Top tips to keep children safe around window coverings:
+ Install cordless window coverings. Replace blinds, shades and drapes made before 2001 with safer products.
+ Move cribs, beds and other furniture away from windows, especially where coverings include cords.
+ Keep all pull cords for your window coverings out of children’s reach. Keep cords short and for continuous-loop cords, keep them permanently anchored to the wall or floor.
+ Be sure to lock all cords in position in when blinds are raised, lowered and even when they are lying on the windowsill.
The best recommendation is to replace all your window coverings with cords with newer products following 2001, without cords. If you are unable to do so, please secure the free repair kits and pull the cords well away from little hands.