Child Safety and Blinds
Kids and cords do not mix. Here are some important safety guidelines to follow:
- Move cribs and other furniture children can climb up on to get to windows away from windows, blinds, etc..
- Keep all cord out of reach of children. Cut cords short or wrap them around a cord cleat.
- Anchor cords for continuous cord loop blinds, shades and shutters.
- Make sure you lock cords on window blinds to prevent them from falling.
- Consider purchasing cordless blinds or shades in areas or window children can reach
- Corded window treatments purchased before 2001 should be replaced or retrofitted with cord-repair devices to reduce potential strangulation risks.
- CPSC recommends against knotting or tying the cords together on window blinds or shades because this creates a new loop in which a child could become entangled.
The following information provided by the U.S. Consumer of Product Safety CommissionClick here to view pdf versionhttp://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PUBS/cords.html
Consumer Product Safety AlertFROM THE U.S. CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION, WASHINGTON, D.C. 20207
Children Can Strangle in Window Covering Cords
In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product
Safety Commission (CPSC), the Window Covering
Safety Council (WCSC) announced recalls to repair
horizontal window blinds to prevent the risk of
strangulation to young children. The recalls involved
millions of window blinds with pull cords and inner
cords that can form a loop and cause strangulation.
From 1991 to 2000, CPSC received reports of 160
strangulations involving cords on window blinds: 140
strangulations involved the outer pull cords, and 20
involved the inner cords that run through the blind
In 1994, CPSC worked with the window covering
industry to redesign new window blinds to eliminate
the outer loop on the end of the pull cords and provide
free repair kits so consumers could fix their
existing blinds. Window blinds sold since 1995 no
longer have pull cords ending in loops.
In 1999, CPSC began a new investigation of window
blind deaths. In an extensive review of incidents,
CPSC found that children could also become entangled
in the inner cords that are used to raise the slats
of blinds. These entrapments occur when a young
child pulls on an inner cord and it forms a loop that a
child can hang in. All of these deaths involved children
in cribs or playpens placed next to windows. In
most cases, the outer pull cords were placed out of
reach, but the children still strangled when they pulled
on the inner cords of the blinds. The strangulation
victims ranged in age from 9 months to 17 months.
As a result of the CPSC investigation, the industry
has further redesigned window blinds. Window
blinds sold since November 2000 have attachments
on the pull cords so that the inner cords can’t form
a loop if pulled by a young child. Consumers with
blinds bought before Nov. 2000 should repair them.
Consumers who have window blinds with loops should immediately
visit WCSC (windowcoverings.org/20.html) or call
800-506-4636 to receive a free repair kit for each set of blinds.
The repair kit includes small plastic attachments to prevent
inner cords from being pulled loose. Instructions for cord
stop installation (windowcoverings.org/10_03.html) are easy
and repair can be done in minutes without removing blinds.
The kit also includes safety tassels for pre-1995 window
blinds with outer pull cords ending in loops.
Consumers should cut the loops and install the safety
tassel at the end of each pull cord.
Consumers who have vertical blinds, draperies or
pleated shades with continuous loop cords can also
order from the same toll-free number a special tiedown
to prevent strangulation in those window coverings.
Parents should keep window covering cords and
chains permanently out of the reach of children. Never
place a child’s crib or playpen within reach of a window
blind. Unless the cords can be completely removed
from the child’s reach, including when the child climbs
on furniture, CPSC recommends against knotting or
tying the cords together because this creates a new
loop in which a child could become entangled.