Window Coverings Cord Safety must be taken very seriously.
In the words of Denis Waitley, “The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence”.
There is no better gift you can give your children than the freedom to explore and discover the world around them on their own. But, before giving your child the wings of independence, make sure your home is child proof and safe for him/her to explore around in.
Linda and Matt Kaiser of St. Louis, Missouri, found their one-year-old daughter Cheyenne Rose strangled to death by a window blind cord in her room. All of a sudden, their lovely baby girl was snatched away from them.
Erica walked into the room of her son, 2-year-old Cormack, to find that he had put his head into the shades to look outside the window and got caught in the cords inside the shades. Another little life lost forever.
You don’t have to learn your lessons the hard way that these parents did.
Safety doesn’t happen by accident. You have to pay special attention to make your home safe for your children, because nothing is more important than keeping your child safe.
Preventable injuries or death among young children are caused when parents or caregivers ignore the safety norms for products being installed at home, the window cord being one of them. Survey reports suggest that fire burns, drowning, choking, falls or poisoning kills more children between the ages of 1-4 than do strangers or violence. Yet, we do take extra measures to protect our child from strangers or dangers outside our homes but ignore the monsters lurking behind our own doors or windows. Accidents at home happen when you overlook the obvious, without giving it much thought.
Its a hidden danger.
Not many people fear window dressing cords like flame or knife. Unfortunately, these outwardly harmless dangling strings can suddenly change into strangulation hazards for inquisitive children, shocking the daylights out of you. In addition, there is little you can do since these accidents happen quickly and silently. Rarely will you hear a call for help.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) identified window coverings with cords as one of the top five hidden hazards in homes for children between the age group of 7 months and ten years. Children unknowingly wrap window covering cords around their necks or pull cords that are not clearly visible but are accessible, thus getting entangled in the loops. When children or pets get entwined in dangling cords, their efforts to free themselves often lead to further strangulation.
Organizations like The Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) are working hard to create awareness among caregivers and parents regarding the safety of their children. They have dedicated the month of October to the window-cord awareness campaign, known as National Window Covering Safety Month.
Watch out for pull cords, looped bead chains or nylon cords, inner cords of Roman shades and lifting loops of roll-up blinds because they pose the highest risk of strangulation. With growing statistics of accidents involving children and pets being entangled in window dressing, many countries have passed standard window safety norms that should be met by homeowners. These safety norms might not be met if your window dressings were designed before the policy came into existence (November 2000).
The best way to deal with this situation would be to replace your old window dressing with cordless controls. It has been observed that nearly 80 percent of accidents occur with older window dressing that doesn’t meet current standards. Installing the product wrongly or not using it as intended can lead to accidents as well. In recent years, CPSC has recalled millions of window coverings like Roman shades, roll-up blinds, and many other products that require cords for operating. But in case your budget does not allow this renovation, follow some simple rules for the safety of your child.
· Keep all the window cords out of reach of children
· Use cord cleat or cord tensioner to prevent dangling of the cords
· Check if the cord is accessible to a child by any means, like a stool, chair or crib
· Make sure that cord stops are properly installed and adjusted to limit the movement of inner lift cords
· Tie down Vertical blinds and traverse draperies permanently to the wall or floor
· Permanently remove exposed inner cords from Roman shades
· Install a child and pet safety cord release device
· Order free retrofit kits to fix problematic issues
· When purchasing new blind, ensure that the product meets the new safety standard – EN 13120:2009+A1:2014
· Check your blinds or shades for warning notices that may not be very obvious in some cases
· Follow installation instruction properly
Pay particular attention to children during the winter, when the snow restricts their outdoor activities. Children not only enjoy watching the snowfall from their windows but also get pulled towards windows due to boredom set in by staying indoors. No safety device can replace the protection given by a loved one. Keep an eye on your child and see what they are up to once in a while. If you see them engaging in activities that may lead to accidents, pass the message that ‘it is not accepted’ lovingly yet in a firm way.
Make your home childproof and fix any lapses that you see that falls below the child safety norm. Technology has seen to it that you cannot give excuses to expose your children to strangulation hazard. The cordless window dressings are now available insanely low prices. Remember, if you don’t fix a mistake as soon as it comes to your notice, it becomes YOUR mistake. Don’t let your mistakes haunt you for the rest of your life.