Window Cord Child Safety
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Last updated: Sunday, April 13, 2008 | 4013 Views
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If you have young children in your home, you need to be aware of the danger window blind pull cords can present.

While they may seem harmless enough, the Window Covering Safety Council (a United States organization) reports that, since 1981, some 360 children have died as a result of strangulation from window cords and that 93% of these deaths involved children age three or younger.

However, you can easily protect your children from this potential hazard. Read on to learn how to safeguard your children from the hazard of window cords.

The Dangers of Window Cords to Children

Protecting your child from the dangers of window cords is easy if you follow a few basic precautions.Most of the window cord deaths occur when the child is somewhere in the home that we consider “safe”, such as the nursery, crib or bedroom.

In the majority of instances, the parents were home but could not hear the child, since the nature of this hazard prevents him or her from calling for help.

There are two most common occurrences that cause such deaths; either an infant in his or her crib placed near a window is caught in the window cords while sleeping or playing or else a toddler attempting to look out a window climbs on furniture to reach the window and loses his or her balance, getting tangled in the window cords.

Most of these child deaths (86 percent) involve either venetian blinds or mini blinds.

Venetian-style vertical blinds may also pose a strangulation danger to children (9 percent of the deaths), while other products that can cause child strangulation include pacifiers on strings, baby gates designed in accordion-type configurations, recliner chairs and electric garage doors.

Window and Window Cord Child Safety Precautions

Window cords attached to blinds or shades, curtain or drapery tie-backs and pull-back cords all present potential strangling hazards for young children.

When selecting and fitting new blinds or other window coverings, or to retrofit existing window coverings, use this checklist to ensure your home’s windows and window cords are safe for children:

  1. Check all areas in your home for potential child hazards, including window cords.
  2. In the nursery, children’s bedrooms and play areas use cordless window coverings.
  3. If you have older window blinds in your home (generally those manufactured prior to 2001) you should consider either replacing them or retrofitting them with safety tassels for child safety.
  4. Place children’s beds, cribs, furniture and toys away from windows and window cords; if possible move them to a wall away from any windows.
  5. Be sure to keep window lift cords and pull cords out of your child’s reach.
  6. Pull cords with safety tassels should be short.
  7. If you have window coverings with continuous loop cords, anchor them securely to the wall or floor with no slack in the cords. Ideally, you should replace these fittings which are no longer up-to-date.
  8. Cord stops should be installed and adjusted properly to limit inner lift cord movement.
  9. Install window locks or bars to prevent children falling from your home’s windows. Window locks are inexpensive, but be sure your fire escape plan takes these mechanisms into consideration as you don’t want to replace one potential danger with another.
  10. When selecting new blinds, verticals, and drapes or curtains, be sure to ask your retailer or manufacture about the child safety features their products incorporate.

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