Earlier this week, we participated in a #CordSafety Twitter chat. These chats are useful to spread safety advice. Chats also give everyone insight into what parents are doing in their homes. Here’s an important question that was posed in the chat:
The number of people who said they tie up the cords and place them up high surprised us. Here’s a sample of the responses:
- When my kids were smaller, we tied up the cords to top of the blinds. Revisited often.
- I tie them up and keep them out reach. From window cords to appliance cords.
- Answer – rooms with blinds have the cords tied up at the top of the window.
- I tie them in a loose bow, well out of reach. Keep furniture away, that they could stand on, teach safety
Tie ‘em up is risky. It gives parents a false sense of security. Cords can, and do, get tangled. Sometimes, this happens after parents tie the cords up to childproof the cords.
One child strangles in window cords nearly every month. Kids can easily wrap dangling or accessible cords around their necks and get tangled. Even cords tied up and high can be accessible to young children. There have been incidents of well-intentioned, tied up cords that have ended tragically.
Take a look at our blog on Kids and Cords from 2010. In there, we tell you about parents who regularly tried to tie hanging window covering cords up so that they did not hang down. Dad left his 22-month-old son for about 10 minutes, only to find him strangled in tangled cords.
This incident is not the only tragic tale of the “tie them up” approach. That’s why we recommend the following options for families with young children:
- Cordless: Self explanatory. This is the safest option.
- Shades with inaccessible cords: You shouldn’t be able to grab onto a cord in any way.
The top two are the best options. If new window coverings truly aren’t an option in your budget install a retrofit kit. These kits are a short-term fix, especially for mini-blinds made before 2000. Just remember that these kits do not address all the hazards posed by cords.
Exposed cords must be inaccessible to children. Tying them up and/or knotting them up can be dangerous. Look for products that are specifically designed to keep the cords out of sight and reach. If you don’t go cordless now, make the cords in your home inaccessible.
For more information on window covering cord safety, please visit CPSC’s Window Covering Cords Information Center.
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2013/10/window-covering-cords-dont-tie-them-up-get-them-away-from-children/
Blog in Spanish
Hey Dads, we hear you! Fatherhood is exciting and joyous and a crazy new world. Navigating the life of your baby or toddler is full of wonderful moments—and some hurdles. To help you clear and even avoid some of those hurdles, we have a safety game plan to share with you. Check out these simple safeguards for your little one:
- 1. Bare is Best for the safety of your baby’s sleep environment. Your baby can be cozy without the clutter. Never place pillows, quilts or comforters in your baby’s crib, bassinet or play yard.
- 2. You can’t always fix it. Duct tape and your tool box are tempting, but NEVER try to fix a crib that is broken and in disrepair. Cribs made after June 28, 2011, have to be tested to make sure they meet the most stringent performance and testing requirements in the world. Discard and destroy cribs made before that date. Your child’s crib should be the safest product in your home.
- 3. Anchor and Protect. Here’s where your tools come into play. Install anchors or straps on your television and other furniture. Kids like to climb, often to get a remote or toy placed up high. Even furniture that appears stable may not be when placed on carpet or when a toddler pulls out all the drawers to scamper up.
Get more safety information daily by following us @OnSafety on Twitter and on Google+.
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2013/10/dads-guide-to-fix-the-kids/
Blog in Spanish
Wherever you have water in and around your home, supervising small children is critical. (Remember our Baby’s Bath: What You Need to Know blog from last year?) About once every four days, a child under the age of 5 drowns in a bathtub, bucket, toilet or landscape pond. Eighty percent of these incidents happen in a bathtub. Wow! How many parents know that?
Take some time during Baby Safety Month to watch this video to see how you can help save 87 children. Use this YouTube link to share or embed the video on your site.
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2013/09/in-home-drowning-takes-87-lives/
Blog in Spanish
Jump, bounce, squeal. These are the happy sounds of a child playing on a trampoline in the backyard.
In between bounces a young child calls out to his friend, “Join me.”
The friend races out to the backyard and bounds onto the trampoline.
The sound of an “uh-oh” about to happen.
Only one person should be on a trampoline at a time.
The noise you don’t want to hear, typically followed by a child crying.
While just playing in and around the house, children often stub their fingers, bonk their heads, and fall down—all minor injuries.
Getting hurt on a trampoline can be much worse.
Last year, about 95,000 people suffered injuries of such a serious nature that there were taken to an emergency room for treatment. Between 2000 and 2009, 22 families lost a loved one from a trampoline mishap.
Installing and maintaining the enclosure around the trampolines and being aware that children younger than 5 are at the greatest risk of injury can make for a safer experience in the back yard.
Zip, cover, scoot. These are the sounds of you making the trampoline a safer place to play.
- Zip up the surrounding enclosure.
- Cover the springs, hooks and frame in shock-absorbing pads.
- Scoot the trampoline away from structures and trees.
Help minimize the risks of trampoline play. Learn more on our Trampoline Safety Alert page.
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2013/07/the-sounds-of-trampoline-safety/
Blog in Spanish
Do you live in military housing with your family? Take a look at your window blinds or other type of window coverings, including Roman shades. If you can see any dangling or accessible cords, your child is at risk.
Window coverings with exposed cords are one of the top hidden home hazards. Kids can easily and quickly wrap the cords around their necks or become entangled in the cord loops.
In fact, one child strangles in window cords nearly every month and another child is hurt. This can happen quickly and silently. Sadly, some of the incidents occurred in military housing. We want to help you and your family to be safe and secure in your home.
So, on Military Consumer Protection Day (July 17 this year), examine your window blinds, curtains and shades closely. Look for exposed, looped cords. What you find may surprise you. What you do about it can save your child’s life.
Here is how you can safeguard your windows.
- Use cordless blinds or go with blinds or shades that have inaccessible cords. Many stores have these products available for purchase right now.
- Move cribs, beds, and furniture away from windows, because children can climb on them and reach the cords on the window coverings.
- Make loose cords inaccessible, if you are unable to replace older blinds and shades.
In the past, many consumers have used free repair kits from the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) to fix their blinds that were made before November 2000. Keep in mind that these kits do not get rid of the dangling pull cord hazard with many common window blinds.
Kids and cords are a dangerous combination. So, if you have young children in your house, your safest approach is to go cordless or buy blinds with inaccessible cords.
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2013/07/kids-can-strangle-in-window-cords/