JUNE 29, 2016

“Since becoming Chairman, I have made it a priority to address this 30-year hidden hazard.  To be clear, my goal has been constant: a thriving window covering industry and, at the same time, a product that does not harm children.

Today's announcement by the Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) to develop and submit for ballot a revised window covering safety standard this year is a positive and meaningful step to truly address the deadly strangulation hazard posed by accessible cords.  It is certainly encouraging that a substantial revision to the standard this year could, at a minimum, mean the vast majority of window covering products sold in the U.S. by WCMA members would be cordless or have inaccessible cords —meaning they would be safe for children—as soon as possible in 2018.  I appreciate the commitment expressed by Mr. Ralph Vasami and the members of the WCMA to collaborate with all interested parties, including CPSC and consumer advocates, on this life-saving initiative. A strong and knowledgeable technical team of CPSC staff will participate every step of the way.  I will closely monitor every step.  I expect my fellow commissioners will do the same.  If we can keep to this plan of action, we will save children’s lives.  It is as simple and as important as that.  

Families should know that some companies are selling child-safe blinds and shades right now and even more creative designs are on the way.  I also am pleased that leading window covering manufacturers have been investing in innovative designs to address this hazard.  I continue to believe in their creativity and ingenuity. 

With the right mindset and commitment from all parties, we can do this and do this quickly.  Everyone needs to come together—CPSC, WCMA, consumer safety advocates, manufacturers and retailers—during the coming weeks and months to create a strong, child-protective safety standard.  I acknowledge this positive and meaningful step today by the industry, and I urge us all to keep in mind the loss and advocacy of so many parents, especially Linda Kaiser.  Let's finally make this happen.

Link to the Window Covering Manufacturers Association announcement:  www.wcmanet.org/pdf/WCMAstandardstatement6292016.pdf"