October is National Window Covering Safety Month
WASHINGTON, D.C. – One of the most serious hazards in American homes is also one of its most hidden—window covering cords that entangle infants and children. As many across the country continue to work and learn from home due to COVID-19, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) urges consumers to choose cordless window coverings. Pull cords, continuous loop cords, inner cords or any other accessible cords on window coverings are dangerous to young children.
“Children have strangled to death on the cords of window blinds, shades, draperies and other window coverings, and this can happen in mere moments, even with an adult nearby,” said CPSC Acting Chairman Robert Adler. “The safest option when young children are present is to go cordless.”
When children become entangled, strangulation can occur in less than a minute. Window cord strangulation is often silent, so parents or caregivers nearby may not realize that a tragedy is unfolding. On average, about nine children age 5 and younger die every year from strangulation in window blinds, shades, draperies and other window coverings with cords. In addition, there were nearly 200 incidents involving children up to 8 years old due to strangulation hazards on window covering cords from January 2009 through December 2020, according to CPSC data. Injuries varied from a scar around the neck, quadriplegia and permanent brain damage.
CPSC is advising consumers to buy and install cordless window coverings (labeled as cordless) in all rooms where a child may be present. Cordless products are available at most major retailers and online including inexpensive options. If consumers are unable to replace existing window coverings with cordless ones, CPSC recommends the following safety steps:
- Eliminate any dangling cords by making the pull cords as short as possible.
- Keep all window covering cords out of the reach of children.
- Ensure that cord stops are installed properly and adjusted to limit the movement of inner lift cords.
- Anchor to the floor or wall continuous-loop cords for draperies and blinds.
- Move all cribs, beds, furniture and toys away from windows and window covering cords, preferably to another wall.
For more information, visit CPSC’s Window Covering Safety Education Center.
CPSC staff is in the process of developing a draft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) on corded window coverings for Commission consideration.
About the U.S. CPSC
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risk of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product-related incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of injuries associated with consumer products over the past 50 years.
Federal law prohibits any person from selling products subject to a Commission ordered recall or a voluntary recall undertaken in consultation with the CPSC.
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