WASHINGTON, D.C. – Whether consumers are moving into a new home or renovating it, or welcoming a new child into the family, it is imperative to be aware of one of the most serious hazards in homes—window covering cords that entangle infants and children. On this National Window Covering Safety Month, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) urges consumers to take the time to choose cordless window coverings.
“Young children can quickly and silently become strangled on pull cords, continuous loop cords, inner cords or any other accessible cords on window coverings,” CPSC Chairman Alex Hoehn-Saric. “Cordless window blinds, shades, draperies and other window coverings are the safest option.”
The hidden danger from corded window coverings can blindside anyone; tragedies can happen even when an adult is nearby. According to CPSC data:
- On average, about nine children under 5 years of age die every year from strangling in window blinds, shades, draperies and other window coverings with cords.
- There were more than 200 incidents involving children up to 8 years old due to strangulation hazards from window covering cords during a 13-year period from January 2009 through December 2021. A child died in 48% of those incidents.
- Injuries varied from a scar around the neck, to quadriplegia, and permanent brain damage.
Affordable, cordless blinds, shades, draperies and other types of window coverings are widely available at most major retailers and online. For children’s safety, consumers should buy and install cordless window coverings (labeled as cordless) in all rooms where a child may be present. 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.
On September 28, 2022, CPSC staff sent two draft final rules on corded window coverings for Commission consideration:
- Custom window coverings: A mandatory consumer product safety rule under sections 7 and 9 of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) establishing performance requirements for safe operating cords on custom window coverings; and
- Stock and custom window coverings: A rule under section 15(j) of the CPSA, deeming the presence of hazardous operating cords and inner cords on stock window coverings, and hazardous inner cords on custom window coverings, to be a substantial product hazard under section 15(a)(2) of the CPSA.
Taken together, if finalized, the draft final rules would address the risk of strangulation deaths and injuries to children 8 years old and younger on stock and custom window covering cords, comprised of operating cords and inner cords, on each product type.
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.
For lifesaving information: