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. The safest option when young children are present is to go cordless.
CPSC encourages consumers to buy and install cordless window coverings, which are available at most retailers. When buying online, look for products described as cordless.
Window cord strangulation is often silent, so parents or caregivers nearby may not realize that a tragedy is happening.
Cordless window coverings are the only option to eliminate the strangulation hazard. If you are unable to replace existing window coverings with cordless ones, CPSC recommends following the steps below. Keep in mind that these steps will not eliminate the hazard; they will only reduce it.
- Move all cribs, beds, furniture and toys away from windows and window covering cords, preferably to another wall.
- Eliminate any dangling cords by making the pull cords as short as possible.
- Ensure that cord stops (shaped like donuts and attached to each pull cord) are installed properly and adjusted to limit the movement of inner lift cords. Cord stops should be within 1 to 2 inches from the head rail when the blind is fully lowered. If there are no cord stops on the pull cords, contact the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) at 800-506-4636 or visit windowcoverings.org for a free kit.
- Anchor to the floor or wall continuous-loop cords for draperies and blinds, use the appropriate fasteners for the intended surface. Make sure that the cord is taut but operable. If there is no hold-down device on the continuous-loop cord, contact WCSC for a free kit.
Note: The WCSC’s retrofit kits do not address the dangling pull cord hazard associated with many common window blinds. Also, most window blinds sold prior to November 2000 have inner cords (for raising the slats of the blinds) that can be pulled by a child and form a loop in which the child’s neck can entangle. Consumers should immediately replace these types of blinds.
Baby Monitor Cords
Keep ALL cords away from babies, including baby monitor cords
Voluntary Standards Activities
CPSC Safety Alerts and Neighborhood Safety Network posters are not available to order. If you would like to use these safety publications, they are free to download and print.