WASHINGTON, D.C. – Window covering cords are a dangerous, hidden hazard in the home. During October’s Window Covering Safety Month, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging consumers to check all window coverings for accessible cords, which pose a strangulation hazard to infants and children.
“Accessible window cords are dangerous,” said CPSC Acting Chairman Robert Adler. “Even if you tie them high, or use so-called “safety cleats,” kids can still strangle to death in under one minute. Cordless window blinds and curtains, or those with inaccessible cords, are the only safe option to use in homes, childcare centers or any other places where young children are present.”
From 2014 to 2019, 46 deaths related to window covering cord strangulation of infants and young children have been reported to CPSC. That is an average of about eight children (age 12 years and younger) dying by strangling in a window covering cord every year.
What should parents and caregivers do to prevent window cord strangulation?
Buy and install cordless window coverings, which are available at most major retailers and online. Make sure the product is described as cordless.
If you are unable to replace your existing window coverings with cordless ones, CPSC recommends that you:
- 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.