September is Baby Safety Month and is also an especially busy time for parents if toddlers and older children head back to school or daycare. Therefore, now is a good time to do a thorough walk through the home to ensure all rooms are baby-proofed and child-friendly so parents and caregivers can feel more at ease.
The Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) is urging parents and caregivers to check all window coverings for exposed or dangling cords that could pose a strangulation hazard to infants and young children. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), corded window coverings are one of the top five hidden hazards in American homes, with infants and young children dying each year from accidentally strangling in window cords. Many of these incidents involve older products that are still in use but don’t have the safety devices or designs instituted in the past decade. The WCSC is reminding parents to check their window coverings and install only cordless window products in homes with young children.
Follow these safety guidelines to maximize child safety and help to keep your kids safe in the home:
- Install only cordless window coverings in homes with young children. Replace corded blinds, shades and draperies with today’s safer products.
- If you cannot install newer products, order a free window cord retrofit kit from www.windowcoverings.org. The installation of the retrofit kit is not intended to be a substitute for installing cordless products in homes with young children.
- Move all cribs, beds, furniture and toys away from windows and window cords, preferably to another wall.
- Ensure that all window cords are out of sight and reach, and that they are inaccessible to young children.
- Make sure tasseled pull cords are adjusted to be as short as possible.
- Continuous-loop pull cords on draperies and vertical blinds should be pulled tight and anchored to the floor or wall with a tension device.
- Be sure cord stops are properly installed and adjusted to limit movement on inner cords on blinds and shades.