Window Covering Safety!

October is Window Covering Safety Month! This is a subject that most of us don’t think about until one of those sad stories pops up on the news: TWO YEAR OLD DEAD AFTER GETTING CAUGHT IN CORDS!

I shudder each and every time I hear one of these stores. While window fashions have become much safer in the last 10 years there are still 6 or so children injured or killed each year because a few simple steps were ignored…and it’s not just children! Our four-legged friends can be at risk as well!

nantucket_ultraglide_childsroom_1 One of the simplest ways to avoid any kind of issues with children and blind cords is to purchase cordless blinds! Most reputable manufacturers have a cordless option available on at least one or two of their most popular products! Hunter Douglas Applause shades offers a cordless SimpleLift system that is NO CHARGE! Other systems that have retractable cords that stay up our of the way are a good solution as well as battery motorized shades that operate easily at the touch of a button. All these systems are designed to keep children and pets safe!

But let’s also be honest here! The safety of your children is primarily your responsibility as a parent! You wouldn’t let them play unsupervised in a street would you? So putting a bed right next to a window with an unsecured cord is as irresponsible! Keep cribs and beds away from windows! Make sure all cords for blinds or shades are either secured rightly to the wall if they are a loop style cord or wound on a cleat that is up out of the reach of children.

A simple way to ensure a child safe environment when it comes to window fashions is to carefully consider the safety factor BEFORE you buy! Products such as shutters, grommet top draperies, and wand traversing drapery panels virtually eliminate cord hazards while presenting attractive window coverings!

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is hell bent on establishing standards that require all cords on window coverings be inaccessible. That’s government speak for “cords can only hang down less than some ridiculous length like 6”. Now I don’t know about you but I’m only 5 feet tall. I certainly don’t want the government making it so I can’t reach the cords to operate my shades!

designerroller_cordless_childsroom_2Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for child safety and safety standards but they have to balance engineering capabilities and common sense! Even if every shade made from today on was a cordless shade (which can’t happen because too many shades cannot be made with a cordless system) over 4 BILLION (yes, that’s Billion with a B) substandard shades are in homes and apartments across America! You can’t legislate responsibility! Some of the most vulnerable are children of low income families living in apartments with cheap foreign made mini blinds that don’t meet any standards at all. Those children will always be at risk despite everyone’s best intentions! The best solution to safe guarding our children from the dangers of window fashion cords is: supervision, common sense and cord tensioners/cleats that keep cords out of the hands of children. These solutions are inexpensive, practical and realistic!

I’ve listed a resource below for more information on window covering cord safety. Keep your kids and pets safe!

The Window Coverings Manufacturer’s Association will provide free retro fit kits to keep blinds safe. You can order them online at: http://www.windowcoverings.org/