The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) work jointly on consumers behalf to raise awareness about older window coverings products with exposed or dangling cords that can pose a strangulation hazard to infants and young children. Each year, October is the official National Window Covering Safety Month when the jointly raise awareness by urging parents and caregivers to check their window coverings for exposed or dangling cords that can pose a strangulation hazard to infants and young children, and to retrofit or replace them with today’s safer products. Only cordless window coverings or those with inaccessible cords be used in homes with young children are recommended by the WCSC and CPSC. Listed among the top five hidden hazards in American homes, with infants and children dying each year from accidentally strangling…corded window coverings pose a very real and life threatening danger for kids.
This week (11/25/13) the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) jointly announced with Health Canada…a voluntary recall on a specific style of corded window blinds and shades called “bottom-up top-down” (BUTD). Made in various dimensions and colors, most of these products are custom made. The good news is that FREE retrofit kits are available to consumers in both Canada and the United States by visiting WindowCoverings.org or by calling (800) 506-4636. The retrofit kit converts the joined cord device for the intermediate rail operating cord to separate cords, and includes cord cleats to help keep cords out of reach of young children.
These basic window cord-safety precautions are also highly encouraged by the WCSC:
- Move all furniture, cribs, beds and climbable surfaces away from windows.
- Keep all window cords well out of the reach of children.
- Install only cordless window coverings in homes with young children.
- Make sure tasseled pull cords are adjusted to be as short as possible.
- Continuous-loop pull cords on draperies and 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.