First “Best for Kids” Certified Window Covering Products Available  Online with In-Store Products Available by Year End

 New Safety Program to Help Consumers and Retailers Easily  Identify Window Covering Products for Homes with Young Children

Washington, October 7, 2015 – WASHINGTON — The Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) today announced that retailers have made the first Best for Kids certified products available online, with in-store products expected to be on shelves by the end of the 2015.  The Best for Kids program is the first third-party certification program designed to help consumers and retailers identify window covering products that are certified as best suited for use in homes with young children. The Best for Kids program requires products that manufacturers want to certify to meet stringent criteria, and to submit those products to a recognized third party testing laboratories. Products that meet these criteria will be eligible to be listed and labeled on packaging and materials as “certified,” and companies can use this designation on their marketing materials. The window covering industry, federal officials and safety advocates all agree that only cordless window coverings or those with inaccessible cords should be used in homes with young children.  The Best for Kids program includes criteria to evaluate window covering products primarily intended for use in homes or buildings in which young children are expected to be present. WCMA Executive Director Ralph Vasami stated that the recent announcements by some retailers about their plans to only sell cordless window products were made possible by the Best for Kids program. “We are pleased that many retailers are embracing the Best for Kids program,” said Vasami.  “The program provides clarity to retailers and consumers who now can easily identify those products that have been independently tested specifically to meet the program’s criteria” said Vasami.  “This criteria requires that the product either has no cords, no operating cords or the inner cords cannot be accessible or form a loop, as defined by the industry’s safety standard.” In order to participate in the Best for Kids program, manufacturers must have the products they determine meet the program criteria assessed by a WCMA-recognized laboratory. Physical samples of the products must be submitted to the laboratory for review and analysis to determine if they meet the Best for Kids program criteria. For products that pass the test, the laboratory will send a report to the company stating that the submitted products meet the criteria and may be labeled. For additional information on the Best for Kids Program, contact Tim Bennett at 212-297-2108 or [email protected].