I’m often asked by people in my social media community what are the most overlooked baby safety issues in a home and hands down one of the top is accidental strangulation due to corded blinds. Unfortunately, in many older homes every window has corded blinds, a strangulation hazard to young children that was not recognized as a danger years ago. I moved into my home two years ago and even though my kids are older I’m replacing all of the window coverings with new cordless blinds so it’s safe when friends with little ones come over.
October is National Window Covering Safety Month and the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) is urging parents and caregivers to go “Cordless For Kids” and to check their window coverings for exposed or dangling cords which can pose a strangulation hazard to infants and young children.
To maximize window cord safety when young children are present, consumers are urged to follow these safety guidelines:
- Install only cordless window coverings or those with inaccessible cords in homes with young children. Replace window blinds and corded shades with products that are cordless or have inaccessible cords marked with the Best for Kids™ certification label. The label enables you to easily identify products best suited for homes with young children.
- Move all cribs, beds, furniture and toys away from windows and window cords, preferably to another wall.
- When window cords are present, ensure that all window cords are out of sight and reach, by shortening or moving them up and away, so that they are inaccessible to young children. You can purchase cord blind cleats at your local hardware store and install them to wrap up the cords.
You also want to be sure that your windows are secure. Most children five years old and younger can fit through a 6-inch window opening. Window screens will not prevent falls so there are a few things you can do:
- Install a stop that prevents windows from opening any further than four inches.
- Install window guards that cover the lower part of the window.
- Install wedges to stop a window from opening too far
- Install child proof locks to the windows that will prevent them from opening at all.
- Install guards on casement windows which is a better idea than removing the crank.
Window safety is important throughout your home but especially in a nursery or toddler’s room. To learn more about other baby proofing issues you can visit my blog at www.safetymom.com