WASHINGTON — The Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) and U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) are 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. Both government and industry safety officials say only cordless window coverings, or those with inaccessible cords, should be used in homes with young children. To heighten public awareness of window-cord dangers, the Council and CPSC have again declared October as National Window Covering Safety Month. According to information provided by the CPSC, since 1990 more than 200 infants and young children have died from strangling in window cords. The Window Covering Safety Council’s month long, nationwide campaign is designed to increase consumer awareness of potential window-cord hazards, as well as to urge parents and caregivers of young children to only use cordless window products in homes with young children and to replace all window coverings in the home made before 2001 with today’s safer products. “Window cord strangulations are tragic, but preventable,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “In stores across the country, parents and consumers can find a variety of cordless blinds and shades, as well as window coverings with inaccessible cords. Going cordless is a smarter and safer approach in homes with young children.” Older window coverings should be retrofitted or replaced with today’s safer products. The Window Covering Safety Council – which offers free retrofit kits and window-cord safety information – encourages parents and caregivers to follow these basic window cord-safety precautions: • 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 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. To learn more about window-cord safety, or to order free retrofit kits for older window coverings, visit the Window Covering Safety Council’s website at www.windowcoverings.org or call toll-free at 1-800-506-4636. Parents and caregivers can also learn more about window covering safety by connecting with WCSC on Facebook and Twitter.
The Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) is a coalition of major U.S. manufacturers, importers and retailers of window coverings dedicated to educating consumers about window cords safety. The Council also assists and supports its members in the industry’s ongoing efforts to encourage the use of cordless products in homes with young children, its redesign of corded products and to support the national ANSI/WCMA standard for corded window coverings. WCSC’s activities in no way constitute an assumption of any legal duty owed by its members or any other entity.