NEW YORK, NY – As the holidays approach everyone is thinking of parties, presents and family festivities, but we must always be conscious of safety during these jovial times. While we decorate our houses with Christmas trees and menorahs we must make sure to child proof our homes as well. The Window Covering Safety Council is reminding parents of potential window-cord hazards and urging them to retrofit or replace corded blinds, shades and drapes purchased before 2001 with today’s safer products. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), corded window coverings are one of the top five hidden hazards in American homes, with infants and children dying each year from accidentally strangling in window cords. Some of these incidents involve older products that are still in use but don’t have the safety devices or designs instituted in the past decade. Consumers are urged to follow some of these key safety tips for the holiday season:
- Place your tree or menorah away from fireplaces, radiators or portable heaters.
- Select toys to suit the age of the intended child. Do not give an infant a toy with small pieces that can be swallowed or inhaled.
- Install only cordless window coverings in homes with young children. Replace window blinds, corded shades and draperies with today’s safer products.
- Move all cribs, beds, furniture and toys away from windows and window cords, to a windowless wall
- When cooking or baking, be sure to keep hot foods and liquids out of the reach of children.
- Keep all window pull cords and inner lift cords out of the reach of children. Make sure that tasseled pull cords are short and continuous-loop cords are permanently anchored to the floor or wall. Make sure cord stops are properly installed and adjusted to limit movement of inner lift cords.
Consumers wishing to retrofit rather than replace their older window coverings can order free retrofit devices through WCSC’s website at www.windowcoverings.org or its toll-free phone line at 1-800-506-4636.
The Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) is a coalition of major U.S. manufacturers, importers and retailers of window coverings. The Council 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 the safety of corded window coverings. WCSC’s activities in no way constitute an assumption of any legal duty owed by its members or any other entity. Consumers having need to retrofit rather than replace their older window coverings can order free retrofit devices through WCSC’s website at www.windowcoverings.org or its toll-free phone line at 1-800-506-4636.