NEW YORK, NY – Keeping up with active toddlers and making sure they’re safe around the home can be a challenge to any parent or caregiver.
Guiding energetic and curious toddlers away from such common hazards as stairs, electrical outlets, hot stoves, or the harassed family pet are typically on a parent’s child-safety radar.
A hidden home safety hazard that might slip a parent’s notice, however, is the danger posed by windows and window treatments.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), windows and window covering cords are among the top five hidden hazards in the home. Each year, young children die from accidentally falling out of windows or strangling in window cords.
Many of these window- and window-cord related deaths and injuries occur when children climb onto furniture, stuffed animals or other objects placed near a window. Removing climbable items from all window areas is one of the simplest and most effective means of avoiding window-related hazards.
To prevent your child from accidentally falling out a window, the CPSC recommends the following safety tips:
- Install window guards to prevent children from falling out of windows. For windows on the 6th floor and below, use window guards that adults and older children can open easily in case of fire.
- Install window stops so that windows open no more than 4 inches.
- Never depend on screens to keep children from falling out of windows.
- Whenever possible, open windows from the top – instead of the bottom.
- Keep furniture away from windows to discourage children from climbing near windows.
Window covering cords can pose a strangulation hazard to infants and toddlers. Both the CPSC and the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) urge parents and caregivers to check their window coverings to make sure there are no accessible or dangling cords, and to retrofit or replace them with today’s safer products. In fact, they recommend that only cordless window coverings be used in homes with young children.
To protect children from the potential hazards of corded window coverings, the Window Covering Safety Council provides these safety tips:
- 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 as short as possible. Continuous-loop pull cords on draperies and vertical blinds should be pulled tight and anchored to the floor or wall.
- Be sure cord stops are properly installed and adjusted to limit inner-cord movement.
To learn more about window covering safety, visit the WCSC’s website at www.windowcoverings.org. Free retrofit kits for older corded window coverings can be ordered on the website or by phoning the WCSC’s toll-free number 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 dedicated to educating consumers about window cord 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 its support of 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.