In Utah, the months of October and November bring frost and freezing rain, then snow-covered mountains and beautiful snow accumulation in the valleys. Nationwide, October is Window Covering Safety Month and November is Child Safety Month. As the days get shorter and colder, families will be spending more hours indoors. So, there is no better time for parents and child caregivers to make certain that blind cords in the home do not pose a risk to infants and children.
We practice caution with the most obvious hazards around the house like turning pot handles inward, keeping sharp utensils safely out of reach, and using child safety devices like baby gates and outlet covers to prevent falls, electrocution and burns. But the hidden danger of strangulation injury or death from looped and hanging blind cords is often overlooked because they are not sharp or hot – they seem innocuous.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’ — Benjamin Franklin
Fashion Windows is a local, family-owned business committed to the highest standards for child safety in our industry. If you have corded blinds or roller shades in your home that were manufactured before 2019, please contact us today to learn how easy and affordable it is to replace them with safe cordless window coverings.
Window Covering Safety Standard in the US
Accident statistics, released by the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, show that unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death in children and young adults. Every year in the US, around 2,000 children (under the age of 14) die from unintentional injuries including suffocation, choking, strangulation, fire and burns, firearms and poisoning.
A study published in Pediatrics® Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that over 16,000 children in the US were treated for injuries from window coverings between 1990 to 2015. While 93% sustained minor injuries like cuts and bruises, 12% were involved cord entanglement with two-thirds of those injuries resulting in death. Sadly, this means that one child dies from blind cord strangulation every month on average.
ANSI/WCMA A100.1-2018 is an historic, industry-wide safety standard implemented in the US in December 2018 set forth to greatly increase safety requirements. These stringent standards ensure that the majority of window covering products sold in the US have inaccessible cords or are cordless. In fact, corded window coverings are now only available to American consumers through custom orders. But there are still millions of homes that have corded blinds and roll-up shades with hazardous features like:
- Long Pull Cords
- Looping Cords
- Chain Pulls
- Lifting Hoops
Window Covering Safety Recommendations
Providing guidance and protecting kids from danger is our highest priority as parents, grandparents, and caregivers. The challenges of keeping them safe at home go hand-in-hand with their growth and development. It is important to remember that, even from an early age, kids are smart, impulsive, and curious by nature. While we can’t keep a constant eye on them, we do have the ability to reduce the risk of accidental injuries, like blind cord entanglement, to keep them safe at home.
In recognition of Window Covering Safety Month, we urge you to review the following checklist of the top 5 recommendations to reduce the risk of injury or death from window cord strangulation from the Window Covering Safety Council (*WCSC):
- Choose Only Cordless blinds or shades with the Best for Kids™ certification label.
- Secure Tasseled Pull Cords by shortening them and tying them up.
- Move Furniture, Beds and Cribs Away from Windows.
- Make sure that Continuous Loop Cords are Securely Anchored.
- Inspect Cord Stops that limit inner movement for proper installation.
*WCSC is a coalition of window covering retailers, importers, and manufacturers. Be sure to check out their Childproofing Check List for Child Safety Month in November to learn about more ways to keep your family safe at home throughout the year.
Let Fashion Windows Help Make Your Home a Safe Haven
Fashion Windows has been in business for over two decades in Utah. We have seen trends come and go and amazing innovations in window treatment technology over the years. But the new safety standards are the most significant advancement in our industry. We are proud to offer our clients in Salt Lake, Tooele, and Utah Counties a wide selection of safe, high-quality cordless window coverings. Let us help you make your home a safe haven; click here for your free, no-obligation in-home consultation today!