When you look at window cords or window blinds, it’s difficult to imagine them being a danger to children. That is probably why the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) lists window cords and blinds as one of the top five “hidden dangers” in your home. In fact, around one child dies EVERY MONTH in the United States from strangulation after becoming trapped in cords for blinds or shades, according to the CPSC.
Thin as they are, these cords are plenty strong enough to strangle a child, and although toddlers are the usual victims, it’s not uncommon to see older kids die as well. When you consider that children often play hide and seek games behind the blinds or stick heads through them to look out windows, suddenly it’s easier to see why these devices could be so hazardous to kids.
Child safety tips for window cords/window blinds
- The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends using only cordless window treatments in any home where children live or frequently visit. However, if you can’t afford to replace all your blinds, there are other things you can do to minimize the risk:
- Move all furniture away from windows, especially cribs and beds. This discourages kids from climbing on things to look out the window, which may lead to entanglement or a fall.
- Parents should raise the blinds or shades above their children’s heads and use a high tie down that is out of the reach of children for wrapping the cords around. Don’t allow cords to dangle.
- You can cut the cords from the devices.
- Cut the end of pull cords so that the loop can’t form a noose that would entrap a child.
*Notice: Even Roman shades often contain hidden strings in the back of the material that children have strangled themselves with.