During twenty nine days in November, 2016 four children strangled to death from cords on window coverings in the United States. Two four year old girls, a four year old boy and a three year old girl joined the long list of 293 deaths and serious injuries associated with these products between 1996 and 2012.
Children can become entangled and caught in the loops formed from the cords on window coverings; it happens quickly and silently. “These window covering strangulations are so complicated but the most important factor is that it happens to the best of parents. Parents who trusted that either tying up cords, cutting cords short or using break away devices would prevent their children from death,” stated Linda Kaiser, Founder and President of Parents for Window Blind Safety. Linda and her husband formed Parents for Window Blind Safety in 2002 after losing their daughter to strangulation by a window blind cord. They urge consumers to use window coverings with no pull cords in their homes.
Blinds and shades may have inner cords but curtains and draperies may be operated by a continuous loop or beaded chain. Some ‘cordless’ window coverings are designed to function without an operating cord, but may contain inner cords. Before making a final purchase, be sure to look closely to ensure that the product is truly cordless and ask questions if you are unsure.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has long recognized window covering cords as a hidden strangulation and asphyxiation hazard to children. It is identified as one of the “top five hidden hazards in the home.” The most vulnerable children are infants through eight years of age.
Let’s all work together to keep our children safe.