Did you know that October is National Window Coverings Safety Month? While most people have window treatments in their home, many aren't aware of just how dangerous they can be to children if appropriate safety precautions aren’t taken. Parents are taught to cover electrical outlets, put gates on stairs, and childproof their homes, but often forget about the hidden danger of the cords from window coverings. To serve as a reminder for parents, grandparents, and caregivers who may not know which steps to take to keep kids safe from entanglement in window covering cords, we’ve compiled a few key pieces of information you should keep in mind when choosing window treatments for your home.
What dangers can window treatments pose to children?
Window treatments like custom drapes and contemporary shades add the perfect finishing touch to a home’s decor, but many parents are unaware that without a few adjustments, they have the potential to cause harm. In fact, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), window covering cords are one of the top five hidden hazards in the home. This October, the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) is urging everyone with young children and infants to go “Cordless For Kids,” and to check their window coverings for exposed or dangling cords which can pose a strangulation hazard.
How can you adjust your window coverings to mitigate risk?
The best solution to eliminate any risk to young children? Install only cordless window coverings (or window treatments with inaccessible cords) in your home. However, if you can’t replace existing, corded window coverings with a cordless option, there are a few steps you can take to keep kids safe, including eliminating any dangling cords and keeping them out of reach for children by moving furniture and toys away from windows and window treatment cords.
Be sure to check the cord stops on your window coverings which (when installed properly) can be adjusted to limit the movement of window treatment cords. Additionally, continuous-loop cords on draperies and vertical blinds should be permanently anchored to the floor or wall. Finally, if your home includes any window coverings that use tasseled pull cords, ensure that they are tied up, out of reach, and as short as possible. It’s also important to note that if necessary, older window coverings can be retrofitted with child safety in mind.
Don’t have any young children of your own, but need a quick fix for visiting kids? Pick up a roll of painter’s tape! It will come in handy for taping cords out of reach, and serves as a quick temporary fix without damaging your woodwork.
How is the window covering industry adjusting to keep children safe?
In an effort to help parents more easily identify safe window covering solutions for their families, the new Best for Kids™ certification program was recently launched by the window covering industry. This program will help to educate consumers about the potential window-cord hazards facing their children and will also aid consumers in making the safest choices when selecting window coverings for their home. The “Best for Kids” program is significant as it is the first time the window coverings industry has created a certification program that delineates between products to help consumers identify the best ones suited for use in homes with young children as they make their purchase decisions.
To be eligible for this certification, window covering manufacturers must meet the program criteria and submit their window covering products to a designated third party testing laboratory. Then, if their products pass the testing and meet all criteria, they can be certified as “Best for Kids”. What types of products can be designated “Best for Kids”? Products that qualify must either have no cords, no operating cords and inner cords that are not accessible, or accessible inner cords that cannot create a hazardous loop.
Find safe window covering solutions from Window Trends
If you’re considering changing your window treatments to be more kid-friendly, we can help! In particular, our wide selection of products from Hunter Douglas means that we’re sure to have something to fit your needs. All Hunter Douglas products are designed with safety in mind; and from cordless and motorized operating systems, to retractable lift cords, cord tensioners, and wand controls, we carry a variety of Hunter Douglas lifting system options to ensure enhanced safety for the children in your life.
Ready to learn more? Contact us today to set up an appointment. We’d be happy to speak with you! If you’d like to find out more about National Window Covering Safety Month and get additional safety tips, please visit the Window Covering Safety Council’s website, and if you haven’t already, be sure to put window treatment cord safety at the top of your child-proofing checklist.