By: Karen

There are so many things to worry about your kids getting hurt on, between the things that we think of, and the things that never cross our minds, it’s hard to keep track of everything. When was the last time you thought about the safety of your window treatments? I know I hadn’t, until I saw a story on the news about a child getting hurt.  Unfortunately, it turns out there is a significant number of injuries each year due to window treatment hazards being overlooked.

While doing some research on the issue I came across the WCSC – Window Covering Safety Council – basically a group of manufacturer’s and retailer’s that have pulled together to educate consumers on the issues.  I put together a couple of the common tips:

– Always Install Anchors/Cord Cleats!
– They come with the blinds for a reason – safety! By just drilling in the small attachment, and looping the cords around them, you are preventing loose cords from hanging and preventing a choking/strangling risk.

– Use Cordless Shades Whenever Possible!
– Especially in kids bedrooms! Luckily as styles have become more contemporary – a sleek look is desired, so the less cords, the cleaner the look.  Both cellular and roller shades are available cordless, and then there is no worry about kids getting to the cords.

– Keep All Beds/Cribs/Furniture Away From Windows!
– Again, especially in the bedroom, but anything kids can climb on near the window always gives them the opportunity to get their hands near the cords.

Luckily, since 2001 a lot of new updates have been put in place requiring inner and outer working parts to ensure child safety. And even better, the WCSC has made it as easy as possible to retrofit and blinds that may be unsafe.

– Looped Pull Cords
– Old blinds and shades had multiple strings attached with one tassel at the bottom (basically so you only had to pull one thing).  Unfortunately, by attaching them, they were creating a loop, and therefore a strangling hazard.  But as a quick fix, you can cut the strings, and just attach new tassels to each individual cord.

– Cord Stops
– On treatments made prior to 2001 – there were no inner cord stops, so the blinds could extend down longer than expected – causing a risk of a heavy product falling on a child playing with the cords.  Cord stops can be installed at the top of the cords to prevent this risk.

– Tie Downs
– Old verticals can have a loose hanging cords and chain – again a strangling risk.  A simple tie down can have both a cord and chain inserted in, and attached down.

– Roman Shade
– The exposed outer cords on the back of the shade can pose a danger.  Clips can easily replace the cords so no one can get caught in them.  (Luckily – new chord innovations have made it impossible to get stuck – the cords don’t stretch/move to allow any harm!)

The best part about all of these retrofit fixes is that they are available online – www.windowcoverings.org – for free! The more we know about it, the more we can help keep our kids safe!