Window cord safety

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), about one child dies each month from window cord strangulation. When window cords are accessible to small children they can become a deadly strangulation hazard. Most of these strangulations occur in the bedroom and living room. Children can strangle themselves when they wrap the cord around their neck or when they become trapped in the loop that is created when loose cords get tangled. Active supervision is always the key to prevent these fatalities. Below are some other safety tips and recommendations to keep your kids safe:

  1. Owners and renters should replace all window coverings that were made before 2001.
  2. Do not place cribs, beds, toys, and furniture close to windows.
  3. Keep window cords out of the reach of young children and check that they cannot form dangerous loops.
  4. Make sure tasseled pull cords are as short as possible.
  5. Regularly check for any recalls of the window cords.
  6. Use cordless window products in homes with young children.
  7. Examine all shades and blinds for exposed cords in the front, side, and back of the product.
  8. Continuous loop cords on draperies and vertical blinds should be permanently anchored to the floor or wall.
  9. If the window shade has looped bead chains or nylon cords, install tension devices to keep the cord taut.

For a family that cannot afford to change their window cords for safer ones, the Window Covering Safety Council will send a free retrofit kit. For more information, please visit here.

Post by:

Elizabeth Pena, Health education specialist