The findings of a 26-year long study have just been published in the journal Pediatrics, revealing that around 17,000 children have been injured and 300 killed from window blinds. The predominant cause of these incidents was cord entanglement and strangulation.
The knowledge that window cords pose a strangulation risk is not new. Research on these dangers can be found in medical journals dating back to 1945. In recent decades, manufacturers introduced additional safety standards and warning labels to corded blinds. Nonetheless, the problem has persisted. Now, the industry is taking more decisive action.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission cites window blinds as one of the top five hidden hazards in the home. The CPSC, in collaboration with the Window Covering Manufacturers Association, has drafted a new standard that will ban the sale of corded window blinds both in stores and online—though customers will still have the option of purchasing such blinds through custom orders. It is expected that the new standard will go into effect at the end of 2018.
It is important to be conscious of the common household items that can be health hazards to your children. Taking steps to mitigate such hazards can spare you and your family from tragedy. In addition to using cordless blinds, the CPSC also recommends installing safety devices on any such window cords. They also suggest limiting your small child’s access to windows by keeping any crib or playpen away from windows and installing window guards to reduce the chance of falls.