Reminding parents that window safety is a critical consideration.

Article by Lisa Llyod

Going “cordless” is a trend across several industries. But the movement in window coverings is not just about modern style and convenience. It is an issue of safety for homes with small children. Here are a few tips to help parents understand the options available that promote SAFETY and CONSUMER EDUCATION.

Some styles of traditional corded window coverings pose a tempting hazard to infants and toddlers who view dangling cords as playthings. Each year, entanglement by window cords is a serious danger that can cause injury to small children or maybe even death.

While accidents have decreased with changes in industry safety standards, there is still work to be done in spreading awareness. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, at least one child dies from window cord strangulation every month, and during that one-month period, at least one more child suffers a near strangulation.

There are simple yet critical steps parents can take to increase the safety in their homes.

CHOOSE SAFER WINDOW COVERINGS

Cordless treatments are recommended for homes where small children or pets live or frequently visit.

CORDLESS OPTIONS INCLUDE:

SHUTTERS: Offer a classic and inherently cordless window covering option.

MOTORIZED SHADES: Can be raised and lowered with the touch of a button using a battery-operated remote control.

CORDLESS CELLULAR SHADES: A sleek and modern option, cordless cellular shades can be easily raised and lowered with one hand.

ADD SAFETY FEATURES TO EXISTING CORDS

Existing corded window coverings can be retrofitted with safety features such as:

SPRING ASSISTED CLUTCHES: Can be raised and lowered without the use of cords.

SLIDING PANEL TRACK SYSTEMS: For vertical products with side to side openings.

BREAK-AWAY TASSELS: Designed to pull apart under minimal pressure.

CORD STOPS: For horizontal window coverings that restrict how far the internal ladder cords can be pulled from the blind.

CORD CLEATS: Safely tie dangerous cords out of your children’s reach.

PLACE FURNITURE WITH SAFETY IN MIND

Be mindful of where furniture is placed within a child’s bedroom or playroom. Moving furniture, such as cribs, changing tables, toy chests and chairs away from the window area prevents access to window coverings. This also minimizes the risk of accidentally falling from the window should the child crawl up and over the wrong end. In the event that the glass breaks, positioning furniture away from the window reduces the risk of injury from broken glass.

If furniture must be placed near a window, consider adding security film, which helps maintain the integrity of windowpanes during a storm or earthquake, and from the impact of flying objects such as wind-driven tree limbs or baseballs from the neighbourhood game.

ADDITIONAL SAFETY TIPS

Window safety is just one of many considerations when decorating a home with small children. For more information and tips on whole home safety, visit

www.cdc.gov/healthyhomes.

LISA LLOYD is a Window Fashion Design Consultant and Owner of Budget Blinds, Oakville & Mississauga West. Lloyd provides custom window coverings for large and small-scale residential and commercial projects.

budgetblinds.com/oakville